I arrived six weeks ago and it’s time for a short recap, especially about the language. Although I spoke a little bit French before my arrival, I knew it is the everyday language here and it will challenge me, during the first weeks: Not only to allow myself to openly engage with others, but also to listen and to learn from those experiences.
In general I can say that it’s a lot easier, to enter into a dialogue with only one or two people. Luckily I am able to immediately and uncomplicatedly start up a conversation. To follow a group discussion, which in turn isn’t a simple task for me, keeps me in distance with my conversation partners – especially with a noisy environment, my lack of concentration and the québecois slang.
Lots of “rendez-vous”
Right now, I’m learning French with activities of daily living. I try to speak in every situation with all sorts of funny outcomes. Here are few expamples:
I always find it somewhat amusing, to call any kind of appointment a “rendez-vous”. Now I have a rendez-vous with the mechanician next door, who repairs our car. I have a rendez-vous with chairman of the local court (I will tell more later), I have a rendez-vous each week with my yoga friends… Just to make it clear: I have lots of rendez-vous here.
Why do I think, that this is akward? For me, the word “rendez-vous” always implied something romantic, time that you share with your nearest and dearest. I guess I have to accept, that the last trace of romanticism about that word has blown away 😦
Okay… I was lost in translation
Another funny situation happend last week at the local court. I had this so-called “rendez-vous” with the chairman and civil registrar. In order to prevent false hopes: I am not engaged! But my good friend from home. She will visit us with her fiance and two other good friends and they plan to get married here in Québec. This is the reason, why I had a “rendez-vous” with the civil registrar to plan the wedding ceremony. The funny thing is, that the civil registrar thought for about 15 minutes that I am the person, who wants to marry. I admit, for this time, I was lost in translation. I tried to explain her serveral times with my few french words that I won’t need a witness.
Inhalation and exhalation – It cannot be so difficult!
There is another story, I can tell from my yoga classes. I haven’t practice yoga quite often at home, but I thought I would understand the orders of the exercises. The truth is, I learned by watching the others. But when it comes to close the eyes and start numerous breathing exercises and techinques, I had my problems to follow the breathing orders and I felt a bit akward.
While I have to accpet some funny outcomes, I will continue to listen and learn and improve as much as I can. Once, it will feel too difficult to speak to others: In this case, positive self-talk is always a good idea.