Sunday, March 7, 2010

Le langage de l'amour

For Sunday Scribblings

Last night, about 10pm, my computer rang. Usually my husband calls closer to when the kids are getting ready for bed, so it was a little unexpected. Especially since we had spent a lot of time talking to him earlier that evening. He had some time before sick call started and just wanted to call me. And practice his French.

Since he has been gone, he has been studying French. For active duty and their families, Rosetta Stone is free through the Army Knowledge Online website. And since my husbands job allows him a lot of free time, he, for whatever reason, decided to learn French.

He has been studying it for a while. He downloaded some things that he can put on his MP3 player and listen to while he spends hours at the gym. (he really has a lot of extra time there) And last night he called because he wanted to practice speaking French with me.

I love it. I feel like it is his way to have some sort of a connection with me while he is gone for so long. It could also be because we hope to get back to Germany and he knows if we do we will go to France. Many many times. It will also be useful when I have things to tell him that I don't want the kids to understand.

The sad part of all this, is that my French has really gotten bad. I can read it and understand almost everything. I can listen to it and understand 90% of what they are saying. But when it comes to me responding, my brain struggles to find the right conjugations, the right vocabulary. I hate it. I used to be fluent. I could hold my own anywhere in France. I could joke with people, give directions, do anything. And now, ten years after I was fluent, my brain is just so much slower.

Sometimes if I have time to warm up, things start to just come out. Which I love. I even dream in French still. Not that often, but I do sometimes.

I have a few grammar books that I really want to start working on. Working on the future, subjunctive, and the imperfect tenses. Remembering sentence structure, vocabulary, and all the exceptions of the rules. Because French is the language of exceptions.

I love speaking French with my husband. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, helps me to feel connected to him while he is so far away. There are things that we do not talk about in English, but for some reason, I can say those things in French. It also is motivating me to do more to improve my French. (I am hoping to go back to school soon and start taking French classes!) I just wish I had the hours he did to sit and do it. It would really be sad if he came home speaking better than I did. Well, no matter what, I still have a better accent than he does.


Nara Malone said...

I practice French during long runs with my running buddies during long runs. We hope to run the Paris marathon in 2012. You french has to be way better than ours.

This is such a sweet way for the two of you to stay connected.

Dee Martin said...

Very romantic to be able to speak to your husband in French :)

Lilibeth said...

The little bit of French I still speak is woefully high school, but, oddly enough, I can still read some. Yes, if I ever get back to learning another language, I'd go with this one. Hang in there.

Stan Ski said...

It'll all com back to you - un jour qu'il faisait beau.

Jen said...

I am envious of anyone who can speak more than one language. I've heard good things about Rosetta Stone--how cool for him that he has someone to practice with!

What a nice thing to share with your husband. I bet it will all come back quickly.