Tuesday, July 1, 2008......
My sister is heading to France at the end of next month and realized that her high school french, from years ago, would probably not be sufficient to get around the country so she purchased a "learn to" series of CDs for her car.
Personally, even if I learned a new language, I would never be able to mimic what I heard. I have a bad ear when it comes to repeating a foreign language, but once I do learn a new phrase I understand it and can translate it into English. This is great, except I can never respond to the person speaking to me in another language. I hate to admit it, but I'm probably the type of traveler that talks slower, louder and waves her hands in the air thinking charades is the new international language. I say "probably" because I haven't witnessed myself or taken notice how I react when talking to individuals that are speaking a foreign language.
Based upon my sister's "learn to" purchase, I foresee that she too will take on the new international language of charades when traveling in France. I know. I sound incredibly pessimistic, but you would too when you learn that the first phrase she has learned listening to her CD is "I saw the big truck". Unless you're 3, I don't see the relevance to this statement. When I asked if she learned to say "hello" or anything other than "I saw the big truck", she told me she had. She told me that she learned the word "car". Wow. Now, that's a word. I believe that my sister is now prepared for her travels to France........she will not have a decent meal, know where her hotel is, or, even know how to ask where the bathroom is, but damn, they'll be many pictures of her standing on a corner in Paris pointing at large trucks and shouting on the top of her lungs "J'ai vu le gros camion", "J'ai vu le gros camion"..... Kudos to her for attracting every 3 year old in Paris and possibly creating a fan club.
I say to my sister....."Bon Voyage".