Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How to learn French in 10 easy steps

Just 'cause I'm Australian doesn't mean I'm not bi-lin-gual. Here are some of my tips in perfecting the fran-cay langue.

How to learn French in 10 easy steps:

Step 1: Sign up for a three week French course. Flirt with your interviewer and be assigned to a level well beyond your skills. Regularly skip class in a vain attempt to ‘catch up’ with your fluent classmates. Spend ‘catch up days’ lying in parks thinking about French.

Step 2: Get into constant trouble from a teacher who thinks you understand what is going on in class. Be under the misguided impression that he is complimenting your shoes and smile sweetly.

Step 3: Start a conversation exchange and speak only English as your exchange partner is unable to understand your pronunciation / English words mumbled in a faux French accent.

Step 4: Hang out with Quebecois friends. Be so nervous that you speak only English.

Step 5: Start watching English movies with French subtitles. Lose all sense of plot, characterisation or idea of what is actually happening in the film.

Step 6: Start watching French movies with English subtitles. Become even more confused than in Step 4.

Step 7: Start watching French movies dubbed in English. Attempt to lip read the French actors, while shuddering under out-of-sync dubbing. Become even more confused than in Step 4 and 5 combined.

Step 8: Hang out in cafes in French speaking areas. Be asked out by random 40 year old men who think you are trying to wink at them, as opposed to listen in to their tales of drunken revelry.

Step 9: In shops / caf├ęs, pretend that you are French. Say your ‘merci’ with confidence and your ‘de rien’ with flair. When posed with a lengthy French tirade, feign deafness and get out of there tout de suite!

Step 10: Throw all French studying plans out the window. Have a random French conversation with a friend who congratulates you on your improved skills. Act modest, smile coyly and pretend that it was all part of the master plan! Voila! You are almost French.

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