In early December , Mark Saunders and his wife, along with their dog and cat, packed up their 21st century jalopy, a black Audi Quattro with a luggage carrier on top, and left Portland, Oregon, for San Miguel de Allende, three thousand miles away in the middle of Mexico, where they knew no one and could barely speak the language. Things fell apart almost from the beginning. Their furniture took longer than expected to arrive. They unintentionally filled their house with smoke and just as unintentionally knocked out the power to their entire neighborhood.
In other words, they were clueless. This is their story. Boyle Favorite Food?
Why speaking is so hard
Re-watching favorite movies Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is…. Like this: Like Loading Except you soon realise that no one actually says it in France and the same goes for Zut alors! And meuf, which comes from the French backwards slang Verlan it's femme backwards , is simply the female equivalent. Eg: Merci is Cimer. You might find it strange when you realise that such a common word is a contentious issue in France. But it truly is. Mademoiselle is considered by some as sexist because it separates married women from single ones when the same distinction isn't applied to men.
This has led to the word being banned from French administrative forms with feminist groups saying they want it phased out altogether. There shouldn't be a problem using it if you're talking to a young woman but use with caution in other instances. You'd be forgiven for thinking "oui" isn't one of the words you'll struggle with when you're in France. But once here, you'll be confronted with all kinds of variations from the clipped "oui" you're familiar with to a more casual sounding "ouaaaaaaaaii" pronounced almost like waaaayyyy which can vary in length. Naturally this can lead to some confusion for the foreigners in town.
It might sound like "whhhoui" or "wheeee" we have no idea how to spell it. Avoid trying to do it as you might swallow your chewing gum. But you can see how it's done in the video below. It would have been great at school if they'd taught us some of the fantastic expressions the French use, because there are lots and they use them frequently.
They have expressions for sex , obviously and they have expressions for insulting people , obviously :- and they have expressions that are just brilliant that they would never have taught you at school like "There's a testicle in my soup" - Il y a un couille dans le potage. What you'll hear far more often is what sounds like "Or lorr lorr" as someone reacts to something they don't like or if they are shocked. It can also be used positively in which case it is more like "oh la la". For a more detailed explanation of the Oh la la conundrum click below.
Once you settle in and make some French friends and inevitably starting texting each other as people do these days then you'll need to learn a whole new subset of terms. But there are many more. Comme d'habitude, D'accord and restaurant are more than shortened to comme d'hab, D'ac and resto. If you want to blend in then best learn them.
Get notified about breaking news on The Local. Airline ground crew to join mass strike action in France in December Five things to know about Armistice Day in France Eight apps that make life in France a bit easier How certain bad habits threaten the health of the French nation. From our sponsors How to negotiate a personalized expat health insurance plan A step-by-step guide for all expats with a health insurance. Fat mornings and whipping cats: 10 idioms to help you sound more French.
Getting explicit: Your guide to how to swear like a French person. The French jokes that will let you have a laugh with the locals. Not a hope — we didn't have a Spanish teacher in my school.
German it was. My abysmal results in German just reinforced the idea that this whole languages thing really wasn't for me …. But I had another chance! Every year I went to the cultural talk that tried to encourage people to take on this optional extra class, and I was the first to hand in my application every time. I didn't need convincing, but that was where you had to apply. And every year, they didn't accept me. The class filled up too quickly and there were no slots left.
The first time I got turned down I was just annoyed and accepted it. By my third year I was determined and despite getting turned down again, I actually went to that first class and begged the teacher to let me in. I could see an empty seat! But rules are rules and I wasn't on the list.
Since I handed mine in first I was at the bottom of the stack. I didn't give up entirely though — I just waited until the end of my studies and applied for an internship for the summer after graduation. I had been working so hard to pass one of Ireland's most demanding university courses with an incredibly high failure rate that I felt I deserved a nice fun summer, so going to sunny Spain for the first time seemed like the logical choice. I flicked through a Spanish course convinced that a few days preparation would have me at least muttering the basics when I arrived, but of course I wasn't expecting the expat bubble to be so strong!
An English-speaking Spaniard greeted me in the airport and brought me to an apartment with an English speaking Brazilian and German. English was the language spoken where I worked and when I went out. I was starting to get the impression that nobody in the world ever speaks any language but English. All I could see and hear was English — sure the signs and products and TV were in Spanish, and strangers passing by spoke Spanish, but all my friends spoke English, that's all that matters really! This is a trap that so many expats fall into it makes me sad. But it's actually bound to happen — why learn another language if it was just not meant to be?
You were born language-stupid, just accept it! That's what I was tempted to think. I considered taking on Spanish a few times over the months though — I signed up for a pretty expensive course for a few classes — throwing money at the problem was bound to solve it!
How Long Does It Take to Be Fluent in Spanish?
But I was the worst in the class. I felt worse after each hour as the other students answered whatever noise the teacher was making. After several attempts I was getting nowhere, and everyone else laughing and enjoying the class was just making me jealous and frustrated. It was time to give up… again. At this stage I could offer you many reasons why I would never speak Spanish. It was so tempting that I kept believing it for a time and my mind would be fixed on that idea.
I don't buy that crap for one second.
Tips to Speak Spanish during Summer - Spanish Via Skype
Destiny may sound pretty and romantic when talked about how couples were meant to be together, but its other forms the modern one being an arseways understanding of genetics are bullshit excuses and unverified self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe strongly that you are crap in languages, then that will be true.
It doesn't matter which excuse you have randomly plucked out of the air — your commitment to it will make the claim true. I don't care who you are — there is nothing stopping you from taking on the language learning challenge and succeeding. Yes, you may have to go through hard times, struggles and incredible resistance, as I did, but with persistence you will find a way that works for you. It doesn't have to be my way of course.
Related Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved