Now that my stay in France has turned slightly more permanent… as in I have no idea when and if I will ever leave… I have had this new take on French. To be honest I was lazy when I first moved here but that was because there was not much of a point to learn. My job was in English and so were my friends. Besides the encounter with the occasional creepy French guy or the constant frustration of being in a country where you don’t know the language, I was ok. I always wanted to learn but nothing was pushing me enough.
I think now, especially because I can actually comprehend things, I have found a new appreciation. I want to know French. And well if you ask my French friends… they will still tell you I am lazy but that is because I have a huge fear of speaking. But learning the language, like learning any language, has opened up doors. There are simple thing like now I am not afraid to befriend people that don’t speak English and bigger things like realizing the simplicity of my language.
I am by no means mocking the English language. Throughout my time here, my French friends have always said how simple English is and how you can’t say exactly what you mean. Me, being not only a native English speaker but also American, of course thought they were insane. But now… I am starting to agree. And before you shake your head at me and mumble “dirty expat” under your breath, learn another language. It is invigorating. I am by no means even kinda a little bit fluent. I am learning. I am trying but I have come a long way from the little ignorant American that knew nothing but her native tongue. I know conduct my whole mornings in French and my colleagues are nice enough to try with their English in the afternoon when I have hit the after-lunch-food-coma. However spending 75% or more of my day in a different language (and enjoying it) was never something I thought I would be doing. But I love it.
I don’t know… maybe it isn’t until someone tells you your ass is like a music note and realize how awesome that sounds in another language when it is completely ridiculous in your own… who knows? But i am diggin’ the French.