Basically I pay my French tutor to insult me. I figure that if I ever visit or live in France for an extended period of time I’ll be ready. She gives me articles to read every week, in which I look up words I don’t know on the Fr-Eng website. I often get messages like this: “We found no English translation for 'târtagueulàlarécé' in our French to English Dictionary.” I do love the translation website. So my French tutor is always reproaching my American accent. Why? I'm not ashamed to have it, and I'll certainly never aspire to speak like a French woman. (Or eat like one, either.)
And why did my Parisian classmate in grad school say to me “This is the first time I’ve heard an Asian girl speak like an African villager?” Because Africa is where I learned French, darn it! (Thanks to Cousin Lem for this site.)
Le Français en Afrique
On February 9th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Scott and I took a lot of heat from our German tutor as well. Very Germanically, he would take us to task for not completing our homework properly, etc. He also refused to teach us conversational (read: useful) German either - he was strictly by the book, conjugating all manner of obscure verb tenses, getting the dative form all proper, etc. So we ended up not being able to say much and feeling quite self-conscious about speaking the language. So, when he moved to another town, we neglected to replace him. We really need to try again... Scott has a very American accent as well - mine is a little better, both in German and French. Doesn't mean I speak either language very well, just means my pronunciation isn't bad for the little bit I do know.
I wonder if this is a sympton of "declining world power" syndrome, like vetoing at the UN or keeping nuclear weapons. Sheesh! Mohamed has been a professional English language student for years now and he never (as far as I know) gets this attitude.