Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Living in Bilingual Land.

What to write about today? I am lacking inspiration.

I just glanced at my profile and according to that I've written almost 16 000 words. (Have they been worthwhile words I wonder?) I told Eric and he said "Wow. That's probably more words than I have in my english vocabulary."

Mh. Interesting thought.

Have I mentioned that I married a frenchman? I am wholly english. I have no aptitude for languages much to the dismay of Eric's family. I wish that I could just "pick it up". But it doesn't seem likely so far. Last Fall I even took a french class but was pretty dismayed at what I shelled out almost $400 for. It didn't make me want to go back.

My unilingualism doesn't bother Eric, which I'm thankful for. He speaks english very well so it doesn't effect our relationship. I'm sure that he misses speaking french though. I do feel badly about that. Thankfully he can speak french freely with some friends and his family. Until last year Eric always lived in Quebec. I moved in with him for a time before we bought our house. It was a difficult year for me living there. I was very happy move back to Ontario and luckily he loves me enough to be happy about it too.

As a unilingual person in a largely bilingual city I've had a couple unpleasant experiences. 99% of the time it doesn't matter. I live, work and play in english but when I first moved here a bilingual person actually told me off and hung up on me because I could not speak french. This, I think (and hope), can be chalked up to that person's bad day.

What I don't appreciate is being made to feel like less of a person because I can only speak english. I originally hail from Southwestern Ontario where french is not needed nor really encouraged. I saw no need to bother much with french class in school. A fact which I have regretted in the 6 years that I have lived here. If only I'd known that I'd end up in binlingual land. Life would be so much easier if I could speak french but unfortunately I cannot flip a language switch. It appears that I'm not one to easily pick up languages and I certainly cannot afford any more classes.

So until they invent a pill that will make me bilingual I will continue to be the odd woman out in bilingual situations. I am having trouble coming to terms with that but I am working on it. Sometimes I feel like crying (or screaming) and when it's particularly trying or hurtful I do go to bed in tears. Thankfully those occasions are few and far between.





The Buzz:

At 10:14 PM, Blogger shadowbox declared...

As someone who has lived here all my life, I can tell you that complaint comes up a lot...more often in the East than in the West, but that's just my bias showing (I'm a West-end boy). Don't sweat it about the language issue. People who think they can look down on your for something as trivial as that are just assholes. They come in all shapes and languages.

I have to admit that I chuckled a little to read that you and E speak different languages. In my experience, that's something that can come in handy in both the good and bad times in a marriage.

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger shadowbox declared...

Lucky indeed (but it wasn't always like that). Given all the whining I do in my blog, it's good that I have at least my work to be happy about.

 
At 12:54 AM, Blogger Kat declared...

Even though I've never been out of the US, I'm betting that sign language might be a great way to communicate to assholes like this. Flip them off, honey. Flip them off. You'll feel SO much better! :-P

-K.

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Dale declared...

Oh mon Dieu!!

 
At 9:35 AM, Blogger shadowbox declared...

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