Learning in Québec

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I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

C'était très glissant!


Il fait glissant, on dit.

It warmed up here, or so it seems to me -- I don't ever know the temperature -- and things got very slippery.

J'ai perdu une mitaine! Je suis une chatte pas sage. Je n'aurai pas de pie.
(But there wasn't any pie anyway, even though the nice M. Lésvesque showed me how to turn on the oven; it's the loss of the mitten that saddens me, because it was a really warm one.)

I am thinking on the way to library, la bibliothèque Gabrielle Roy, still walking very carefully on the steep hills of Faubourg St. Jean Baptiste, that one of the main reasons to choose Québec for learning French is that it's closer. It's American -- we share a lot of history and some distinct populations. It's a neighbor. Travel to Québec can be done with smaller carbon footprints. In emergencies people can speak English to you. You don't feel totally isolated inside a different language.

Also, it's not as expensive to go to Paris from here as from most places in the U.S. If you really must.

And did I mention that the Québecois are very, very nice people?

Like yesterday, how nice everyone was as I went trudging around the Place Desjardins Carnaval site asking if they had my mitten.

I was there yesterday with a disposable camera; that's probably when I dropped it, trying to figure out how to take a picture; and the mitten is the lovely beige of slush up here.

I specifically bought the disposable camera to get pictures of the Croatian entry in the International Snow Sculpture contest. It didn't win, but it won my heart, and when I figure out how to upload the photos, which I don't have yet, you will see why.

The Yukon (Canada) and Ukraine took all the prizes except for one to Argentina. All of these showed great artistry, but I liked the Mexican, the French and the Croatian, which showed something else, it seemed to me.

Another reason for coming to Québec, Québec for your French study, independent or otherwise? The bookstores on rue St. Jean. So many books, for so little cost. Books you might not even find on Amazon.

So, lest I forget, that's why I'm here, not just for the beautiful snow and slippery ice and to fall in love with snow sculptures and lose mittens.

A bientôt!

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