Saturday, February 6, 2016
Mon Dieu, tu es grand, tu es beau!
Katie and I have a two part roadschool adventure this semester: three weeks in Europe with ComputerGuy starting in late May and the run-up, a week in Montreal, during her spring break from the community college the first week of March. I find French very easy to read given my fluent Spanish and decent Latin, not to mention the frequent cognates to English. But it's very hard to speak, and not just cause of its inherent irregularity --the total opposite of perfectly phonetic Spanish where surely every child gets 100 on every spelling test. My only formal study was two community college semesters squeezed into one sick and pregnant summer during grad school so I could pass my reading exam. And my actual practice since has consisted of two very brief trips to Montreal and Quebec City in the past few years, plus one mass in Toronto this Advent. So I am trying to practice as much as possible to be ready to practice for real/test myself on the first trip in a few weeks.
I studied and practiced Spanish a lot more beginning in high school, and locked in true bilinguality (though I am a bit out of practice living in the Midwest) via hours of conversation with Katie's 10 month to 2 1/2 babysitter while I was nursing and writing at home a lot. I dearly wish I could have done the same with her newborn to 8 month babysitter who was a young Frenchwoman-- my first mothering apprentice who left when she had her own baby--and spoke French to Katie all day and offered to do the same for me. But sadly my base was much weaker and the dissertate-while-mothering situation was far more stressful, so we chatted in English instead.
I bought a fun little book of idioms and a nice Living Language set with books and cds but haven't had time to really break into them with an exciting but very busy writing schedule--academic and pastoral alike. So I am returning to my original mode of remembering and improving language which worked great with Spanish and then with Italian while I was studying Latin there: liturgy and music. Sadly I can't have French mass here in Detroit--though I sure as heck plan on going every day in Montreal--but I do have Youtube so am playing a mix of Taize, praise songs, and hymns to form my ear and start trying to sing along when, as with this lovely one, they have lyrics. Enjoy!
Bonus feature cause it just clicked over: I Can Only Imagine en francais--