Tuesday, June 15, 2010
We are ze people in your neighborhood
It's time to think about travel. I am heading off to France in January and need to start making plans. This will be about my fifth time to the pastures of pastry and to date have only made petite attempts at any language learning. I can navigate enough French words to eat, drink and shop in fact I probably have a collection of at least 10 French words that revolve around my favourite wine, food and basic greetings. My usual approach is to sit around and wait until one of my 10 words comes up and then I say 'oui sil vous plait' and I'm sorted. I've tried listening to the french language CDs in the car but they are usually circa 1980 and the voice overs sound just a little bit 'Allo Allo' for me. I don't think it's been really helpful. When I travel I can't imagine any situation where the opportunity would arise where I would ask 'how do I get to the camping ground?' or when I'm visiting the local market where the women at the cheese counter would sooner stab me in the eye with an artichoke before letting me in, and all I can say is 'I like dancing'.
I'm considering private tuition only because I've tried the group classes and for some reason they believe that when you walk through the door you have reverted to a toddler and Sesame Street learning skills are the way to go. I actually attended a language course where the teacher asked everyone in the room to form a circle while he asked us to throw an Elmo toy to each other in order to learn how to count. This happens so often in Paris. I want to be able to string a sentence together with some of my 10 words and not have to stumble for the point and smile fallback position. I need to know how to hurl good french aussie abuse at a rip off taxi driver and be able to have a conversation with the man who brings his dachshunds into the restaurant to sit at the same table every night. That's life and language. I can find my own way to the train station.