The first time we moved to the South of France was about fifteen years ago. François and I had just gotten married, and I had a BA in French and was about halfway through an MA in French, so I thought I would be fine.
And now, everyone who has lived through a similar experience takes a moment to chuckle.
How was I supposed to know everyone would speak so fast, and I sure didn’t know the people who live in the South have an accent! This Louisiana girl was doomed. Not quite doomed it seems, because it was that year in France that allowed me to gain the confidence to believe in myself and speak.
During the whole year that we lived there, I never got used to speaking French on the phone. I would take off running across the apartment to lock myself in the bathroom, forcing my sweet husband (or even my seven year old son who was just learning French) to answer anytime the phone rang.
Does anyone else have a story to tell about speaking “book French” once you arrived in France for the first time?