Friday, June 17, 2011

The Truth about Paris - La Langue

So after thinking long and hard about what how to share my summer with you, I have decided to do a little feature on what it's like to be a foreigner living in Paris.  The good and the bad....and yea sadly there's bad stuff.  It is pretty freaking awesome though!

I thought I would start off with the language barrier. I think it's been the biggest challenge for me.
For those of you who don't know me, I am an Anglophone (English is my first language), however, I completed my schooling in French, and am currently taking the entirety of my degree in French as well.  I speak the language very well. My vocabulary is very school French, still learning the 'slang', but I can understand pretty much everything people say, even if I miss a few words here and there. Either way, I speak french VERY well. This being said, no one here cares that I can speak french. If I say something in French, everyone responds in English. It doesn't matter how good my vocabulary is, how perfect my grammar and sentence structure are, I sound like a North American trying to speak French. Even the people who can't really speak English, speak to me in their terrible broken English.  I know they are just trying to make things easier for me, but this has becoming ridiculously frustrating in day to day life, as the whole point of my being here is to perfect my French. 
The only exception to this is at work.  My co-workers deal with customers and suppliers from all over the E-U, and are fully aware of how important it is to speak another language. They speak to me in French, and don't hold back at all. Now this makes up a huge part of my day, so I'm VERY thankful to have the opportunity to speak French 8 hours a day. They correct me here and there, suggest other words I could use instead. I'm still a tad self conscience during conversations, but I refuse to give up!
I have been here a month, and have already begun muttering to myself in French, swearing in French, French even makes appearances in my dreams. I am submersing myself in French music, movies and literature. I LOVE this language.  The way it sounds, the way it feels to speak, even the structure of it...probably why I'm minoring in it! I truly appreciate the challenge of living in a country that speaks a language different that what I use on a regular basis.

Oh and just in case you wanted to learn how to say something rude, or sassy in french, you should check out this website. It's kind of hilarious, especially since they give you the literal translation of a lot of it.

Grand bisous

1 comment:

  1. Oh I have to admit I'm so jealous of you, working in Paris... you should see if they want another fine Canadian next summer (aka. me) because i long to work there over a summer. I hope you enjoy every moment, bon courage! bisous /rachelle