My French connection

Is learning a new language fun? Well, actually it is a mixed bag of experience and I enjoyed every bit of it en francais!
Giving up on weekend’s extended hours of sleep was my concern before I even enrolled for the afternoon classes on Saturday and Sundays. But the strong desire to speak in French, read and write a bit too, prevailed and I signed up in January for A Level part 1 at Alliance Française that completed successfully only yesterday.
I still remember Day One in class when I felt like a kindergarten kid not knowing how to answer basic questions such as –What’s your name-

Tu t’ appelle comment?

But it was not a moment of embarrassment, rather I found it cute to repeat after my professor- Je m’appelle Sayanti.

That’s the speed at which the class started phrases, leading to sentences and then writing them down in paragraphs.
There were times when I felt totally blank, specially when the génies etudiants of my class seemed to know it all! I wondered how, till I learnt that they had a brush with French already in school. So I felt confident again that I was new to this language and need to give myself time in order to pick it up. The ‘back-to-school’ syndrome can have its pros and cons too.

While I made new friends and shared lunch boxes, there was home-work or  ‘devoirs’ to be submitted too. Initially I made the best of my laziness dreaming up excuses to complete such tasks but the day I started taking them seriously, I felt the difference!
There was an overdose of French in class with strictly no English or other language translations being encouraged. But it became more effective with a group being formed on watsapp and texting in this foreign language. It was fun as people referred to every possible dictionary and translator to make sense of the conversation.

Since our young professor was added on the list as well, she actively corrected the errors. That was some learning for sure as the visual memory of the words got captured instantly.gr2
Learning French was not all study and no fun. There were loads of party people who planned beaucoup de partis to keep me entertained. Whether it was chilling over coffee at Barista or Starbucks after class or all of us meeting up at any of the student’s house for food, drinks and dance, we had the ball of a time!
So for all those who are still planning to do something new, might consider learning a language to begin with. More than the certificate, trust me it feels ‘wow’ to say- Je peux parle, lis et ecris en francais!

-Sayanti Banerjee

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