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Monday, December 5, 2011

An Excerpt - On Speaking French by Karen A. Chase

AN EXCERPT – ON SPEAKING FRENCH

By Karen A. Chase
Author of Bonjour 40: A travel log
(40 years. 40 days. 40 seconds)


So I worked with a tutor one-on-one, went to a few French-speaking Meetup groups, watched foreign films, studied DVDs and podcasts, and more. As I mentioned on my first day in Paris, I quickly discovered my French sucked. Really though, it didn’t suck so much as I was just afraid to use it. I was afraid I would say things incorrectly, and instead of asking to buy a hat, chapeau, I’d ask to buy a horse, cheval. My biggest hurdle upon arrival was I simply wasn’t brave enough to try it. I was afraid they would know I was a foreigner, roll their eyes, and say, “Merde, another American comes to Paris.”

I would slowly grope around for words, or quietly whisper, or give up entirely and just simply point and grunt at things. Finally it occurred to me. You don’t know these people. Dive in! If you screw it up, you’ll learn. Maybe they’ll help out and correct you, or you’ll end up with a nice horse. Just start with Bonjour, Madame or Monsieur, and get going. I’m now convinced that speaking a new language is 25 percent knowledge, 50 percent experience, and 25 percent having the balls to open your mouth and speak it.



1 comment:

wahjohn said...

Has anyone read this book?
I just an amazing book "From Athletics to Business" it talks about Why do so many athletes end up in financial ruin? This book uncovers the principles that make athletes and millionaires more susceptible to economic ruin and bad behavior. Discover the 12 universal attributes that athletics teaches that should help mold athletes into prime candidates for post career success. This book may be the first of its' kind to offer true insight into the epidemic of financial ruin that has plagued athletes for almost a century and offer the solutions to end this affliction. I got my copy from Amazon.com but I believe you can also buy it on its web site www.fromathleticstobusiness.com


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