Friday, market day, is what I like to think of as "culture day" for me. In most ways, France is the same as home... parents work, kids go to school, people go to church and have dinner parties and do yard work. However, the subtle differences don't go unnoticed. I try to observe all the minute details of my life right now so I never forget this experience, ever. I worry that my kids will forget, especially my boys, so there will be a lot of story telling when we return home.
Here are a few French phrases I got to use this morning at market...
"Bon weekend!" (Have a good weekend!)
"Merci!" (Thank You!)
"Je Voudrais un poulet." (I would like a chicken. No, I didn't buy the live ones.)
"Trois artichauts, s'il vous plait." (Three artichokes, please.)
"Parlez-vous anglais?" (Do you speak English?- I had to use this one with the sausage lady who described her entire table to me in French and I had no clue what she was saying.)
Seriously, this is about the extent of it. It's sad and a little embarrassing and a total bruise to my ego, but it's real. I would like to point out that the French do not like it when their language is spoken incorrectly or with an accent (understandably, it sounds beautiful just the way they intended it) but if the person can speak English, they don't seem to cop an attitude if they need to use it. People have only been friendly to me. There has been a time or two I have been corrected in my French with a little giggle or smile, but I laugh at myself too. You have to have a sense of humor about it.
My conclusion, learn languages when you are young. If you wait until adulthood, you may sound like me :-/