If anyone who reads this blog can remember, I started learning a new language late in life. I have been steadily at it for almost four years. I have flash cards (no English) in my truck, podcasts, computer software and apps that help me along the journey. It also helps that I have a substitute teacher at my school who speaks French as her native language, having migrated from Africa. She is very patient with me. Since my post on April 30th about bucket-list trip to France to watch the Tour, I feel myself becoming more and more anxious. Like preparing so hard for a bike race and then day of the race butterflies come out when it is go time. Did I prepare enough? What will I do if this happens? If the result of the race is a crushing defeat, will I lose heart?
The language is still very wonderful to learn; however, I am still getting those “Oh my gosh” moments when the I get lost in the conversation. Then I get so down on myself and well . . . frustrated. It is odd to me how, when I am relaxed and doing my lessons or going over my flash cards, it is so easy to remember and understand; but as soon as I listen to a full blown conversation on television or my friend opens into a long dialogue at my school, it is like my brain goes into a fog. Is this something I can overcome? At this point, I really do not know. Then there is our trip in July. Oh my.
I have written something like this before, but I am still seeking answers. I am perfectly fine in the opening dialogue of meeting someone new, ordering food and drinks, booking my flight, checking into a hotel, asking for directions and so forth; but it is juuuuuuust after the opening lines and the small banter, when the person who assumes I am fluent, launches into me, I begin to stumble . . . hard. J’ai du mal a comprendre 😦 I mean I am not scared to talk. En fait, I love to talk. I am excited about being immersed in the culture for two weeks, just a bit apprehensive about how discouraging it could possibly be.
So for now, I will keep pounding away.