I’m in France now (and it kind of sucks)

I thought that I might skip the social niceties and get right to the nitty gritty.

So I’m currently a language assistant in France.  And seriously, it kind of sucks.
I had a really romanticized notion of what it would be like… envisioning myself, eating baguettes and writing poetry and learning the language and generally being worldly and cool. Instead, this is what I have turned into:

Ma Vie en France.

On the upside, I have eaten many baguettes. But I have not written any poetry because – turns out – that shit is hard. As is language acquisition. I feel like my brain is wired so that it’s impenetrable to any language outside of English. It’s like, bitch, I’m already using up enough RAM for l’anglais and its ridiculously massive vocab, I CANNOT CRAM IN ANYMORE.

At least  that’s what it feels like. When people speak to me, it literally sounds like gibberish, even if it’s something as simple as “je suis une femme” (no one has actually declared their gender to me yet, but I’m sure if they did it would sound like they were reciting the Magna Carta).

Check out this chicken scrawl.

I really, truly thought within a few months I’d be conversationally fluent. As of this moment, I can barely say my name and age. I sound like a befuddled  time traveling caveman. The wolfboy could speak more french than I can.

I guess it doesn’t help that I’ve become a miser (minus the hoarding of gold). Or hermit, whatever. Also, it should be mentioned that I am the laziest person ever, which doesn’t help matters. I’ve caught up on at least 6 different television shows since I’ve been here. Speaking of which, Game of Thrones is ace. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t choose marathoning GoT over conjugating verbs? You show me that man and I’ll show you a fool!!

I love you, Jon Snow.

Anyway, sorry for the massive negativity in this post. It’s really not that bad, I just needed to vent. I’m sure in no time I’ll be blogging in broken incomprehensible french. Just you wait, world! JUSTE ATTENDEZ, MONDE!!!!!!

Cordialement,

DJB

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17 thoughts on “I’m in France now (and it kind of sucks)

  1. Ah my dear, I can RELATE! I have been there a few times! I am living in Serbia (as you may know) and this is a tough country with an even harder language. Recently, I have come to a better understanding of language acquisition. Pardon me for blogging in your comment section…
    This Ted Talk helped me inexplicably to understand about language learning. And I must say I agree 100% you must be in a good state mentally to learn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0
    You need some serious cheering up and even if you don’t want to you need to go OUT! Leaving your apt is huge for your mental state! Not just to buy baguettes. 🙂 But to be honest going to market was the place I found best to clear my head and practice my Serbian.
    To avoid an even longer comment, my next real blog will be for you!
    Chin up. It will get better. and Hooray for for the new season of GoT starting again soon!! I love me some Got!!
    Enjoy your bagguettes! Bon Appetite!

    • Thank you so much for the support and advice! I love Ted Talks, I’ll definitely have to check this one out! And you’re right, going out is a HUGE part of it. I’m definitely going to start making an effort to go out and interact with the locals… especially once the weather improves! I look forward to your next blog post, and thanks again for the thoughtful comment, ’tis very much appreciated 🙂

  2. Ha ha, this was so funny because I can totally relate! My Italian is so bad after 18 months in Rome; it’s actually getting worse after I gave up the lessons a few months ago. The worst thing is, I can get by fairly easily without Italian so it doesn’t really give me a huge incentive to try harder. I blame the fact that my plan to take an Italian Stallion lover for the afternoons didn’t happen…;)

    • Haha yes! A french boyfriend would be a HUGE incentive to learn! Maybe I should put my energy there instead 😛 And I’m glad I’m not alone in this. We’ll get there… one day… maybe. That or we’ll just be really good at gesticulating and speaking with our eyes 😉

  3. ps you’ve cleared up a mystery for me regarding Jon Snow. When I heard people saying how hot he was, I seriously thought they were talking about the Channel 4 news presenter…

    • That’s hilarious!!! I like to imagine that the news presenter – before learning of his fictitious alter-ego – was super confused by the sudden increase in Google searches on his name… presumably followed by keywords such as “hot” and “shirtless” xD

  4. Hang on in there – it takes time. Your post has plenty of humour in it, so I have a sneaky feeling you’ll soon be mastering the language because humour attracts people, and people talk with you. French isn’t so hard, honest – the key is a good bottle of wine in good company. Good luck!

    • Well I’ve definitely got the wine part of that down 😉 I’ll try to stop shying away when people talk to me though (I usually in a panic will scream JE NE PARLE PAS FRANCAIS and then run off in the opposite direction :P) Also I’ve been reading the french version of your blog – I really enjoy it, plus it’s been super helpful when it comes to improving my comprehension. So thank you, and please keep writing!!

  5. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog – thought I would return the favour. I can totally sympathise with everything in this post. I have lived in France, worked as an ELA (in the Canary Islands) and lived alone (doing it now) and everything you’re feeling I have already felt. So, if you want any advice or just want to have a moan then feel free to drop me a message 🙂

  6. Hello! Saw you stopped by my blog, so I wanted to read yours as well. I’m new to the TEFL world so frankly I’m not sure what an ELA really does… >.< But you make it sound entertaining, so at least you can laugh about it!

  7. Hello!! I absolutely love your style of expressing your bitter thoughts on France! 🙂 Not that I express in the same way, but I find your style hilarious. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I too am living in France, a foreigner too, but not an expat (condemned to live here forever!). I look forward to more of your posts!! 🙂

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