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Parlez-vous Francais?

  • Thursday, March 27 2008 @ 04:22 MDT
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Chantelle\'s Ramblings I've been giving it my best shot but, in spite of my extremely French-Canadian name, I am sadly lacking the skills for actually speaking the language. In the years that I have worked for the railway I have been increasingly surrounded by people who are fluently bilingual owing to the transfer of the company from Montreal in 1996. I also work mostly Eastern desks and am constantly teased by the Running Trades and Montreal dispatchers alike about my appalling Alberta accent when they do goad me into uttering the occasional bonjour.

Last year, I picked up the Rosetta Stone software and starting making my first real effort in years to learn the language. The software is based on immersion and I'm starting to understand the grammar of French far better than I ever did in the years that I studied in junior high and high school (that whole feminine/masculine thing is no longer a mystery to me).

I have realized though, that I need to do a couple of things if I am to become truly, fluently bilingual:
First, I need to work with the software I've purchased much more often. When I take time each day, things are starting to sink in.

Second, I need to do whatever it takes to fix my accent. I know it's terrible. It takes people in Montreal about 3 seconds after I say anything en francais to figure out that I'm not from around these parts. I've started to listen to Radio Canada on my satellite radio in the car, watch French channels on TV and watch films and TV shows on DVD with the French track on.

Third, immersion is the only way to really learn a language and since the likelihood that I will be moving to Quebec any time soon is very remote, I need to find other ways. I understand that there are clubs in town where a person can go to immerse themselves but I'm a little terrified to walk into a room of fluent French speakers and ask in my terrible accent for their help.

While in Montreal, I've made a sincere effort to use what little French I have when ordering in a restaurant or shopping. It doesn't take me very long to get in over my head. I've also picked up a couple of books in French in the hope that it will encourage me to step-up my effort to learn the language knowing that I have a couple of good history books waiting for me.

Also keeping me focused is the sudden realization that there is a lot of music in this country that I know nothing of because it's all been produced in the other official language. The thought that a whole new world of singer/song writers are out there to be discovered once I break my own barrier of language is exciting.

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  • Parlez-vous Francais?
  • Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, March 28 2008 @ 08:51 MDT
Bonjour Chantelle! Ça va? Tu-as parle français trés bien! Je suis excité dans tu-as maison! A bientôt!!
JL

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