Tuesday, August 4, 2009

vous ne risquez pas d'être un légume

Sometimes it feels like French is a private club for members who are either from there or served missions there, and I will never gain membership. I take the classes, I read the Book of Mormon in French, I talk with my mom, but this is not enough. This will not make me fluent. And I keep ignoring that and pushing it aside, but one day it will become very embarrassing for me to say I was a French minor and yet can't carry on a thoughtful conversation with someone. (I mean, I could carry on a conversation about food, or airports, or families, or school subjects, or house-related things "la chaise est verte!", but anything that actually matters? describing situations and events? politics? religion? okay, actually I've upped my gospel vocab a lot by reading scriptures in French, but I couldn't bear my testimony or anything. Maybe. Have yet to try.)

Usually I assuage my concerns with the desperate hope that one day I will get to France and I will stay there for a while and I will become fluent if it kills me! And usually I'm fine after I think that to myself.

But every so often reality is shoved in my face in my inability to understand French tourists in San Francisco and I want to cry. It's impractical, it's expensive, and what exactly would I do? I don't think my language skills are where they should be for an internship, I travel with the ballroom team at the same time as all the French study abroads, and I really don't have anyplace to go.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this post to be one long whiny rant. I'm a little discouraged.
Don't take me too seriously. After all is said and done I still believe it will all happen. Somehow.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


brown eyed girl said...

I feel that way about Spanish sometimes...that I really just need to spend a few months or a year in Latin America and just...live, and speak.

I think you should at least give yourself credit for doing all you can, while in this country, to increase your fluency. Especially talking with your mom. I always feel guilty for not taking advantage of opportunities to speak Spanish, and there are a lot more people to speak Spanish with.

It's too bad we aren't learning the same language...we could make our own language immersion housing. :)

Josh said...

My advice is this. I have met many of people that have never spent a day of their lives in an English speaking nation and yet speak English better than I. How? I would suggest it has something to do with the fact that their nations do not translate their movies, music, or television to be dubbed.

People I met from France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, and various others all spoke much worse English than those from smaller, "less important" countries. (Most of it has simply to do with demand and money.) The answer that the beautiful speakers told me was that they watched TV/movies in English with the subtitles. They read and watch and listen all at the same time. True, you do not speak yourself but they have told me that this helps the most.

OH! And this too. When I was in Greece, the short time that I did get to watch TV I was AMAZED at how much I learned and how fast. Holy cow.

Just a thought!

amanda and dave said...

Yeah...it's hard to look at reality sometimes...but you'll make it! I have no doubt. And...you are an AMAZING french speaker. granted, I"m biased and don't hear french people much :) but you're a fast learner, so if you did go, you'd be fine!

this is random and not helpful..but...ich liebe dich!

(that's german)

Kellie Rachelle said...

Katie I know exactly how you feel, because I feel the same way about German. As excited as I am about Jerusalem and will never regret that decision, it was either that or a study abroad in Berlin or Vienna. The decision broke my heart, because my chances of improving my German, which I so desperately want to do, go down when you don't have the opportunity to visit the country from where the language comes.

I can't do two study abroads- Jerusalem and Germany/Austria. That's ridiculous. And I'm concerned my German classes will be too difficult with trying to get straight A's in all my major classes so that I can get into grad school at BYU. Do I sacrifice really important grades to be better at a language I want to be fluent at? Sometimes I think about all this and how I'm already halfway through college and still feel like I know hardly any German. It makes me want to cry sometimes.

I guess as long as we keep studying and working hard on French and German, respectively, we at least can't have too many regrets :)