Saturday, April 4, 2009
Je Ne Parle Pas Beaucoup Francais
In an attempt to converse that much better (or, in fact, at all) with the locals, I started french lessons this week. I'm studying at Lutece Langue, a school aimed more at adults than many of the other language schools in Paris, which seem to be directed towards college students. Plus it's also only a couple of minutes walk from our apartment.
I last studied french in Brisbane about 5 years ago, for about a year, and much (most?) of that tuition was conducted in english. As one would expect, the best way to learn french is to only speak french and that is how the school is operating here. As such I am experiencing many "rabbit in the headlights" type moments, the ears are hearing sounds which the brain expects to be able to understand, but it's not quite there yet, some form of mild *panic* sets in ... the brain continues to whirl and the eyes grow ever wider.
There are only 4 other students in the group, from Japan, the USA and Australia and we're all at various levels of "beginner" and can only improve. The school also runs conversational groups which will be investigated soon in an attempt to speak (and understand) more and more french.
The weather in Paris is also starting to improve and so I spent some time during the week studying in the sun in the courtyard of the Centre Georges Pompidou. I hadn't realised just how many groups of tourists congregated in this space, along with the domestic tourists, although the prevalence of buskers does imply this fact At least I was only hit up for money once during my private study session in the sun.
It was also an attempt to get some sun to help kill off the lurgy which has been haunting me since I arrived. 5 hour walks in the chill air along the Canal St Martin or the Seine wearing inappropriate clothing are a nice way to pass 3 or 4 hours, but they obviously don't help to get rid of colds. Neither does standing in a chill wind blowing through an open doorway of a hot music venue so we can see Mono play (more on that gig soon).
But daylight savings has started here, so the days are getting *longer*, and the weather is improving every week.
All we have to look forward to is spring time in Paris (printemps à Paris ... c'est bon!).