Here I am On The Other Side of The Desk again. I popped over to The Daily Post and voila, there was the perfect prompt for an OSOTD piece. When I saw the words “Lazy Learners,” I thought I was going to get to talk about students who don’t do their homework or go to sleep in class. OOPS! The tables were turned when I clicked and saw the actual prompt.
“Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t gotten around to? What is it and what’s stopping you from mastering the skill?”
Hey! That’s about me! I’m not lazy! I need a new prompt. Oh. Well… there is that one thing.
J’adore le Français
I attended a very forward-thinking elementary school. For grades 1-8, we studied a foreign language. Every day, we spent time learning French. For eight years, I learned how to say my alphabet, count to 100, name the parts of the body, sing songs, and eventually have conversations about the weather and my daily activities. I loved it. Mme made us crepes and once even escargots served in the shell. (I liked them; they were garlicy and quite tender, served with fresh French bread.) Through my French class, I even connected with several international pen pals. Two German girls became my close friends, and they even spent a summer here with me. I’m still in contact with one of them. French was my favorite class of the day. I was thrilled to hear Mme Rogers tell my parents that I mastered not only the vocabulary, but a Parisian accent.
Venit Vidit Oblit
Then I went to High School. Everyone said, “Take Latin. It will help you with your English vocabulary.” And so, I bid adieu to le Français. Latin was okay. I guess. I can’t say I’ve ever used it–even once. I learned mortify because I knew mortal, not because I knew its Latin base. The grammar was interesting, but so was French grammar. And there are absolutely no good songs in Latin! From high school, I went to college, and over time, my French faded away.
Je ne sais pas…
Whenever I watch a French film, I long to be able to turn off the subtitles. From time to time, I visit French websites to see how much I can still read. Not much. I have learned to sing “Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler)” by Pink Martini. (Yes, I know what I’m singing, too.) That is quite an accomplishment for me because I have a hard time remembering the words to English songs.
So why haven’t I buckled down and appris à parler français? I’m not sure. I have the entire Pimsleur course for French, and I have gone through French I, which was a good refresher. So why am I not working on French II now? Je ne sais pas. I’d like to say I’m too busy, but I do plenty of things I don’t have to. Maybe I’m afraid I’ll find out I’ve lost my affinity for learning French. Or may I am just a little bit lazy. Learning a language is hard work. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must by for all of our ESL students who are coping with living in a new place and learning a new language at the same time. I’m amazed by how so many of the bloggers I’ve met are writing in more than one language! I am beginning to come down more and more on the side of lazy.
I do have to say, though, that the few French phrases in here I did use from memory. I checked to be sure I spelled them correctly before publishing them for the world to see. (I had!) Unfortunately, that’s about all the French I know unless you want me to sing Sympathique for you. Which I will. I love that song.