Do you speak French? Or are you planning to learn it? I´ve been on and off the train “Learning French” for the past two years – well, more off than on, if I´m honest. 😉
And to be even more honest with you: I was quite fed up with myself for not already being able to understand or speak French properly. It seems that somehow I was waiting for the knowledge to simply find its way into my brain on its own, preferably while I´m asleep. 😉
But in the last couple of weeks I finally started to see it through: I spent nearly every day at least half an hour with learning French – and it slowly but surely begins to show!
Sure, the grammar is quite tough but what hindered me most was my lack of vocabulary, and even worse: my lacking will to actually pound these words into my head.
Learning a new language can be a slow process, but I think that by learning everyday a bit, I will actually have more success than by sitting at my desk for a more lengthy period just once a week.
Besides my dictionary to help me make sense of the words I encounter in children´s and young adults books, I use a little pocket computer by Franklin (see above in the drawing) which was a go-away gift from a friend who left Germany for France a couple of years ago. It´s especially helpful when it comes to irregular verbs. You simply type in the verb and it coughs up the infinitive for you!
I´m currently working my way through “Les Horloges de M. Svonok” (The timepieces of Mr Svonok) by François Gravel, a book about four friends confronted with ghostly apparitions and inexplicable losses of time. It´s a very good read and I even catched myself picking it up to read more beyond my self-imposed study time. 😉
And if you´re asking yourself why I´m going through all this hard work when really English will get you pretty much everywhere on this planet, just have a quick look at this hilarious and awesome piece of interview with the French actress Marion Cotillard on Late Show, where it will be demonstrated to you that everything sounds so much more intriguing when said in French… :
And for those of you who are interested, here are the translations for the words seen in my drawing above:
le funambule – the tight-rope walker
bougonner – to grumble
j´ai – I have
la ride – the wrinkle
sembler – to seem
hâter – to accelerate
à – to; in; at; with (… and many, many more meanings)
poussiéreux, -se – dusty
la clameur – the clamor
le hasard – the chance
flou, -e – blurry, fuzzy
fier – proud
l´aube – dawn
étonner – to amaze
pourtant – however
grimper – to climb
hausser les épaules – to shrug (typically French thing so it can´t hurt knowing this phrase 😉 )
toi – you
le pêcheur – the fisher
la marée – the tide
couvrir – to cover
la verrière – glass
oui – yes