Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's the annual living in a second language update

Well, let's see.

I've been living here for 10 years. As of last week. I'm still very much the foreigner, when it suits me. But I don't get picked out on the street as one, unless I'm speaking English to the kids. I get my hair cut and buy my clothes here so I guess that explains it.

As for my French, well, I don't know. I think I've sort of hit a plateau. I don't think it'll get much better than this unless I start reading more in French, which I doubt I'll ever do. I read a lot and the fun is watered down when I read in French. Too slow, too much passé simple (an nearly obsolete verb tense that is almost exclusively reserved to written French), too artistic. I understand everything in newspapers and on television but still run into words I've never met before.

My pronunciation is stable also. No real improvement in sight. Some people hear the accent immediately and others take quite a bit longer. I don't know if it's them or if I have on and off accent days.

Husband swears I don't have an accent but that's just because he doesn't listen to me most of the time is used to it.


beth said...

Funny - some things are the same no matter where you live or which language you speak - my husband also has very selective hearing - and we speak the same language.

Seattle Coffee Girl said...

Tee hee, your last paragraph seriously made me giggle.

Congrats on your ten-year anniversary. That is a very big deal.

Reb said...

Mine is the opposite. When I come home saying, "so and so said I don't have an accent." He replies that they were either lying to sell me something or they weren't listening very well.

congrats on 10 years!

nicole said...

wow, 10 years. i wonder if it feels like that? i'm moving to france (for a year only at this point) next week. and i'm still laughing at your last lines. :-)

Lorraine said...

Congratulations! Kisses.

Tom said...

Hi Amy I'm one of yours students at Blois last year. I'm agree with you for the Passé simple . Even if I'm french it's a terrible thing to learn. (Sorry for the faults). I just say you have a little accent but it's nothing and in France a lot of people have an accent so don't be worry with that.
I laugh a lot with your last line.

Me, my work placement is over and i'm happy because the work was very exiting and good but some people were very exhausting(?).
Now I'm free and I am seeking (for)a jor.

I hope I will see you again


Tom Muller(audiovisual and multimedia Degree ATC)

amy said...

ten years... that's luvverly... i hope i am still on this side of the pond in ten years... if i had to go back any time soon... it would be very much like trying to drag a cat across carpet... cats don't like that... (i yate cats)