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Mes expériences avec la langue

Written By: commedesenfants on April 13, 2010 3 Comments

I don’t consider myself a very eloquent speaker. When it comes to thinking on the spot, I often find myself stumbling over words, struggling to find the right way to express the jumble of thoughts in my head. Considering my struggle to communicate, it’s ironic that I am so eager to take a language class at Berkeley, one where I must not only decipher my thoughts, but also come up with ways to convey them in another language. If I’m clumsy in English, why am I subjecting myself to the same fate in une langue étrangère? Didn’t anyone ever tell me that I’d be required to speak in class, en français at that? Being one who feels inarticulate in English, I think I find it liberating to know that I have an excuse to trip over my words in French. I’m new to the language, so it’s okay if some of the things I say don’t make complete sense, or if I hesitate a little in the middle of a sentence. It’s my own inarticulacy in English that drives my desire to learn another language, to somehow make up for my weaknesses in expressing myself in my own native tongue. And in learning how to communicate in French, I am finding ways to work through my struggle to communicate in general.

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3 Responses to “Mes expériences avec la langue”

  1. Eden Amans on: 13 April 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I feel the same way. it is nice to get caught up in French and then stop, and refocus whereas in English, when I stumble, I am not really allowed to refocus but rather I continue to stumble more. I also like the way that I get caught up in the different sounds of French and find myself filling in holes in English with French and holes in French with English. I feel like I am adding to my vocabulary with a second language and combining the two.

  2. Katie Richardson on: 14 April 2010 at 10:11 am

    I find this to be fascinating because the opposite sentiment is true for me. I enjoy the intricacies of the english language and I enjoy knowing english grammar and utilizing it successfully in both speech and text. I enjoy finding typos in periodicals, for example. I find it a satisfying challenge to come up with the correct word in english, the word which describes exactly what I mean, the word which completes the sentence perfectly. It is a challenge. When studying other languages, I find myself frustrated. I cannot let go of the english sentence structure, the rules. I always translate back to my native language– my security blanket of syntax, grammar, and rules. I do not have the same in depth knowledge of French and often find myself upset at the “basic’ grammar and sentences I have to write. Writing sentences like, “my dog is a nice dog” seem like I am working backwards at times. Although, I suppose that is just my insecurity regarding French speaking.

  3. Marian Dougan on: 29 April 2010 at 2:54 am

    In my experience, learning and using other languages improves your understanding and use of your own. It makes us think about aspects of language (grammar, sentence construction, vocabulary) that we usually take for granted. Taking a step away from English ultimately brings you closer to it.

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