Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I totally don't have my dad's permission to post this on my blog.

But he and my mom are going to Paris tomorrow, and we already know how I feel about my parents, or my possessions, taking trips to places that I want to go.

And so, without further ado, or permission from my dad, I give you...the email he sent to my sisters and me entitled "Resurrecting my French." (I should mention that he was fluent in both French and Spanish as a young person, and continues to be fluent in Spanish also as an older person, but not as fluent in French. Hence the need to "resurrect" the French.)

And now, ladies and gentlemen, my father:
 
For the last couple of weeks I've been immersing myself in French for almost 2 hours per day.

I remember how we heartless children used to make fun of my father, listening to his Berlitz records late at night, and never getting anywhere. 

"Un."

"Un!"

"Deux."

"Deux!"

So ashamed.  As busy as he was - coming home at night and working on that.  We were wretched.

If you cast your bitter herbs on the water, they return to you.  Or verbs.

I got some intermediate/advanced CDs and work on them walking to and from the train and on the train.  The guy says something in English.  Pause.  Girl says it in French.  Pause.  In French again.  Pause.  Then the guy on a new phrase.  So I use the pauses to try to figure out how to say it, then correct myself, and work on pronunciation. 

Two hours a day of this is pretty intense.  I'll look for them.  Cram some of this down their charming oh-so-competent "sur le pont d´Avignon" throats.

Ruining Spanish - sometimes a French word or pronounciation intrudes.  And French phrases and conjugations keep flitting through the brood-o-sphere.  And dreams.

The verbs are the worst.  Je suis.  Tu est.  Il est.  Elle est.

The whole language nothing but insane labyrinth of verbs.  Doing things to or by a few innocent nouns.  Subjunctive.  Passe compose.  Conditional.  Darn it all.

Thank heaven for the occasional cognate.  [My mom] woke up Sunday absolutely bushed after Saturday's excesses.  "Je vois que tu est tres poupée."  Yes!  I can do this!

The nightmares.  In my dreams it still doth haunt me.  The prehistoric jungle with gigantic insane reptilian birds verbing their way through the dense miasma of eons-old wreckage and decay.  Purple.  Greenish orange.  Brownish blue. That's just the birds.  Snatching out your liver.  Ma fois!

Marie Antoinette.  "Qu'ils mangeant du brioche."  A precursor to the tumbrils, the guillotine.  Charles, a peasant, hauled to the scaffold for disobeying her.  "Je n'aurai pas du ne pas y en avoir mangé du brioche.  Avoir.  Chouette."  "I shouldn´t have not eaten the cake."  J'ai.  Tu as.  Il a.  Elle a.

me te se nous vous
le la les
lui leur
y
en

Accents!

Darnit darnit darnit.

Gloria en excelsis les neuf inmortels.

Halleluja!

Amen! 

And to that I say also - amen! :) And also - bon voyage! :)

6 comments:

merrilykaroly said...

now I see where you get it from.

:)

Larissa said...

I wish my dad wrote me e-mails like this! Chouette!

Trent and Meg said...

Amen Adele!!!

Dis-le que le francais est le plus beau des langues et qu'il sera bien etonner de tout ce qu'il va comprendre pendant leur voyage :D

NoSurfGirl said...

Um... I took three years of French in high school and I still don't know what the crud you're talking about. Or he's talking about.

Or anyone's talking about. Un, Deux, I get those ones :D

Christi said...

Okay--that's really funny and I don't even understand any of it. Fantastic!!!

Putz said...

i spent 5 years in france><><<><>mission army brat tourist <><>lived in paris for 3 of those years just two blocks south of the louve