Learning French

May 16, 2009

I’ve come across a fair number of people who genuinely want to learn to speak French. They usually start by taking a French course at their local community college. If you are one of the French learners living an English community, let me tell you that although this is a good start, I’m afraid it is not enough. Why do I say it is not enough? Well, it’s because outside of your two hours per week, you will almost never speak to anyone in French. Now, you can ask, “How then can so many immigrants who have never spoken English before moving to Canada learn to speak English so fast?” To this, I will answer that once these same people set foot outside their home, the language they will hear for almost 99.99% of the time will be English and wherever they go they will need to speak English if they want to be understood. This is very important for under these conditions, people not fluent in English are forced to make an effort to communicate in English. This is not your case. As long as you don’t go to a place where French is the only spoken language, you will never be forced to communicate in French. 

So, having described the problem, let’s see what you can do to improve your chances of becoming a fluent French speaker. You can start by listening to a French radio (on the internet) or watch a French television show for say two hours every week and gradually increase the number of hours you spend listening to French language. TV5 is a wonderful television station for this purpose. It offers a mixture of both French and French Canadian shows. Doing this, you quickly learn that you should not pronounce le as la. And once you’ve  made good progress in your course you can start reading some French books or articles.

Good luck!

Dis maman, comment on fait les bébé?

May 16, 2009

Voilà une question à laquelle mon épouse et moi devrons répondre  un jour qu’on le veuille ou non. Je sais que nous serons mal à l’aise mais je pense que la meilleure solution serait d’être honnête et de ne pas lui répondre que les filles naissent dans les roses et les garçons dans les choux ni que c’est la cigogne qui dépose les enfants dans chaque famille. 

Pourquoi je pense que l’honnêté reste la meilleure solution? Et bien, il y aura forcément un de ses amis qui sache comment les bébés sont faits. Une fois qu’elle aura appris que ses parents lui ont menti, Angelica ne ferait plus confiance à ses parents, en l’occurence mon épouse et moi. Et ça, c’est ce que veux éviter à tout prix.