French Immersion

What little Spanish I have accumulated since our entry into Mexico in mid-October has disappeared with the arrival of our latest fly-in guest, Carol's mother Marcelle.

On the road to French enlightenment For those of you who haven't met us, Carol is French-Canadian, a native French speaker, and began learning English in his late teens. His mother is a francophone and since Carol and I met I have been sporadically working on my French. With each visit to Quebec to see his family, my French comprehension surges and then subsides when I return home and get lazy about practicing. I spent a month in Paris (thanks Christine!) which helped and I took 2 years of high school French which I have mostly forgotten but which must have helped somehow.

This past week, with Marcelle visiting and dreams of French Polynesia and meeting French cruisers in mind, I have been doing my best to be brave and speak, speak, speak rather than relying on Carol for partial translations. We met a French couple who had chartered a boat and, while the mix of Quebec and French accents was confusing to me, I had a chance to practice with new speakers.

Us with some Frenchies we know (and wine of course)I feel like I've had a bit of a language break-through in the sense that I finally have enough French to hold conversations on a variety of topics and I understand most of what people are saying to me. Of course, when two Francophones speak to each other very quickly, or when the wine starts flowing, I start to lose the thread of conversation, but even those situations are becoming easier for me.

I have made some spectacular mistakes such as telling Carol's mother that there was a giant cat with no teeth that ate very small shrimp in the area of La Paz (I was trying to describe whale sharks). I also like to confuse the words for eggs and eyes and also the words for ears and toes. Nothing like offering your mother-in-law scrambled eyes for breakfast.

But I'm improving and looking forward to visiting a country where I can have meaningful conversations with the local residents.


  1. Ha! We just had a great chuckle over your French word mix-ups. Thanks for sharing!

    Katie, Mark and Wylie
    Cruising till the money runs out or the golden retriever mutinies...

  2. Hee, hee. You can't beat France for beauty in all sorts of places.

  3. haha! I can't wait to try out my Spanish "skills".

    Scrambled eyes for breakfast, no thanks, I think i'll try my luck with the giant toothless cat.



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