June 11/12

today's weight: 180

Grappling with French

Being Canadian, I took French throughout grade school. I got a B in French 12, because I could read and write in it; I could only understand the simplest spoken French. That was good enough, though: the exam was overwhelmingly written.

Once again, being Canadian - and especially Eastern Canadian, I married a French girl. We only spoke English for years, but then we had our first son. My wife and her family had decided long ago that our children would be brought up Francophone. I saw no reason to dissent; two languages are better than one. I knew enough high school French to function in a French family anyway.

Well, my oldest is in grade four now - my youngest, grade two. Since they attend Francophone school, their French passed mine years ago. My oldest has made fun of my French for years already. My youngest tenderly offers to help me with my French, if I need it. His French is better than his English; he often will say a French word that is the same in English, then ask what the English translation is.

I do need help with my French. I've spent a few months on it here and there, but this time I can't fail. My business may depend on it now - as well as my performance at the annual conference. It's not a choice anymore; it's necessity.

In Canada, it's easy to get exposure to French. You can listen to Radio-Canada on the internet. You can watch French television.

Of course, I can insist my family starts only speaking French at home as well. I started yesterday. It's not always that hard, but there are some things I just can't say in French - yet.

Now I've got my weight and French to grapple with.

Here's the French King Charles VIII (played by Michel Muller) from the television series The Borgias. My wife loves him. A warrior king (from the Hundred Years' War against England), he honestly wears the damage from it. I haven't seen the second season of the show yet, so I don't know what he's up to lately. Compared to the politicians on the show, he is sweet and naiive.

Looking good, King Charles.

Wikipedia was a source for this article.

King Charles VIII Back