Parlez vous Franglais?

love-opera-victoria-bakerLearning a new language can be the most rewarding and challenging experience. It takes discipline and practice, lots of practice.

Of course, once you learn a language you must take care not to forget it.Prolonged absence of even one’s mother tongue will lead to a deterioration of one’s fluency.

I’m a native French speaker having grown up speaking both English and French. But I sometimes worry that I don’t get to speak it that much and when I do it’s with friends and family and I therefore practice my colloquialisms more than my formal French.

In English there aren’t that many formal forms of the language that you can speak to your friends using pretty much the same language you would with a business colleague. In French, there are so many polite forms that the French you speak in your home will be quite different from the formal version one speaks at work. In addition, French slang is so elaborate that one can have a whole conversation in it- that’s what I do most of the time.

So I was thrilled when I heard of a new concept that would allow me to practice those intricacies of the French language with friendly strangers.

“Parlez Vous Franglais?” is a new concept that brings together language aficionados that want to practice their French. The format is a little like speed dating in that you get partnered with a new person every 12 minutes. You speak six minutes in English and then six minutes in French with one person before getting paired with a new speaker.

All levels are welcome because the program pairs up beginners with more advanced speakers and vice versa so nobody feels alienated. They meet at various restaurants in Greenwich, Stamford and beyond, share a glass of French wine whilst practicing their language skills and it’s a good time had by all.

The founder of the program was a student at La Sorbonne in Paris where she experienced a similar type of language exchange. Upon her return to the States she looked for a similar experience here but didn’t find anything that quite fit the bill. So she decided to start her own event and thus was born “Parlez vous Franglais?” www.parlezvousfranglais.me

If you want to practice your French but don’t like the idea of being stuck in a classroom setting, as I don’t, then this might be just what the language doctor ordered. Or if you just want to meet new people who share your passion for all things French then don’t hesitate to sign up for their next event.

French is about more than conjugations and grammar, this is a chance to practice being French whilst speaking it.

 

Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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