Friday, May 25, 2012

Forty, French and Fabulous!

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I'm not sure if I mentioned that I turned 40 earlier this year. Yes, it's true. I was going to have a grand celebration to recognize this milestone, but then I got too busy and the fact of the matter was, I didn't really think it was such a big deal.

I tried, really I did, to feel some kind of special way on my 40th birthday, but I had to take the baby to the doctor. The boys had homework and I had 20 quizzes to correct. Now, I'd be lying if I said turning 40 didn't give me pause, because it did, but I didn't have any sort of mid-life crisis or desire to leave my husband, inject myself with botox and have an affair with my high-school boyfriend. I didn't lament the passing of time because, let's be honest, these last 40 years have been great. I have three great kids. I have written three great (I think) books. I have a great job doing what I love most in life. And I still think el esposo is pretty darn cute.

And as a matter of fact, when I gave myself a moment to meditate on the idea of turning 40, the thought didn't depress me. I figure 40 is my half-way point. If I live to be 80, I'll be a happy camper. And since I'm a glass half-full kind of girl, I figure that means I have 40 more years to fill with new experiences. That's a lot of living I still have to do. That's like re-living the 40 I've already done, but with new stuff. And that's what I'm excited about. I don't even know yet what I'm going to do with part II of my life. Except one thing. Drum roll please.

I'm going to learn French!

I've always wanted to learn French. I learned a little bit of survival French when I lived in Morocco as an exchange student in high school. I have a vocabulary of about 15 words and phrases that served me well the two or three times I've traveled to France as a tourist. And let it be known, I don't read French at all. You can show me a simple sentence in French and I'll stumble through it like an idiot with a mouth full of marbles. (I still don't really care if I learn how to read French)

I just want to be able to speak what I think is one of the most romantic languages in the world. I just love the way French sounds. I always have. I chose to study Spanish because my sister had already claimed French and I wanted to be different. Well, it's part II of my life now and I say it's time to pursue  that other passion. And the thing is, since I'm going to learn the language for myself, I don't have any pressure. It's all about pleasure. I'm thinking about listening to CDs in my car, finding a language partner to parlais with, and wait for it...we're going to Paris at the end of the summer. NOT!

Dear readers, how I wish a trip to Paris was in my immediate future, but it's not something we can afford right now Five plane tickets? I don't think so. But that doesn't mean we can't drive to a French speaking country. That's right, I'm planning a Kinky Gazpacho family excursion to Montreal at the end of the summer. That will be my inspiration to keep learning.

Okay, dear readers. I need your help. Is there a language program you can suggest? Is the Rosetta Stone really all that? And of course, as the summer goes on, I'd like your suggestions for where to go and what to do in Montreal. With three kids.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. Wish me bon chance. And inspire me with your own stories of personal goals. And you don't have to be 40.

Peace!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am for one sort of looking forward to turning 40, 2.5 years from now. Most days, I love the knowledge that I have gained.
I started studying Spanish at 27. 10 years later, while not perfect, I am fluent. I read books, watch TV, teach elementary level classes and am close to finishing my MA. Not too bad for a woman in Jan 2002 could barely read a Taco Bell menu. I applaud you wanting to learn French just remember that its a process, a journey. Focus on that! If you focus on the end goal, you will only get frustrated.

Janine@thegoodlifefrance.com said...

Hi there - 40 is a great age - I turned it ten years ago - no problem! French is not a very difficult language to learn - around 65% of the words in English and French are the same or at least very similar which really helps - the difficulty is in the pronunciation! http://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/category/french-language/ I've done a little work on my site on the language of France and it might help but I wish you luck and fun with it and I'm looking forward to reading about your journey on this one - I am sure you will make it to Paris at some time - if not now, then later...

Anonymous said...

Since you already know Spanish (a romance language), French (another romance language) will be easy. Bonne chance!

Mi

LT said...

Anon,
Thanks for the inspiration. Seriously. LOL "a taco bell menu."

Janine,
Thanks so much! I'll check out your blog.

Mi,
Merci!!!

Olivia said...

Also keep in mind that whatever program you end up picking, the French spoken will probably be very different from what you will hear in beautiful Montreal... don't get frustrated they just speak funny up there :)
Seriously, as Mi said, you already have a good base with Spanish so it'll just be pronunciation.
A la prochain,
Olivia

Lucky Punk said...

Happy Belated 40th.
I have been having my midlife crisis for the last 4 years, so I figure by the time my 40th rolls around next year, I'll have it out of the way.
I studied Spanish in high school and French in college, and now all i have left is a weird hybrid of both... but it was enough to get by in Spain. i'm about to test out the combo in France at the end of June. Have fun in Montreal!

LT said...

Olivia,
Bonjour mon ami. Is that right? Tee-hee on your Montreal comment. i'll keep that in mind.

Lucky Punk,
I'm afraid of mixing my spanish and french too, but that's always been my excuse, so I'm going to stop now.

rosalyne carter said...

Your article is interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Your blog is informative. There are many ways to learn french language.From a French language guide learner can improve simply phrase but from wicked French they can improve French language impressively with proper expressions as well as with the pimsleur
method learner can learn basic French. Thus people can improve wonderful French language.