Friday, March 24, 2006

15 Years

I studied French in school. And that is not counting the two years of French I took in University. I have an official bilingual certificate, but unfortunately since I don't speak French as often as I used to, it is pretty rusty.

Sometimes when I speak French to strangers, they switch to English. Which I find pretty insulting considering how much effort I put into speaking French in the first place. Apparently my accent isn't so good. My Dad and Mom were both born and raised in Montréal. My Dad can speak any dialect of French he chooses. It just rolls of his toungue. Whether we are in Paris, France or Mont Laurier, Québec my Dad can talk to anyone anywhere. He even started giving sermons at a Church up in the Gatineau in French last year. My Mom, well she can get by, but prefers not to speak it, she lacks the confidence in her language skills. I guess I take after my Mom.

In University I took Spanish, I speak better Spanish than I do French, and always when I do speak Spanish to a person of Spanish origin, they always, always reply in Spanish. Imagine that. They also immediately slow down their speech for my so I won't get lost in their quick talking. I love Spanish.

Hubby took a French test yesterday. He has been studying French for 5 weeks. Not only has he been able to correct my French when I try to help him (which I don't want to offer, in case I mess him up) but, he knows almost all of his verbs!!! His first ever real conversation in French was at this test. He was able to tell the person administering the test this much... in French. So, my Hubby has gone all of his life saying "I can do ____ because I don't speak French". Well, not anymore. He had to at least score a 1, meaning that he understood some basic French and could reply with mistakes. He not only scored a 2, meaning that he understood and replied with little mistake, but he scored a 2.5!!! Sorry, that is out of a score of 5. Ack! All those years spent learning and speaking French, and here Hubby goes mastering the language in 5 short weeks. He still has some learning to go, but obviously he will be chatting with my Dad in no time flat. Now his Dad will be asking him if he is going to start learning German.


Blogger Silver Creek Mom said...

Right on M!

Anna congratulate him for me. Great Job. Shows he has an ear for languages.

I live in Quebec and no one lets me speak it either because my accent is so bad. BUT honestly I've never switched to French becasue their accent was that bad.

Pisses me off to When i try so hard.

7:54 AM  
Blogger nancy said...

Oui? Oui?
Nein. Nein.
Si! Si!

Felicitations pour ton hubby.

I also love spanish, wanna really learn it one day. Sigh. One day.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Northern mom said...

I think I'll stick to English. When Jo goes to school, I'll likely learn along side her!
My french bites...really bad. Although Hubby can speak it to me and I do understand most of what he says, but then again, it's mostly Northern Ontario Franglais. It's just a really bad slang of French. N'est Pas?

11:15 AM  
Blogger moe said...

Sounds like I'd like Spanish too. My 15yo is studying spanish and let's just say she needs work. I am like you with french though I am learning more now that I help my 6 & 8yo with their homework. I am also trying to speak more french at home.

I hate it when French people switch to English when I try to speak French. It's like they have to dumb down the conversation for me. Speak French. Let me practice.

I'd love to know how your husband has done so well in 5 weeks

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:04 PM  
Blogger chichimama said...

I have a similar issue with French. And it drove me nuts when I was in Franch when folks would switch to English as I really wanted to try to get the accent!

6:36 PM  
Blogger twinmomplusone said...

Congrats to your hubby!

Ya know French is a difficult language, so many little rules and accents. Spanish on the other hand is much easier to learn and speak.

I'm like your dad, can speak perfect Parisian French or down dirty joual, love them all. Took years of Spanish and Italian in school, love those languages immensely. And now I'm working on my greek, and that one, is a pure challenge, extremely complex grammar and pronunciation.

Hasta luego senorita!

11:21 AM  
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