Friday, January 23, 2009

French, or why I will begin to embarass myself

My quest was to leave the "easy" and stretch my boundaries to enable new learning paths.  I probably could have gone further from easy, like any Asian country, but after two days living in Brussels I've learned that there are a lot less English speakers than I had assumed.  All of my previous trips were relatively easy.  I've spent time in northern Europe (Scandinavia) and Ireland where it is hard to find someone who doesn't speak English.  In haphazardly roaming the city, it seems as though a full 25% speak absolutely no English at all.  I can barely begin to communicate with these people.

Belgium is a bilingual country comprised of Wallonia (south & French) and Flanders (north & Dutch).  Brussels resides within the northern half and while it seems almost fully french, the city is required to do everything bilingually.  This is confusing for a whole slew of reasons, but the most inconvenient is street names.  Every single street in the entire city is named twice.  As an example my new office is on Rue Des Fabriques (french)... and ALSO on Fabrieksstraat (dutch).  That doesn't look too bad on paper, but I can barely hear French yet.  The words are said quickly and smoothly so I can barely piece syllables out to look for them on my maps.  I think its time to get serious about really learning French.  Until I fully understand my office schedule I won't be paying for lessons, I will stick with Rosetta Stone.  

My sister had a blog from her experiences abroad in Argentina titled: Shanna Speaks Spanish... Hilarity Ensues.  She could probably be considered fluent BEFORE she went down there.  Maybe I should name this blog: Scott Doesn't Really Speak French... Insults Abound.

Wish me luck... 

No comments:

Post a Comment