Everywhere around me in France, I can hear the above three words and phrases. You probably hear them in English, but you don’t notice because they are part of the collective “us and our language.”
One of our language teachers will tell us something followed by “Donc . . . blah, blah, blah (a bunch of words in French that I may or may not understand depending on the context). But, I finally asked her and she said it means, “So . . .” and then she asked me where I had heard it! 🙂
Another language teacher will explain something to us and say “Mem chose blah, blah, blah” (lots more French, as she doesn’t speak English) and give a little shrug. This phrase means “the same as . . .” as in “you see how I conjugated that verb, the same as the last one!”
And, I can’t walk down the street or by a cafe without someone saying, “Toute de suite!” And, I, being my English speaking self, only hear “Toot sweet!” So, I asked a French speaking friend the meaning – and had to give her context because of my possibly not spot on pronunciation, and she said, “Ohhh, toute de suite! That means, ‘right away!'” which made a lot more sense after I remembered the circumstances.
Just so you know, I’m not just learning every day phrases by accident, I can also count to 60 en francais and I can introduce myself and say where I am from in full sentence form! Though, my spelling is atrocious. I may not yet be as smart as a 5th grader, but I am moving in that direction! Yep, I can hear your applause already.
Language learning is child-like. An Irish friend said to me recently, “I really am someone with my master’s in development, but here (in France) I am still a simpleton.” Though, her French is parfait! compared to mine.
God is good, all of the time. Yesterday, one of my teachers taught me how to reference my favorite Bible passage. Jacque un, (James 1) which are the words I will live by in English and francais.
Lastly, and apropos of nothing except our current lives, Mark went to the market sans us last night, and though he hoped to purchase a steak-like product came home with calf’s heart. When he discovered the English translation of the meat, he was a good sport and only told Will and Sabrina what we were eating after the meal was over. At least it wasn’t horse, which seems quite popular, but in my mind will always be a pet.
May God in heaven bless your day. He has blessed us with wonderful teachers, very kind prayer partners, and our first letter from home – from our dear old neighbors, the Hummells. Thank you Stella for writing to us! We all read it and it is taped to the front of our fridge.
2 thoughts on “Donc, mem chose, and tout de suite!”
Julie, During our SIM Niger conference time, I had the fun of hanging out with the preschoolers for an afternoon. What I didn’t count on was having to play in French…it was hard and my evaluation of my French after that was that I must really only be on a less than preschool level! So when you say learning a language is child like I am right there with you! 🙂
It’s good to have an update and hear how language training is coming! You are missed, but we praise God for His plans and we are praying for you! Much love to you all!