One thing I have learnt this week (apart from that it most definitely is possible to eat 10 carrés of Monoprix white chocolate in less than 20 minutes) is that faking it might just be the way forward. Minds out of the gutter please, not that kind of faking it!
In language learning my strengths lie within the ‘receiving information’ side of the language; reading and listening. My writing isn’t even especially bad it is just speaking which is my major downfall. I’ve commented before in this blog how the reason is that I don’t feel confident enough and that I must get confident blah blah etc etc. However this week I have noticed some things that just make everything about my linguistic weaknesses disappear. I don’t have to HAVE confidence… I can fake it!
I’ve been doing a lot of listening and observing this week, mainly of non-native French speakers (just like me) trying to speak the language, and to just listen I could be fooled that they are much more amazing than me at the language, but if I REALLY listen I realise that’s not necessarily the case. Miss-conjugations, difficulties finding verbs, talking around the subject when nouns are forgotten and tense problems… that’s what I do!
The thing that separates me from these people (in my mind of course) is that I don’t fake the linguistic capability to mask my uncertainty – I uhm and ah until I find the exact way I want to say it or I rush in like a TGV and blabber everything and anything making it all muddled.
I think that if I really think about it and I take into consideration the things that these people do, adding simple phrases “bon alors” when I lose my TGV of thought, I could convince myself that I am in fact as great at French as I perceive the other foreign francophones!
Also, tonight, whilst l was sat in bed trying to get my sleep on (slight Cassidy reference there), I was thinking through some verbs and conjugations (I’m a language student, we’re allowed to do things like this for fun) and I came to the verb savoir (to know) and I started to think it through, I changed the regular first and second person singular forms of the verb from having an ‘is’ ending (sais) to an ‘it’ ending (sait) and felt uneasy I couldn’t even imagine trying to say “je sait” – just typing it makes me feel like I know nothing.
I know that’s a little trivial thing that may only interest my mind but along with the fact I catch myself thinking and mumbling to myself in French without even realising it I feel perhaps this is all a sign that I’m finally getting to grips with the language and that perhaps if I take heed of all that I have written above I’ll soon start to feel like I’m mastering the great French language!