That’s a better title than this entry is going to be. Don’t get your hopes up. This is an ah ha moment entry on my ……. yes…….. my French studies. lol
Yeah, it was that bad. It was a total fail but I realized something, I only heard a limited number of people speak this language and hardly ever could I distinguish a single word. What happened was that I had a closed view of what French sounds like. In other words, I had a bias.
The language I heard is what I called ugly. There was no beauty in the sounds, no grace in the words and therefore no life could be heard…… ah but then things changed. I know I said I’d pick up Spanish after the great French train wreck and epic fail but I can’t let myself do it.
While wallowing in life issues not related to schooling, I binge watched Hercule Poirot and I actually HEARD beautiful French. The thing is, I’ve seen all those before. There’s nothing new except for how open my ears were to hearing what was said. I’d never heard the language sound ‘beautiful’ because I’ve always passed it off as ugly. Before people get too mad, consider how many people say German isn’t a beautiful language. I say it is. It’s all in how our bias lets us hear it or not hear it.
When people think of German they think of spitting and hocking noises, and they’d be right but only partly. You’ll get different sounds from different regions. Bavarian German sounds different from German spoken in Austria or German spoken with a French accent by an African native. Accents and regions will change the way language sounds. I know that but I didn’t apply it to my learning. Also, I had limited exposure to the language to hear it expressed in different ways so that I could find it’s beauty. Limited exposure negatively influenced my drive to study.
American’s mock English spoken by people in the Bayou. We mock the New Jersey accent, the Boston accent and cringe at the accent of others that I won’t mention. lol. We all form views, prejudices or a bias based on our exposure or lack there of. My exposure just wasn’t wide enough at the time. I’ll tell ya what…. French spoken by a Haitian (not French Creole but French) sounds very different from the French I hear spoken by native Liberians and French Congo. And the French spoken by the famous detective Hercule Poirot sounds different from the French spoken in the slew of French movies I’ve tapped into recently.
Binge watching French documentaries and Poirot has made a huge difference in how I approach learning the French language. It took a fictitious character to move me to search out and explore French films and documentaries. Through this exposure I can finally hear the ring of beauty.
April 17, 2017, 5:23 pm EST