Thursday, 6 September 2007

It's Not What You Come With

The Gods of Used Electrical Goods are smiling down on us this week. Hard on the heels of the washing machine comes a telly.

Visiting friends we mentioned our theory that French tv would help us with the language and they promptly produced not one but two tellys surplus to their requirements. We chose the smaller of the two. As my grandma used to say it's not what you come with it's what you go home with that counts.

Now we just need to get some kind of televisual signal to it (I'll leave that to Tech Support). Yes the theory is that watching things like quiz shows where a formula is repeated and where the conversations go "Hello, who are you, what do you do" etc etc should boost our command of the language no end. No doubt I will become profficient at phrases like "come on down". Whatever, it will beat asking for socks of apples at the bakers when I mean apple turnovers.

In fact thinking about it "come on down" could of been useful the other day at the DIY having ordered and paid for our roof insulation we went round the back to the collection point where I boldly pressed the buzzer on the intercom (being the person in charge of communicating in an official capacity with French people) then said "aaahm bonjour aaahm je aaahurrrrm" and then got a fit of the giggles . Luckily the warehouseman was fluent in useless English woman trying to buy stuff and came out to get my receipt.

Seriously though I would like to extend my conversations with Madame next door beyond "yes isn't it a nice/horrible day you are welcome to the eggs yes the chickens are laying very well what? your dog is on the roof?" I have been watching various DVDs in French with English subtitles. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my favourites but I don't seem to be picking up much vocabulary, anyway to my knowledge we don't have a big vampire/demon problem round here.

So if we ever get more than snow on the tv I shall teach you some useful catch phrases for your holidays.


Mousie/Paisible said...

"Luckily the warehouseman was fluent in useless English "
Oh dear, I just love that post and specially that sentence...just so true...and so funny...we could make a film with dialogues from useless English or would be so funny !!!I remember arriving in England aged 16, I knew some Shakespeare's texts by heart and Woodsworth (?) poem about daffodils...and was unable to buy a box of matches to light my cigarettes...I can still see the small tobacconist...I put the sentence in my blog with a link to your blog...I also think all people teaching languages should read it...the way we teach languages is often so useless...
thanks for making me laugh, I'm going to have a nice day thanks to you...
see you dear

Breezy said...

I'm glad I made you smile Thank you for the link. TS said the right thing tonight while watching tv "I understood lots of words in that sentance but I still don't know what he said" Ah well one day

Lesley said...

I found that watching THE NEWS in foreign countries was helpful, as it was accompanied by pictures which gave good clues as to what might be the topic of conversation.

Also, when in Spain, I found that cookery progs appeared to be aimed at imbeciles, so sort of fitted in with my skill level in the language and we sort of met in the middle