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Friday, June 8, 2012

More things to learn

My lovely wife and I were on a little sail on our little lake. Until the trailer hitch is installed on the van, we aren’t going to be taking it anywhere else.

No matter, it still a very pleasant sail. It gives us a chance to talk.

She informs me that we should learn more of the French language. Not so much for Quebec, which is right next door. She suggested we prepare to travel in the French Caribbean. That sounds like a fine idea to me. She figures in about 3 years we should be ready to sail down there.

I love it when she starts plotting an adventure.

I’m no great student of languages, but I do know some French. I understand a lot more than I can speak, and the same goes for the written language. It will take some work to get good enough to make myself understood.

What usually happens to me in Quebec is that they will pretend to not understand English. Then I’ll try to speak to them in my fractured French. After a few minutes, someone will admit to being able to speak English rather than listen to me butchering the language. My goal is to make a native French speaker cringe less.

So why the French Caribbean? I don’t know, I’m just the husband. No doubt I’ll be told more on a need to know basis.

This is not our first attempt learning a language together. We are big fans of the Science Fiction TV show Firefly. A fair amount of Chinese is spoken in the series. We learned it, but it was generally slang and swear words. While that may work in some situations, we felt it a good idea to round out our knowledge a bit.

While we did learn a few basics, we didn’t get much further than that. For some reason the language CDs we were using kept trying to teach us what we would need to know to pick up women.

“I would like to have a drink with you in at my hotel room.”

“No, I do not want to go out to dinner. I want to go to your place for dinner instead.”

We kept laughing too hard to learn my more. About all I remember to do in Mandarin is how to say I can’t speak Mandarin very well.

Hopefully the French language study will go better.



  1. I can tell you that on the French side of St. Martin, they speak perfectly good English. They do on the Dutch side as well. Beautiful island, be sure to include it in your travels : )

    1. Thanks. Always best to be able to know what they are saying when they think you don't understand.

  2. Good thing the French aren't interested in picking up women.... ;-)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful adventure!

  4. Nothing like a future surprise adventure!

    Bet momma has something good in store!

  5. My wife and I are learning Chinese using the Rocket Chinese course. It's going quite well. We currently have no plans to go to China but do watch some Chinese movies.

  6. My wife and I watched a pile of them in Mandarin. Good fun.

  7. I don't see how knowing other languages could hurt anything. If not understood fluently, at least the basics like you mention above. Would likely save you some troubles later on.