Ann H
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... Une decision.

January 21, 2010 @ 1:43 PM | Permalink

I'm going to write this in English. That being said, this is going to be the last blog on Glimpse that I will be writing in English for at least a month, if not the rest of the semester.

My rationale merits an explanation, I think, so I will try my best.

The director of this program, Lily, has been drilling into our heads the extent to which we need to be speaking French constantly. We all knew this coming in, as each one of the students signed a contract insisting that we would always speak French in our classes, outside our classes, and with our families. This makes sense: if we really want to "parler courament," ie speak fluently, we absolutely need to immerse ourselves entirely in French.

The problem/blessing is that I have the internet in my room, which means that I have consistent and easy access to all of you. Mostly this makes me very happy, because it means I get to keep up with all the people who matter to me the most. However, when I am speaking to MOST of my friends from home, I am speaking English. English, obviously, is not French; I am not here to learn to speak English any better than I already do. And it's a temptation to speak English more frequently/to use English websites when I'm online talking to my friends.

You can see where this is going.

Lily suggested we try to go 21 days without speaking English at all. Nadda. After that, everything will absolutely seem easy-- basically, one needs to re-orient the brain and one's way of thinking around the new language, and once that is accomplished, learning becomes much more second nature.

In case it wasn't obvious already, it costs A LOT of money to do this program. If I wasn't seriously interested in learning French, in digesting the language and making it my own, I wouldn't waste my time here at all. But I am; I am absolutely committed to being here and to getting something out of it when I'm gone.

So. Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire? What does that mean?

It means I am cutting off my English contacts for 21 days AT LEAST. No Facebook (which I haven't been using anyways). No email. No Skype. No writing in my notebook in English. No reading English books. No listening to English music...The only people who I will be speaking to in English EVER during this time is my parents, who will get an occasional email if there is a problem (which there have been several of so far) or to know that I am okay, because they are paying for the program and I don't want them to worry. The only other exception I will make is if you send me a letter (my address is on my Facebook page) because I understand how much effort and dedication that takes, so I will absolutely try to answer it as soon as possible.

The 21 Days is a preliminary goal-- if it seems easy for me to switch back and forth between English and French before then, ca va, although I doubt it. But right now it's really hard, and I think that's because I need to absolutely solidify my French and PROVE that I can do it (for myself?) before I'm trying to work with both things. No promises that I will be always speaking in English after that date, because I wont. However, I know that I need that long to try.

...I know that this does, for a lack of a better phrase, totally suck. Because there are people who I care about and who care about me who don't speak French, and I don't want them to feel cut off or like I don't care. But it's also really important to me that I feel, at the end of this semester, that I have accomplished something. That I have profited as much as possible from the study abroad experience and that I can say that I speak French.

That being said, I will be trying to keep up with this blog en francais, in French. I apologize in advance for any grammar/spelling mistakes, as I am a French student and DEFINITELY still learning. However, if you are interested in what's going on in my life, feel free to read it. Or try. Or use Google Translator for extra-pointless results.

I will also be trying to put up my pictures (which I have just started to take) so that everyone can see what I see, or at least some of it. I'll post links to my Flickr every so often so people can see them.

Alors...so. I hope that you can all understand and support my decision to do something like this. It doesn't meant that I love anyone any less, but that I NEED to feel like I am constantly working towards this goal of speaking more fluently and of absorbing myself in French culture.

My love to all.

Comments

Posted on 1/21/2010 by

Katherine DiPierro

Ay dios mio. Si estas hablando y escritando en frances, vamos a escribir solo en espan~ol en los comentarios. Puedes Skype si hablarias en frances y yo hablaria en espan~ol? Es contraproducente? Me siento solo sin ti. TT?TT

Posted on 1/22/2010 by

Lisa Kalan

J'ai commandé un manuel français.

Posted on 1/22/2010 by

Lisa Kalan

Hmmm...acheté, peut-être? Merde.

Posted on 1/23/2010 by

Ann H

Ann H

Je suppose, Katherine, que tu peux parler en espagnol et je peux traduire tout ca en francais, mais je pense que le but de toutes mes luttes est que je sera capable de parler francais courament, pas l'espagnol. L'espagnol c'est pour apres tout ca. Et Lisa-- vraiment? Nous pouvons avoirs les conversations sur le Skype, et quand tu me rends visite, nous parlerons tout en francais! Ben non, je plaisante, mais ca c'est...incroyable. Je me sens beaucoup complimente. Aussi, on "commande" quelque choses au restaurant. pas d'un magasin. Tu as achete quelque chose, mais tu as corrige toi-meme alors ca va.

Posted on 1/29/2010 by

Max Taylor

So, Google keeps fncking up my translations so I'm going to write this in English. Sorry :/. Hopefully I'll learn French soon enough, but for now I'm focusing on my pottery (a creative outlet at last!) so we'll see if I fit that in too. I'm going to mail you my best piece from this semester, get ready for it. Anyway. Awesome, Ann. I'm really happy that you're going at this with such gusto and I really admire you for it. I suppose that that's what my sentiment really boils down to right now, admiration. I'll save my digressive rambling for the letter I'm going to write you (how much is postage, any idea?) and hopefully I can keep you filled in with the details of my provincial state-side life. I hope you're enjoying everything over there! Tu me manques.

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Charles De Gaulle truly is the devil, no? I'm glad you made it safely, even if you did meet a significant number of misfortunes. We will skype soon!

William LaPlant on Bienvenue! 2010-01-17

Oh, darling! I'm so glad you're in Aix, mostly in one piece and speaking/writing beautiful Franglais. But please tell me: why did you need a pillow to plug the laundry ...

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