Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bad Language

It's interesting what scares people.  I'll happily orate about nothing in particular to a packed theatre.  I'll wander round foreign cities on my own at night.  I'll potter round isolated storage facilities on my own (I have a Stanley knife in my pocket; fancy your chances?).  And apparently I can walk out on a life of security without a backward glance.  Yet I won't go down to the communal kitchen to chat to the other residents (who are mainly English speaking from the sound of it).  And I'm terrified of going to the Commune to try and register my presence here.  I'm scared of people talking to me at bus stops because I get that stupid look as I try to unlock what they said.  It will pass, I know.  But just as when you are irrevocably awake you cannot imagine crossing into sleep, I cannot imagine crossing from confusion into linguistic competence. 

It seems I need to stop being a lazy fuck in the mornings and use the time for language study instead.  There remain about six weeks before I start my morning job so an hour a day each morning would be confidence-enhancing, surely. 

I suppose that scares me: what if I can't actually learn the language.  Ultimately it would be very limiting and a bit really fucking English.



  1. It will come Jane, you just need to immerse yourself in the sound of the language.

    Try listening to the radio and just listen to the sound without necessarily trying to translate it at first, eventually it starts to become clear.

  2. If you can speak cat, you can speak french! xx

  3. I know exactly how you are feeling because when I first moved to (and returned from France) all that time ago I felt the same way. There is no other method better than that of total immersion. Try to limit the amount of time you speak English - papers, radio, television, new friends should all be in forrin. Hark at me saying this - I know it's scary but it really is the best way.

    1. Doing what I can - but the common language here is English. I am speaking French in shops and at the creche.