Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spanish, French, Franish, Sprench. Aargh!

Up to several months ago I had a girlfriend from Mexico. Because I was crazy about here I studied Spanish; I took evening classes at Columbia, read Spanish books, made sure to speak Spanish to the shopkeepers here in Harlem, etc. However, only a few months before I would be fluent in the language two things happened: 1. We broke up. 2. Macartan asked me to work for him in the Democratic Republic of Congo; i.e. a country where the people speak French. The DRC, and working for Macartan, was (and is) a great opportunity. Also, wanting to be an Africanist, I have to be fluent in French. Finally, there was nothing that kept me to Spanish. So, I had to study French. But, I only had French at secondary school . Worse, I had forgotten most of it. Therefore, just before leaving to the DR Congo, I went to Montpellier to speed-study French. After two weeks of intensive (private) classes in Montpellier - where with much difficulty I switched from "tambien" to "aussi" and from "y" to "et" - and two months of French in the DRC, I am now at a French-level that is equal to the Spanish-level I had several months ago. That is, not yet fluent. So, what's my point with this post?

Well, it sucks. This evening I bought some bananas at the corner-shop. The shopkeeper recognized me and she said in a friendly tone ¿Cómo estás? I replied "très bien!" She continued in Spanish, and I started talking in Franish or Sprench; whatever you want to call it. Aargh! So, steps ahead: 1. First, kicking ass in the comps at the end of the month. 2. Then, asap after that: get French fluent. From September 1 onwards, I'll reserve two full days a week for it.

[I published this already on August 8, 2009 at 1124pm on]

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