I’m French Now

I’ve been high all day. Not on drugs, you heathens! On an experience.

This morning I went to Starbucks and while I was standing in line, two ladies a few feet in front of me were having a conversation with each other in another language. Was it French? I listened a little harder but I couldn’t really hear them that well–but it sounded like it could be French.

Oh, nope–not French.

Wait, yes it is. I think. 

Then they started to order and one of the ladies was talking to the barista but he couldn’t really understand her, so the other lady would translate. And then I heard the first lady say the French equivalent of “ummm,” and I knew immediately!

Yes, they are French! French people, Kristin!

They started to speak a little louder and I understood bits of their conversation.

Kristin, they are French! This is your chance! Talk to them!

Then the other Kristin that lives in my brain (the one who doesn’t want me to be great!) started trying to talk me out of it.

They’re strangers! You hate talking to strangers! You’ll freeze and forget every word. Don’t do it!

By this time, they had finished ordering and it was my turn.

Do it, hurry up! They’re going to leave!

Don’t do it!

Do it! Do it!

giphy-3

Guys, I was legit having a heated argument with myself in my head. It was too much. I finally just told Downer Kristin to shut it, walked over to them and said, “Bonjour! Vous êtes françaises? That’s “hi, are you French?”

And they were kind of shocked but in a good way, and they said, “Oui!” And I told them I was still learning French, I asked them where they were from (Toulouse and Paris), they asked me where I’m from, I told them that I had gone to Paris last December, we talked briefly about Atlanta, they told me that my French was very good and I didn’t have a strong accent (!!!), I told them about a couple of French restaurants in the area… This entire conversation was in French. The whole thing! I didn’t speak in English with them once!

I don’t know if it was Downer Kristin or Smart Kristin but one of me was like, Okay say goodbye, Kristin! Leave on a high note! Don’t fuck this up! 

I listened to whichever Kristin was telling me to wrap it up. Let’s face it–I had nearly exhausted my limited vocabulary by that point. I told them it was nice to meet them and goodbye (all in French!), and they said “Bonne Journée !”

I mean, could things have gone any smoother?! Even that bitch, Downer Kristin, was like…

giphy-4

I walked to my car like…

giphy-5

It was a good day. I’m still floating.

À la prochaîne !

The Bright Side

I feel like I’m flailing in my French fluency goal. I am studying every day (almost), but I don’t know if I’m getting anywhere. It’s difficult to know without tests of some sort. And there is also no plan. I guess I follow my study book chapter by chapter, so there’s that. But how do I test my improvement? How do I know if I’m really advancing? I still can’t understand most of my favorite French movie (Priceless). I understand some of the French YouTube fashion videos that I watch, but not enough to celebrate or anything. I’ve started increasing my listening time, and after about forty-five minutes my brain fights me every step of the way. After an hour, my brain is like

giphy-1

and I can’t cajole it back into submission. Maybe if I split up my listening sessions–one hour in the morning, one in the evening? I don’t know–it’s pretty annoying. IT’S MY BRAIN! It should listen to me! Understand this fucking language, brain!

giphy-2

I gave up sugar four days ago, so I’m taking everything a little harder than usual.

I bought a French decor magazine a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t know like seventy percent of the words in it. How is that even possible?! That’s probably my fault for limiting my French listening to Barbie and Caillou. Not the most sophisticated vocabulary, right? But…everything else is so hard to understand!

Today I hung out with my friend, Julie, who is French, and that helps a lot because I can understand her and when I can’t she explains things so that I can. It’s just bizarre to me that I can understand a lot of what she says, but everyone else is so difficult to decipher. Why won’t my brain stop betraying me? I’ve always been so good to it.

I should really switch the narrative and frame all of this in a more positive light, huh? I understand some French YouTube videos. I can talk with Julie in French. I can listen to forty-five minutes of French. I know thirty percent of the words in my French decor magazine. I can understand a lot of Caillou and Barbie en français. These are all things I couldn’t do a few years ago. Perhaps my brain is not betraying me. I mean–it is being stubborn…but then look who it belongs to.

Okay, yeah. I should learn to be more positive. That’s just really tough to do on your fourth day without sugar!

À bientôt !

My For-Real, For-Real New Year’s Resolution

C’est presque la nouvelle année !

It’s almost the new year, kids!  I have a ton of New Year’s resolutions that I’m probably going to forget about around January 15th, but…BUT…there is one that I’m really going to keep. I’m going to speak French so well that I don’t have to think about/translate every single word I say.

You see how I’m just spitting out words right now with no thought and no hesitation and I’m just talking and talking and I could go on and on and on about my new reed diffuser or how my car got scratched or that I lost about thirteen Chapsticks this year? That’s how I want to be with French. But less annoying and more interesting, obviously. And even if it takes me all the way to December 31, 2019, I will succeed!

giphy-1
Right now when I have to form a complete French sentence
giphy-2
Me forming complete French sentences by the end of the year

Soyez prêt !

I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, whatever that means for you! And for the love of God, don’t all of you descend upon my gym on January 1st and take all of the treadmills, mmkay? I already don’t want to be there, and I ain’t waiting 45 minutes. I’d just give up and go home to eat croissants. Don’t do that to ya girl!

Bisous !