I’d managed to refill my birth control pills and buy stamps at the post office, but I was clearly still far from doctorate status. There are many ways one can become more comfortable speaking another language and I’d tried several since moving to Paris with some preexisting knowledge thanks to Madame Barry and first period French circa 1994: a speed dating-like conversational exchange where you each have five minutes to speak in the language you’re trying to learn; an actual dating-language exchange, where you go with the hopes of falling in love, but end up more impressed by their ability to conjugate verbs; a one-on-one language lesson; a group course; cinema outings with subtitles, and more.
I came to realize, however, that the best place to practice is when lying on my back, pants down, in a windowless room every six weeks (give or take) with my waxer Anaïs at Les Petits Soins.
But if I’m really honest, talking in any language during such an experience is not at the top of my list for ways to spend half an hour, so I kept it with my girl, Anaïs.
Plus, I remembered how satisfying it is to leave devoid of something I don’t want, but full of something I do: courage.
While I’ve been wedded to the name franglais for awhile, I have to admit that “franglish” is actually a more equitable term (Francais English = both languages represented in the word). Franglish, l'anglais en s'amusant Des soirées pour progresser en langues autour d'un verre, dans une ambiance festive«Difficile de s'intégrer dans un pays dont on ne parle pas la langue. » Steven et Nicolas, deux jeunes Parisiens marqués par leur expérience en Erasmus, ont donc pris la décision de rapprocher la communauté anglophone de Paris des autochtones. That may not seem like a long time, but I’m new to France by three years and aiming at fluency.Despite being an American, I’d done like (think “back to school,” but more chic), fearful of full immersion.I’ve made a habit of combining the two because the humiliation factors for each seem to cancel each other out.To wit, it’s hard to care whether the sock on my left foot matches the sock on the right when I can’t even find the words for “landing strip.” (It’s actually called because of what its rectangular shape resembles.)When it comes to speaking a foreign language, French or otherwise, it’s not necessarily about infinitives and subjunctives or feminine versus masculine. And while I’m flexing other odd muscles, I feel less shy exercising those of the linguistic variety.Hence, it remains the only quandary I’ve yet to ask her about, mostly because I’m told it generally happens on its own.