Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Learning French

I always wanted to learn French. I think that the French language is so romantic and stylish!

Several years ago I started my goal of learning the language. I bought one of those learning French Cd's, which was pretty neat because not only they gave the basic French grammar but actually videos of people interacting with each other while speaking French. So for about a month I would practice everyday. I had difficulty reading the exact pronunciation. Though I could say that I was progressing slowly but steady.

Then one day I was running errands in a busy area of South Beach. And low and behold there were some ladies speaking French Creole standing right behind me. I was blown away! Not because they were speaking French. It was because I understood almost everything they said. And French Creole is not totally the same as French, though I still understood it well. Trust me , I am not the kind of girl that like to eaves drop, that is not proper etiquette. So I unintentionally continued listening to their conversation. And I would certainly not tell you what they were talking about, which is neither mine or your business. But it was groovy to understand what these ladies were saying.

Then I somehow stop practicing my French Cd's.

So several years ago I tried to get into it again. This time in addition to listening to the Cd's I incorporated in my learning schedule a PBS film. The film was about a guy meeting a girl in France. All of it of course was part of a French learning course, which I thought was pretty entertaining.

I wanted to really learn French. I had all the tools and equipment that I needed but I couldn't seem to progress. So I came to one painful realization. The problem was moi, ME. Yeap, I couldn't keep up with my schedule and French went avoir. Perhaps it was that I didn't really needed to learn it so badly, like if my life depended on it. I lived in South Beach were their were a variety of food, people and languages.

And mind you, there are plenty of French speaking people every where you go in South Beach. So are the rest of the English, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese speaking people that also lived and breath in South Beach. I am fortunate that I speak English, Spanish and a little Portuguese and that I had French and German friends. So in a way I felt like I could survive that International culture.

Now if I had moved to Paris years ago most likely I would be writing this experience in French. I think sometimes what moves people in learning a new language is of a need. And I have to admit, I fall into that category. Though their are exceptions like; "Do I really "need" another pair of shoes?." Or is it more do I just "want" a new pair of shoes. So Perhaps one day if I have to work in a bakery shop where the owner only spoke French that I might have then a real need to learn the language after all.

With all of that I still would love to learn French. My dream is to one day go to Paris and walked down it's famous streets and to walk into one of their famous café and ask for the toilette! No matter what you say in French it will always sound romantique and chic!

A friend of mine that speaks about six languages told me a great tip one day: "You have to submerge yourself into the language."

So the best thing for me to do would be to pack my things and start heading to Paris. I wish! Anyhow, in the meantime, I will still enjoy learning a little French just in case if I might need it one day.

Here is the website to watch the PBS french lessons: French in Action.

BBC has a great language learning courses on their website. The languages that they have are: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese and others.

The BBC Language Website:BBC Languages/

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons from FunkyFlamenca, Wallyg, Mr Mystery.

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