12 October 2009

Not Every Day is a Good One

I had a FANTASTIC weekend, with plenty of funny stories and photos to share. But those will have to wait. Because not every experience is funny or exciting or interesting. Sometimes this process of learning French is painful and embarrassing and frustrating and discouraging.

If you ever feel like your sanctification process is stagnant, boost it with some language learning! Throw in a little community living with a dash of cultural stress . . . and voila! Sanctification. At this moment, it feels like extremely coarse sandpaper to my pride. But there it is. No frills. No sugar coating.

With that having been said, you deserve at least an embarrassing story. Okay, here goes (I should be working on memorizing Le Notre Père--The Lord's Prayer--but I've been working on it for over a week and I still don't remember it . . . but I've always been a lousy memorizer).

So Saturday night my friend SP (who is SUCH a blessing in my life here!) and I decided to invite two people to dinner. I managed to slightly scorch the chicken, drop my own piece on the floor, and drop several other things as well . . . so I already wasn't starting off well. One of the points of hosting this little soirée was to practice speaking only in French (we went about 4 hours sans English!). Being the only débutante in the mix I had to continually stop the conversation and ask for clarification.

At one point we were sharing about our siblings. I didn't know how to say I was the youngest, so I decided to say that I was the "back" or "behind" child. Easy . . . dernier. I've heard my professors use it dozens of times. I've even used it. But that's not what I said. I used derrière. But not realizing what I had said, I carried on as if I was actually a francophone.

My monologue came to a screeching halt, interrupted by an outburst of very loud laughter by the three others at the table. "YOU JUST CALLED YOURSELF THE BUTT CHILD!!!!!!" Oops. 

There's no coming back from that one . . . nor do they ever let you live it down.

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