Thursday, April 8, 2010

Trying to be "saturated" with French!

This is one of those weeks where my brain isn't functioning properly. I talked to my professor, Madame Claire, about it this morning. While my comprehension of french has really increased in the past couple of weeks, my speaking ability has decreased drastically (and it wasn't too good to begin with!) Madame Claire reminded me that in learning a language you often take two steps forward, then one step back, then two forward, then one back.....I think I'm in the process of taking a giant leap back! She also reminded me that the during the last months of pregnancy often times your memory just isn't there and thoughts don't seem to come together as well. I'm still trying to figure out if she was just being an encouragement, or if that is really true. What do you think? Old Wives Tale? Even through my foggy brain, I had a terrific class today. Unfortunately Patrick couldn't go to class today, yesterday at lunchtime a terrible stomach bug hit him. It's not all that pretty either! I'm praying he'll feel better soon. As I type, he's on the couch contemplating a nap and praying his first meal will stay down. class went well. I guess I needed the individual time and things are really starting to click for me with speaking in the past! The different verb tenses in french can be very confusing. Today, I learned another verb tense, it's called Plus-que-parfait. It's sort of like in English when we say...I had eaten, or is it ate?....Now, I'm totally confused on the English side! I was able to talk more with Madame Claire and give a summary of a news article I had to read in french.

The children are really improving in their French studies. They still take classes once a week with Madame Roy and are really enjoying those classes. We've also started them on Rosetta Stone again. This time with a better plan and hopefully more faithfully. I'm also letting them choose a book from the library. The first day they read it (they're beginner reader books) and translate it. The next day they read it to Silas, the third day they read it once more to themselves and make sure they understand it, then the fourth day they read it to our family and explain in English what happened. We did this last week and then tonight will be time to explain the 2nd book they picked. So far this is going very well and they are learning new words. I've been told by several people that my children don't have an accent at all, they speak very well! What a blessing!

We had a big treat last week and were able to get hamburgers from McDo (that's what they call McDonalds here) In the past people will hear me stumble and try to speak in french, figure I'm an anglophone, then speak to me in English. Very Frustrating! I'm trying to use my french!!!
Well, I wanted this time to be different. No English for me! So, I started off very well, I said, "Je voudrais ( I want, or would like) cinq McDoubles (5 McDoubles, that one was easy!) et deux grands cocas (2 large cokes, they don't add ice here, and if they do it's only two cubes, so we split sodas a lot and divide them into seperate cups at home) pour emporter (to go) (big smile, I did it!) Then, the man said the words I feared.....Fries (In English! Of all the nerve, I'm trying to speak in french, thank you!) I said, non (no) he looked at me funny and said it again...Fries. I thought, now I know I'm saying the word no correctly, so I just said it again. Non. (no) I looked over at Brenna trying to figure out what was going on. She was in the process of hitting her forehead and rolling her eyes like she's just been incredibly humiliated. I looked back at the man and he was pointing at the register total... and he said again Fries. Then, it hit me, he wasn't speaking English to me, he was giving me my total!!!! He was actually saying Treize!! (13) But, he wasn't exactly pronouncing it correctly himself! (It's supposed to be traaaas) Oh well, not the first time I was embarrassed in french, and probably not the last. All I could do was laugh and pay the poor man!

Please keep praying for us and our french learning, it's coming along, but we still have much work ahead of us!