Adventures of an Au Pair: parlez-vous français?

parlez-vous français?

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In case you didn't know.... it's time for these.
The Winter Olympics! I'm instantly transported to days of yesteryear when I was taking ice skating lessons and dreamed of being the next Michelle Kwan. My family and I watched the opening ceremonies last night (all 4 hours of it) and it seemed like the lighting designer wanted to take us on some sort of worldwide acid trip. Interesting. But that's beside my point, my point being that the announcements were made in both english and french and I couldn't understand one lick of the french. How depressing.

Back in the stress-free and responsiblity-less days of high school, I studied French. And I enjoyed it, continuing the classes until the highest and torturous level of AP French 5. I considered it a blessing that I tested out of taking the required foreign language requirement in college. If I remember correctly I even rose to the challenge of enrolling in a third-level French college course, which I attended once and promptly dropped from my schedule. So altogether it's been 3.5 years since I've really been practicing my french speaking skills. Since my goal is to au pair in a french-speaking country, I think it's about time for a refresher...

I've been doing a bit of research on amazon to help me get back in the french groove. Luckily I can get access to Rosetta Stone through my brothers (and avoid the huge price tag, so if I need some more intensive work I have that to work with.
I also stumbled upon a program called fluenz that got really great reviews. 

According to the reviews it offers a more "grown-up" version of learning french that focuses on more than learning "tree" and then "green tree." It also has some pretty interesting screen caps, which will hopefully keep the boredom away. Still, at $177, I might be sticking with that Rosetta unless it fails me. Or more like I fail it.

I didn't really anticipate working on my french until much later in this process. But this week I received an "I'm Interested" click from a family from Southern France that owns a beautiful vineyard. When I say beautiful... I mean srtaight-from-a-coffee-table-book beautiful They would be expecting their first baby a month before I arrived- which is great for me, since I love babies- and live in a beautiful part of France near the ocean. I'd have my own apartment on the vineyard AND they also hold weddings and special events there (once again- planning is my #1 hobby). Sounds like Heaven to me. Of course this would be too easy of a decision, so the fates conspired against me to produce one minor little challenge... the family only speaks french. No english. Refer back to my first paragraph of not speaking french in 3.5 years.

Not easily thwarted, I attempted to write an email back in french and it was a hot mess. I had to send it to my dear sweet friend Jessica for review until it looked like something intelligible enough to send out. I haven't received a reply from there- maybe they took offense to the butchering of their lovely language- but I'm hoping to hear from them soon... it sounds like an exciting yet idyllic job. And the never ending supply of fancy french wine doesn't hurt, either.

Pardon me but I'm off to memorize verb conjugations now. 


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