Friday, October 20, 2006
I confess! When it comes to French grammar, I'm basically guessing. It's my way of building up intuition. Thinking grammar through is just not my forte. I just want to "know" what to say, say it and have it be right. I'd rather not torture my brain through analysis until minutes or hours later I can reason my way into a sentence that should be perfect... only to stumble into the l'exception pitfall. I don't have the patience for this and certainly the French, in my limited experience, don't want to witness the torture of their language either.
My teacher is explaining a few grammar points and pausing frequently to ask me if I understand. My answers go from the "uh-huh" of hopeful but questionable comprehension quickly to that of unquestionable incomprehension: "I guess... mmm... I guess..." My voice trails off wanting to stop guessing and instead think about other things: un gâteau au chocolat, Paris, l'amour...
What to learn from all of this? Today's vocabulary word: "I guess". My teacher paused, "hmmm... I guess would translate to je pense". Well, I may just start guessing everything à la française because thinking is better than "just" guessing, isn't it? Hmm, je pense...
the French we already know:
le fort forte (specialty)
l'analyse (fem) analysis
l'exception (fem) exception
la patience patience
l'expérience (fem) experience
la compréhension comprehension
l'incompréhension (fem) incomprehension
penser to think, to guess
un gâteau au chocolat chocolate cake
l'amour (mas) love
La photo: Guess what? It's supposed to be œufs brouillés!
(It could pass for my brain on grammar though...)
Au Scotch Tea House, à Nice. Juin 2006