Monday, October 18, 2010

People Speak French to Me

For the most part I live in English-speaking culture.  My family speaks English.  All my web/email interactions are in English.  The dominant language of SHAPE is English.  In touristy areas, shopkeepers speak English.  Church is in English.  Chievres isn't only English-speaking, it is completely American.

The first few times a stranger addressed me in French,  I was startled and it took a few moments for my brain to catch up and respond appropriately.  Now I'm a bit faster on the uptake.  Not only that, but I do enjoy hearing and speaking French.  Conversationally, I'm still quite slow, but every day interactions with strangers are getting a bit better.

I like greeting people with a "bonjour!" as I walk the dog and wishing store keepers a "bonne journee" (good day).

I can ask for a pork roast at the butcher's counter and respond when someone wants the extra chair at the dance studio.  I'm not a great French speaker, but I'm decent.  People quickly realize French is not my first language.  They also are generally pleased I am making the effort.

I like the mental exercise of thinking and speaking in French and I expect if I keep at it, it will continue to improve until I once again move back to the US and forget everything I've learned.

Until then- Bonne Journee!

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