Thursday, June 13, 2013

Parlez vous Français?

Oui, je parle... un petit peu.

At least I do now. After three weeks of intensive courses and 20 hours worth of private lessons prior to my stay in 'Pair-eeee'.

I was nervous, though, before taking the initial placement exam at the language school. Complete beginners are allowed to start the course every other week. (Which sandwiched the week I started).

Per their website, a non-beginner is someone who has studied French for more than 125 hours. The hours of pre-Paris tutorage I received didn't even come close to the requirement. But, five minutes before my final private lesson concluded, my teacher taught me the basic principles behind the most used form of past tense: passé composé. And that, je pense, made all the difference. 

passé-composéd the heck out of my verbal exam, and apparently did a great job using a momentarily magical power of deduction on the multiple choice test. Because I was placed in a higher class level than I ever would have imagined. (Instead of the alternative... experiencing ridicule and shame for clearly disregarding what was advised online by arriving on a 'not for beginners' week).

And then, thanks to the similarities between Portuguese and French, along with the art of language feigning, I was placed in a more advanced class on a weekly basis. 

Donc, oui. Je parle.