Back to business. I'm kicking off 2018 with yet another amazing challenge: starting on 15th January I'll have 90 days to master French. For the grand final (and to prove I've actually learnt something or not), I'll head across the English Channel / la Manche for a 48h weekend where I'll only be allowed to speak le Francais.*
*Everyone laughs. Especially the French
I've asked a good friend of mine to join me on that final trip and film the drama of ordering a coffee in Paris (it's not that easy as you think), so apart from lots of photos, blogposts and the usual instastory, expect damaging video evidence.
Right, how I am planning to achieve conversational level by March? Well, I'll do whatever it takes. This week I'm prepping the amunition: downloading apps for the phone, doing a list of language learning websites (the BBC offers a free basic online French course) and of course youtube has loads of videos on how to speak every possibly language in the world. Digging through the drawers, I found a French course on a CD (bought it like 15 years ago) and I've picked up some 'French in London' magazines from my local creperie, which lists all kinds of conversation groups in the capital.
I'll do a few one to one lessons to start off with as it's hard to figure out certain things on your own, especially pronunciation. I'm also pestering my French speaking friends to help me out. I'm mostly focusing on the speaking rather than the writing, though I'll be learning both as I go along. And just to be very clear - I do speak a few other languages which will definitely come in handy (Spanish, German, Polish and a bit of Italian), but I have ZERO French. ZERO. I've been a few times in Paris and I've done TV shoots in France before, but always with the help of a translator. My English didn't get me far on those occasions..
The weekend trip to France will most probably involve going to Paris as it's easy to get to from London by Eurostar, but I'm taking other places into consideration (Bergerac, Limoges, Dijon, something more rural;-). Apart from the obvious touristy conversations which normally include asking for directions or ordering a croissant, I'm thinking of doing some 'set-ups': going to dinner with a French family or a lunch date at a cafe. Feel free to hit me up with ideas!