I'm not learning French

I've been living in the south of France for a year now. I still don't know French.

Learning the language shouldn't be so hard, but my brain isn't as young as it was. Plus, I'm finding that I'm just as resistant to studying as I was as a teenager. There are so many other things I'd rather do.

Last month I declared I was going to speak French by Christmas. Sometimes when I set a goal for myself, and announce it, I'm too embarrassed not to follow through. Let's see if this works.

The French teacher is scheduled for three lessons a week. We try to have lunch together at a nearby cafe on one of the off-days. My teacher is a professional speech pathologist, so I expect I'll learn proper enunciation. So far, I haven't advanced past the first and second class verbs.

I'm remembering when I had to make the choice of which "foreign" language to study when I was in high school. Oh how I wish it had been French! Even when I had another chance in college, I chose Spanish.

Guess that's just another example of "the road not taken"...

The Barefoot Blogger

I have that app too, but it seems that when I really need it, I can't get a wi-fi connection!

I got this app for my iPhone. It has audio too with a pretty good pronunciation of the French. I use it all the time to check my French, and to learn how to say things that aren't easily or quickly found in a dictionary, or that my husband doesn't know. I swear he must've been sleeping the whole time in school! Just the other day I wanted to know how to say 'high beams', how does one go about looking that up? Google is useless, they get it wrong every time. FYI it's: feux de route sur. 'Feux' I knew meaning headlamps/lights, literally means: 'fire'. But 'de route sur' would be 'of sure route', I never would've guessed that. I would've guessed 'feux en haut' or something directly translated. This app is pretty cool.

Also, last night I watched a RoCo called 'Crazy Stupid Love' with the sub-titles on in French. There was a lot of slang and every day vernacular, and even a scene where the lead character was talking about a certain funny word and repeating it. They have to translate it so it makes sense, not always a literal translation. Then this morning I'm watching it again with the audio in French, (I use to also have the sub-titles in English when I did that, but now I want to push my comfort zone to try to 'get it' without them).

BTW I really enjoyed the film :)

Wow! That was a lot of information to digest. Thanks to each and all for the advice.

Kirsten, I have never been a coin collector. I was given two Roman coins as a present when I was about 12 which I still have and with travelling gradually accumulated coins and notes I was always going to use on the next trip but were then replaced by something else or decimalised. The ones from my great grandfather are sentimental value, the others I kept as they became demonetised. I have dozens of unsorted coins and notes but perhaps one day when I have nothing else to do I will sit down and go through them with one of my daughters who will want them there and then no doubt.

THANK YOU for explaining the 12 link chain thing. I've oft wondered how the 12 inches came to be, finally I have the answer! :D

Ooooo Brian, I just LOVE old coins that aren't used anymore. I have some lire from back in the day. It will make some cool jewelry. I don't know if you or the missus is into that, but you could either drill a whole or solder on a 'jump ring' or incase them in a 'bezel' setting to make bracelets or pendants. People just go wild for that sort of thing. (that is for gift giving, or selling). That would make a cool ring too!

Of course not Ian - it's the Cayman Islands!

Rounding errors? Is that why all you ex IT folks are now living in luxurious villas in the south of France ??

I heard many similar stories of creaming off a percentage of 'rounding errors' since either no-one would notice or it was not worth the bother to put the mechanisms in place to combat it. The same discussions were had around Stock Market systems where no-one would account for a missing 0.001% of transactions involving millions of £/$.

I tried for ages to gain entry into these schemes but failed miserably.

( I was the decimation officer for DEC following the Stock Market crash in October 1987 )

try this for a while free of charge. http://imtranslator.net/Translator-For-Firefox-ImTranslator_v_7_8.asp?v=v781

I seem to remember there was some "rounding" involved. We had discussions (purely as an academic exercise!) about whether it would be possible to personally profit from that.........

Or, Mike, you are old enough to remember ;-)

Hi all

I was IBM’s “decimalisation officer” for the part of the North West and went around advising companies how to convert their programs from “old” to “new” money. Almost fun but I more or less remember the issues should anyone be interested :slight_smile:

In the early days of commercial computing, programs were coded for pre-decimal currency. We had a lot of fun doing the conversion. But obviously you are much too young to remember, Véronique!

Good grief I can't remember pre-decimal currency (& I have an excellent memory ;-) ).

12 is a good number not only in construction (the 12 link chain was used by masons and carpenters because it could be used to form most angles) but in money exchange because it can be divided in more ways than 10.

As far as Deborah is concerned, it is hopeless. I've been here 7.5 years and still can't be understood. Last week I said "mure" and they thought I said "mieux".

Groats were before my time, when you could still go to the theatre, buy a hot dinner and a flagon of ale.....
You know the rest! ;-)

Brian - hang on to your groats. After 18th September you will need them to visit Scotland :-)

ps: "Hang on to your groats" sounds like a dirty movie.....

Ha'penny lasted into decimalisation as the only non-decimal coinage ever legal tender anywhere. I have a couple of 1950s farthings somewhere and also threepenny pieces, a half farthing from 1860-something and a couple of Scots groats (fourpence) from the 1840s and 1600s half-groat. The latter two, it seems, were still in circulation in remoter Highland regions into the early 20th century well after they were demonetised and were apparently part of a small box my great grandfather kept the deeds for his land, army pay book and marriage certificate in. The ten pence value of them was what it cost to register a death and have the certificate, so we can only speculate what he had the groats for.

Anyway, we are only further mystifying British linguistic and numismatic nuances of the past and not making Deborah's quandary any easier! Back on the ball chaps...

We also used to have four farthings to a penny and 21 shillings in a guinea. We never had a problem with that.