Tuesday, November 09, 2010

My French Friend Kate; Learning to Speak French

When I was a student in high school, French was my favorite subject,  In my first quarter, I received my usual grade of C.  Then the teacher offered us students the names of pen pals to write to in France, and I started writing to one Daniel Boulart, near Lyon.  I would write to Daniel in both English and French, and he would write to me in French and English, and so we were able to better learn each other's language.  Actually communicating with a real French student in his language was inspiring.  My grade in French went to an A and stayed there throughout high school.

When I visited Paris in 2007, I was surprised to see how much French I remembered.  I even had a conversation with a French store clerk in a drug store, a pretty young woman.  Further inspired, I began to read French blogs in earnest and my vocabulary increased.  I met a French conservative, Kate, who often visits Saber Point and leaves comments in French.  Kate does not speak English, and my conversations with her increased my skill even more.

Last week Kate sent me a CD of excellent jazz, a CD called Jasmime, which features a piano player and a string bassist, playing lovely old standards in jazz.  Since then Kate and I have been trading emails, and I find I can usually understand her without using the dictionary.  I wanted to write to her in French, even though I knew I would make mistakes in my French, but I didn't know how to put the accents into the French, e.g. français, étudiant, Août, etc.  I found a webpage that shows how to do it, using the Alt key and a numeric code for letters with accents.  Today I wrote her some emails in French, complete with accents.  She replied that she was pleasantly surprised at my French.

If I could spend six months in France, I feel certain that I would become fluent in the language.


Anonymous said...

"If I could spend six months in France, I feel certain that I would become fluent in the language."
Is this your attmept at funds solicitation for a relocation adventure....or just making small talk?

Stogie said...

No, I doubt that I have that much appeal to my readers! I am just proud of my progress in learning French. I think I am on the verge of a breakthrough, where one begins to operate on a higher level of knowledge. Now if I can just do that on string bass as well.

kate said...

Bonjour Stogie ,oui en effet votre français est très bon !Je crois que vous allez me motiver pour apprendre à mon tour l'anglais (lol)!

Stogie said...

Kate says: Hello Stoge, yes, in fact your French is very good! I believe that you are going to motivate me to learn English! (lol)!

Stogie: I will be pleased to help you with that project, Kate!

Dave said...

You're welcome in France, friend !!

I can even welcome you in my own house, in the east of France !!

Stogie said...

Thanks Dave.