First and foremost you have to know the language really well. As in speak the language, breath the language, even dream in that language – and that still does not mean that your sparkling personality will shine through when you want it too. Which is hard, especially for a person like myself who would give away all material things to have one of those laughing moments that tears run down your face. (well…some of my things anyway.)
In Italy, I will joke, tease and banter with anyone who crosses my path on most days. I chide my fruit vendor to start giving receipts to people, to the guy in the parking garage to stop denting my car. I can be extremely entertaining in English, but also in Italian as long as I am with people who don’t bore me to tears by being overly formal, and/or talk about their hired help all night (at all – as far as that goes). I have bumbled and fumbled my way through conversations in Italian, sometimes translating an anecdote from English to Italian, that then must be explained and becomes embarrassing because translated it is not only not funny but I have had to spend 5 minutes explaining an unfunny thing. But that’s me,.. and I love to have a good laugh, so at the risk of making a fool out of myself, I continue to joke. This is when I’m in Italy, where I can always manage to find a friend and foe. Someone that absolutely has no idea about what I’m going on about, but smiles anyway.
The French, on good days – will likely look at me like I am completely crazy as soon as I say anything out of the ordinary. Which can include a large number of things depending on how my spoken French is that particular day. The problem being that the French do expect everyone to speak in French, and only on very rare occasions(when you start screaming in English) are they flexible about this. Making over all communication generally quite difficult, let alone having a good laugh. Which means only one thing. I have to try to learn to speak the language fluently.
All I need to do is practice my French a bit more. By speaking it to everyone. My kids and S-man included. Starting from today. Right in this moment, as soon as I post this I will go and find that little blue translation book, and start studying. Learning just a few words a day and then practicing them in conversation.
I am about to do all of this when it dawns on me that the first part of my vacation is nearly finished. We are leaving France in just 5 short days, so really it wouldn’t make sense to learn French now. Maybe I can practice just a tiny bit on S-man, I’m sure he won’t mind.
As soon as he wakes up from his nap I will speak to him and answer him only in French..I’m laughing already thinking about it….SA C’EST GENIAL!!!!!