#37 through #39 – different approach.

Posted by Katie on April 10, 2011
101 in 1001, Travel

#37 – Make an extensive French flash card collection.

#38 – Memorize every last French flash card.

#39 – Hire a French tutor to work with me once a week (6 months).

I’m taking a different approach to getting my French up to speed, and Dave is coming along for the ride!!  We found a native French speaker who has been coming to the apartment once a week to help us out.  One of her first comments to me, “Flashcards are boring!”  She spends an hour talking to me, and correcting my goofy grammar, and she spends an hour teaching Dave the basics. 

I know French much more as a spoken language than a written one…this comes through two summers of total French immersion in Quebec 10 years ago, as well as a customer service job speaking French on the phone.  Revisiting the basics through Dave, while spending time each week just talking in French, have been really valuable and fun. 

Dave’s homework is focused on memorization, while mine is focused on reading and writing things I am interested in, focusing on improving spelling and grammar.  I’ve enjoyed doing this with Dave, and our different talents in life help each other learn.  That’s to say that I just say anything in French to get my point across, while Dave focuses on spelling and pronouncing thing correctly.

The goal is to take our summer vacation in Quebec in 2012.  It would be wonderful to introduce Dave to that time in my life, as well as reconnect with the family that I lived with.

5 Comments to #37 through #39 – different approach.

  • This is so cool!! I would love to hear you guys speak French. Not that I would be able to understand any of it… (how close to French is Latin?) 🙂

  • French is derived from Latin, so I’ve noticed lots of similarities so far. Things like being a gendered language, the numbers (un, deux, trois, quatre, cinque, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix), forms of the verb “to be”:
    suis, es, est, sommes, etes, sont
    compared to Latin:
    sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt

    There’s other stuff, too, like adding “-que” to the end of the first word of a sentence to indicate a question, which in French becomes its own word:
    “Est-ce que tu as chat blanc?” “Non, je n’ai pas un chat blanc. J’ai un chat noir.” (“Do you have a white cat?” “No, I do not have a white cat. I have a black cat.” (if I remember correctly)).

    The hardest part for me is learning the pronunciation, since many of the sounds don’t appear in English or Latin at all. I’m not even sure you could type phonetic spellings of all the numbers 1-10. The best I can manage is “a(ng), duh, trglrglwah, kotrglrgl(e), sangk, seece, set, wheat, nuhf, deece” but that doesn’t quite do it.

    It’s fun and I’m really enjoying it, but learning a new language is always difficult.

  • And…this just highlights the differences in learning languages between Dave and I.

    Ooh…and Dad B…I did have to look up vocabulary, but…”Votre aéroglisseur est infesté avec les anguilles.”

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