Monday, February 04, 2008

Me Talk Pretty One Day.

Oh, so while we’re on the subject of languages, I have a real conundrum for you.

How can I learn to speak French in just 3 weeks? Well see, most of you thought I actually already spoke French. Hell. So did I! But according to the free on-line proficiency test at….. I suck. Don’t believe me? Check out my test scores. Now, normally my academically inclined over-achieving personality would be shamed by such low scores, but honestly, they’re so awful that it borders on funny so I just had to post them here:

french language score

So as you can see I rocked the house on reading comprehension and vocabulary, which is why I’m so good at day to day chit-chat with the local Frogs, but right away you’ll notice that on the sections relating directly to grammer…I got kicked in the nuts.

And this brings us back to my problem. Me need to learn to talk pretty by Friday, February 22nd. This is the day I’ve been invited to be a guest speaker and give a 1.5 hour long lecture/presentation about my photographic artwork to the local Photography Association. *insert gulping sound here* As if speaking in front of 100 snarky photographers wasn’t terrifying enough, I have agreed to do my whole presentation in French no less. I would panic, but clearly I don’t have time. I HAVE TO LEARN FRENCH IN 3 WEEKS!

So my question is: is there a way that I could learn to not only speak French at an advanced level, but also appear witty and brilliantly funny while not actually having to crack open one of the French grammer workbooks collecting dust in my armoire? And if I must crack open the books, where do I even start? What do you recommend? Also---websites that may help, free tutorials etc? And where do I even start?

Goddammit! De-lurk and help me already! Yeah, you. I’m talkin’ to you.


Jul said...

Have French Boy dress up like you and give your talk?

(If you use this option, please take pictures.)

Le Tigre said...

I guess you're just going to have to write the speech and get the husband to check it over with a fine toothed comb or get a professional translator to translate it then practice it. If it was me I would write it in English and then get it translated by a professional and just start practicing it.

Andromeda said...

i really like the BLED books, they're french books for frenchies, used in the schools, so they are a bit boring . . . but it's tons of practice and at least for me, writing something twenty times makes it stick a little bit better.

maybe also start reading things out loud, just to get used to speaking for a long time in french.

and maybe only talk for like, twenty minutes and have the rest be q&a! that way, you can do what you do best, and just chat!

OMYWORD! said...

BitTorrent The Rosetta Stone program for French. Omyword! Did I say that? :-)

Anonymous said...

If all else fails, drink. Your grammer will not improve, but you probably will not care... Also, throw a smile in every once in a while - it always throws the Parisians off.

screamish said...

Yes...don't worry..just wear lots of black windswept clothes...smoke from a cigarrette holder...look mysterious...drink blue cocktails from an outlandish glass...arrive ten minutes late saying your limo got stuck in traffic...bluff 'em all!

I will be soon to be giving a talk on Aboriginal art in Australia. I am supposedly (or WAS, before I came to this country and misplaced my career) an'll be in terrifying...I still don't know the subjunctive...

raynaae said...

for some odd reason I'll think you'll do just fine. They will know that you are le americane and inuitively tolerate your little faux pas!

pollyanna :)

dougphoto said...

don't sweat it you speak french so much better than me. Don't let french boy use any english the next couple weeks go full immersion.