I am two months shy of five years trying to learn French. I told myself at the beginning of this year that I thought I’d be able to carry on a verbal conversation by the end of this fifth year. By that I don’t mean just asking for a check after dinner or how get directions to the salle de bain. (the powder room). I’ve been attempting to talk french and american politics with my French pen pal since we struck up a friendship three years ago. These are not oral conversations they are written and thus give me more of a chance to think through the grammar rules as I plunk my thoughts down in text.
I’ve reached a point of confidence where I send complicated ideas written in French to my friend before I check them in a French/English translator. I still make many mistakes in tense, gender, with prepositions and incorrect but similar sounding words BUT, by golly, she no longer routinely asks me to write my French paragraphs in English. Occasionally, yes. And I generally find out right away if I sent her something incomprehensible. That’s because AFTER I send such a paragraph to her I put it in the translator to see how I did myself before she has a chance to respond.
Here are two screen shots I took of the end of my morning’s conversation with her in French.
My side of the conversation is in the blue bubbles. Just before writing this my pal asked me what I would be doing today and you can see in my response Pete Stauber’s name. Perhaps you can figure out what “aider le femme” means. It should have been “la.” If not her reply may give it away:
“Ah.. Yes..Schultz ?”
My pen pal’s next bubble is the proper French I should have written beginning with “J’espere recommencer…”
To which I replied: merci, merci…….thank you, thank you.
Later, as our conversation continued, my pen pal asked if Jen Schultz would want my help. I explained to my pen pal a week ago my idea of putting Jen’s name on my lawnsigns. That idea didn’t go over well with my better half. That’s entirely fair but frankly, I have no interest in appearing like a supplicant at Jen Schultz’s feet to ask her if I can help her. As far as I’m concerned by helping to elect Jen Schultz I would be helping America by removing a cancer from Congress. Pete Stauber’s Trumplification makes him a proto-traitor to the Declaration of Independence and the spirit of America.
I don’t want to undermine Jen Schultz but I don’t want her permission either. Besides, I consider myself a Republican fighting against my Party’s subversion by grifters, religious cranks and their sheep. I have to find the inner decency these people have to help them see they are backing America and EARTH into disaster. I’m not asking anyone’s permission to piss them all off by telling them what they don’t want to hear. They own a lot of guns.
BY THE WAY, I HAVE JUST RECORDED A READING OF THIS POST FOR MY CAMPAIGN PODCAST. YOU CAN HEAR IT HERE: https://anchor.fm/harry-robb-welty/episodes/Talking-Politics-in-French-e1mqr6d