If you’re thinking about buying a house in the Aude, or anywhere else in France, you’re going to want to speak some French. Or at least understand some French.
The first time I visited the Languedoc it was to explore and see what area I liked the best. I was thinking about buying a house and wanted to see if I liked the area. My daughter was with me, my bi-lingual daughter. We had travelled in France before and I have to admit that I relied on her to translate for me.
On the flight from Paris to Montpellier she said “You know, If you’re planning to spend time in France you need to speak French.” “Yeah.” I said, not sure where she what she was getting at. “On this trip I’m not going to translate. You have to do the talking and get the information.” And then she picked up a magazine and started to read.
Hmm. Well at least I knew how to ask how to find the toilet. And order meals.
It was an interesting trip. Me stumbling and fumbling to ask directions, ask how much things cost, trying to bargain at vide greniers. And after I finished the initial information gathering Megan would jump in, speaking French. Almost everyone asked her why I was trying to get the information when she could speak French. She’d tall them that I had to learn. They all would nod sagely and tell her that she was right.
And she was.
Did I hurry back to Canada and start taking French lessons? No. I learned in France, trial and error and making horrendous mistakes. Probably not the best way way but I was determined to communicate and that helped.
I was reminded of all of this by French Etc. a website with podcasts and tutorials to help you learn French. You can listen to the podcasts for free or you can buy a paid membership and receive individual help and extra worksheets and materials.
Do you use online resources to learn French? I’m sure there are more out there. let me know and I’ll post links on the resources page.