The language vacuum.

I realized this week that I need, pretty seriously, to get some input and feedback to my French beyond my gurgling baby.  I realized that I have been falling into incorrect use of a few false cognates.  I know better when I stop and think about it, but when I am talking to Nelson while he avidly protests the latest diaper change or 30 second delay before his declaration of intention to nurse and actual nursing, somehow those things fall by the wayside.  I am scared that we will get to a place where I am speaking some pigeon creole approximation of actual French that only Nelson and I speak.  Like those languages twins sometimes develop between each other.   Or how the laws of physics are different in a vacuum.

I realized that sitting around reading children’s books and singing children’s songs really isn’t what will benefit either of us most.  So I’ve switched gears a bit.  I am now reading more grown up books, and where I can get them books designed for language learning (the ones with nifty tricks like bilingual text, or translations of more unusual words).  I am also doing grammar exercises, and lots of them.  It is extremely strange, almost surreal, to do grammar exercises aloud in sing-song French.  But it also accomplishes all the things I want to accomplish– happy baby, more proficient (though maybe more grumpy) mommy.

I also realized that my written French has entirely gone by the wayside.  And as much of a pain as it is to write in French, I really shouldn’t let that happen.  So I’ve set myself a goal of writing at least 5 sentences a day in French.  Modest, but it will get me somewhere.  I’ve been playing with lang-8.com as a way to get corrections on my writing, and really I should start writing my French friends and relatives again.

I figure I probably have five or six months to brush up before he notices that grammar drills are ridiculously boring, even in motherese.  Hopefully that is enough time for me to figure out le conditionnel!

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