Monday, June 10, 2013

Explore Day 26: 24 Hours in French

Definitely gonna miss these girls. <3
[NOTE: This post was delayed several days because I was waiting for photos. I think today is actually Day 31...]

Day 26. There’s just a bit over a week left.

Yesterday was the hyped-up “24h en Francais,” which means that you can sign up to voluntarily immerse yourself in French: talking, writing, reading, listening to music, watching movies… everything has to be done in French. I personally find that having a special French day is a little ironic, since technically the entire program is supposed to be like that, but considering that there’s way more English spoken here than there really should be, it’s good to have one day of complete immersion.
At Chez Victor, one of Quebec's most famous restaurants.
(I'm on the left.)

The bizarre thing about spending a day in French was how easy it was. It barely inhibited my communication at all. It probably helps that by now my friends and I know each other well enough to understand each other even when our French is terrible, but even so, there was only once where I couldn’t get my point across and had to give up.
The most difficult part was not using Franglais. I’ve gotten so used to speaking French interspersed with English whenever I don’t know a word, but yesterday we wouldn’t even let ourselves do that. Luckily, I’ve got my basic vocabulary down, and if there’s something I don’t know, I can normally describe it enough for someone else to supply the word. Sound effects and actions also help a lot. :)

It's always a party at Chez Victor! :)
It was really satisfying to talk French the entire day, even when I was out at dinner (gourmet hamburgers at Chez Victor) or sitting having tea with my friends. By the end of the day French was completely automatic; if someone asked me a question I’d immediately respond in French, or if I wanted to say something, I’d just start speaking in French. My mind would also always try to word things so that I’d use the vocabulary I do have, rather than stumbling over the words I don’t know.

We don't really 'walk' anywhere....
It was almost depressing to start talking English again with my friends today. While it was definitely a relief to be able to ask questions or tell stories without constantly pausing and trying to conjugate verbs in my head, talking in English felt just a little bit boring. 24h en Francais was definitely a challenge, but one that I really enjoyed.

1 comment:

  1. So fun! :) Glad to hear you're having such a good time in QC!