Je neigh comprond pas je swee Anglays *Please read in a Yorkshire Accent*
(Je ne comprend pas je suis Anglaise)
A pitiful excuse I whack out whenever an individual who speaks french tries to engage in conversation with me.
Like so many people my endeavours into learning a foreign language never did extend beyond GCSE years. And even then my pitiful attempt at German couldn’t really be classed as an endeavour. As a non-shallont 15 year old me decided another language definitely wouldn’t be necessary in the future, (disclaimer: it is).
Overall my language skills don’t extend beyond please, thank you, and hello in a few languages, ordering baguettes and quoting the history boys “En Votre pantalons s’il vous plait”. However, now I’m a little older (and slightly wiser) ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
At this point its not only an aspiration to learn another language, but theres a deadline. Next summer I am embarking upon the first trip to France by myself. Although I’ve been going to France since I can remember with my family, this will be the first time I can’t awkwardly hide behind the menu when food is being ordered.
I have a timetabled couple of months in mind, hopping around the beautiful country in a series of Volunteering pursuits. There are lots of incredible opportunities to live your best life in French Chateaus, farm houses, artist retreats and even such incredible artistic pilgrimages as Monets House in Giverny. As you are given a bed, food, a cultural exchange and a new family to welcome you in exchange for helping them out with their projects and ambitions. All in all, as an accessible, achievable experience set within a landscape which so inspires me artistically it seemed like a no brainer to sign up.
However, as ever there is a catch. I need to be able to speak passable french. Not fluent, but enough to converse and not butcher the beautiful language with my northern tongue. So here goes, a gal who had previously consigned herself to forever utilising the excuse “I just don’t “get” languages” is going on a linguistic adventure.
Am I a dreamer, maybe. But more likely Je suis un rêveur.