Thursday, 6 January 2011

Berlitz-ing My Way to Fluent French

Why are there so many tenses?  Today,
tomorrow, yesterday.  That's enough for me!
When I was growing up, the kids in my neighbourhood were French speaking and they all picked up English by hanging around with me. Their parents were smart! It was cheaper than sending them to language school and they were learning without knowing it while playing – how great is that! (Now that I'm a unilingual adult, I think I should look them up and charge them for services rendered)!

But, bitterness aside, I've signed up with Berlitz Language School and will be starting my courses next week. I just took the placement test and am very pleased to say, I'm at level.......(drum roll)! I could have told them that without a test. This means no bad habits to correct, right?  I'm starting with practically a clean slate.  According to the results, I have more vocabulary than grammar. Ain't that fantastical? Who would have thunk it?

Being the 21st century, I don't have to actually go to Berlitz to take my lessons.  I'll be video conferencing with the instructor in the comfort of my own home.  For all I know, the instructor might be in his or her own home too......and maybe not in Montreal.  Maybe in France.....or the Balkans......or China.  Who knows?  (I'll try to see what's in the background).  I think this method will help a lot - no more running to a class after work and less temptation to miss "just this once".

I've taken French lessons before but I don't think I studied hard enough. I sort of thought I'd learn by osmosis or something. This time, I'm going to hit the books. Grammar, conjugation and all that. I only want present, past and future tenses. Forget le plus-que-parfait de l'indicatif. I'm not going to live long enough to learn all that stuff. All I want is to be able to chat with the waiters in Paris without making a total fool of myself.

If the French lessons don't take this time, I'll give it up and try Italian.....or Greek. Or, maybe I'll take piano........
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1 comment:

  1. Funny that you should mention the French kids learning English on their own growing up around the Anglo's. What's really funny, is because they are taught such a structured grammar in French as kids, most of them apply it to English and speak a better, more proper English than an Anglophone will in French after 1 year of training. Food for thought...
    I work in the domaine and see it all the time.