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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calling My Bluff

So in French, I often don't understand every single word, but in context, I can almost always figure out the meaning. Which is why it's awkward when Gui Gui plays his "comme tu dis en anglais" game. Which is basically when he calls my bluffs. I'll laugh lightly at something he says, and pretend like I undestand, and then I'm forced to offer up concrete proof that I'm not full of shit. (The worst is when there's no context and he just says "C'est, insert random French adjective.")

Fortunately, at this point, as I'm panicking and stuttering, Gui Gui usually whips out his iphone and attempts to find a direct translation. But the problem is, this is really hard to do. I explain to him, that if he just describes the word, I will understand, and find a better translation. Because if he doesn't include context, it's very easy to mistranslate.

But I find in languages, it's pretty easy to determine when its important to understand, and when it's not. A normal evening out with his friends, I don't always listen to everything, because it hurts my head, and its not always interesting. Also, with eavesdropping, you can't exactly stop the other parties to ask what a word means.

Yesterday, on the other hand, I met Madame Gui Gui for the first time (This is a big deal, especially since I had Gui Gui tatoos all over my arms), and I hung on every word. I wanted to give off the impression that I was a well rounded, polite, french-speaking fille. And of course I didn't catch everything.

I can't complain too much, because after all, this is how I learn. And it's definitely better than it was before, and definitely better than January of 2010.

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