Turns out je parle français good!

Récemment, I’ve found myself doing beaucoup d’entrevues for regional and even national media as the porte-parole for the school where I am directeur des communications. A number of these interviews have been en français. Anyone qui me connait knows that I have an insecurity très profond when it comes to speaking ma deuxième langue. En fait, I’ve broken down giving second-language interviews par niveau de difficulté:

Level 8: Television en direct—you will look and sound comme un idiot.

Level 7: Radio en direct—you will only sound comme un idiot.

Level 6: Radio enregistré—you will still sound comme un idiot but they enleveront tout that is not actually langage humain.

Level 5: Print sur place—you will look and sound comme un idiot but only la journaliste will know it.

Level 4: Print par téléphone—toutes tes notes devant toi!

Level 3: TV enregistré—la même que Level 8 embarrassment mais atténué par la realisation that the only usable part that will be diffusé is you saying ton nom et profession.

Level 2: Questions par courriel—answered avec précision by you and Google Traduction.

Level 1: Peux-tu envoyer un communiqué de presse?—Oui, I can! Written by quelqu’un-d’autre.

Heureusement, my interviews have been mostly Niveaux 3 à 6 and I have been able to fake my way through the horreur that is me attempting la langue de Molière. Toutefois, it’s been out there and c’est pas cute.

Or so j’ai pensé! Last week, one of my collègues français came up to me and said, “Hey, Ross, I heard you on the radio. I didn’t know you could speak French.”

“Pas vraiment,” I said.

“No, you were very good!”

“What I was saying avait du sens?”

“Oh, yes!”

Alors, there is no way this person was just being amiable. She has trop de respect for me to do that. Absolument! Donc, I must speak French très bien! It’s the seule possibilité!

Je me souviens a couple of years ago I read a poste sur Facebook that was tout un mélange of français and English, and it concluded that si tu peux le comprendre, you were plus bilingue than you thought. “Voyons!” I thought. “It all has to do with l’interprétation du context. That’s what makes it so simple à lire et comprendre.”

But maintenant, I think, non, I could read and understand that because I am véritablement bilingual. My français is les tops!

The sun is not my friend.

So here I thought my performance on les nouvelles du Québec brought la honte on myself and my school, with me saying des mots that were not words and des phrases that were not sentences. Je ne suis pas certains but it’s possible I inadvertently expliqué that the population of our école was 240 jolis petits chats.

En fin, le seule chose that was embarassing was mes cheveux. Seriously, j’ai besoin d’une coupe.

Quel soulagement after all these years in Quebec to discover that it is seulement moi-même holding me back from being the dynamic raconteur de mes rêves. Tous mes amis et voisins français have been missing out on some excellente répartie! Oh, les blagues à venir!

Bon, cette weekend, I had the opportunité to pratiquer when Deb and I faisions du camping at Parc National Mont-Tremblant.

I walked into the centre d’accueil and said, très smooth, “Je besoin passe du jour? Parce-que je paye pour le camping.” And then I waved a reçu in her face as une aide visuelle. She understood me perfectly and gave me a free allume-feu because my français was si bon and I was not at all pitoyable.

Later, Deb and I attempted a couple of randonées on some of the many pistes in the parc. Au cause de COVID, it was important to let people pass avec la distanciation sociale. Avec politesse, I would step aside and say, “Vous peux passer.”  And they did! Because français!

I was feeling la confiance. Later, we passed several jeunes familles, pleine des petits enfants. To the dernier femme, I said, “C’est comme un garderie.” “Oui,” she said with un rire. I turned to Deb: “I made a joke en français!” “I think you just scared her,” she said.

What’s French for “My wife doesn’t appreciate what a maître de français I am”?

So la prochaine fois you see me, don’t be trop surpris if I bavarde and divertis en français, because this is the nouveau moi. Just don’t pose des questions en français, parce que ma compréhension est vraiment le pits.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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24 Responses to Turns out je parle français good!

  1. Joy blake says:

    Mais, Ross! Que tu parles bien! J’ai tout compris de ton texte 🙂

  2. Garry Derusha says:

    C’est sa tu est Bledinde,haha

  3. franhunne4u says:

    Tu peux speak le French far meilleur comme I. Je ne peux pas pull off something comme ça. I even had to go to Google traducteur just for the ç.

  4. I’m actually a little bit proud of the amount of this that I think I understood considering that my four years of high school French is almost thirty years in my past now.

  5. Hey, I knew my failed attempts at high school French would come in handy someday:)

  6. I don’t understand How I understood all this. I never learned Fransais I just faked it in Montreal for a few months

    Stay well and laugh when you can

  7. Sorry to read there was pisting in the parc, quelle tragique, but if they don’t open le twalet salle de repose & contemplation, what are les personnes to do?

    • actually, twalèt is the real word, in Haitian Creole

    • rossmurray1 says:

      We had des toilettes sèches. As the French say, “Ça pue!”

      • ¿“Pue” is sembable àkin to comme Pepé Le Pew? Esta bien sûr, les “Jean Portables” Pissoirs de Parcs son très exécrable pour toujours.
        I took Spanish in school, but once you’ve got one Romance language down, tout the rest are a snap. I don’t meana brayg, but I kin alsa kinda say a couple-two-tree M’waukee expressions, hey, lika native, guess id’ll all come out in the worsh.

  8. List of X says:

    I will not even attempted to write a partially-in-French comment, и вообще я very мало что understood.

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