I love languages!

At school, it was my go-to choice of class, with creative subjects like art or crafting in 2nd place.

Recently, you may have seen I went networking and was lucky enough to chat with a couple of ladies, one French and one German.

And we started talking about using the language.

I have gone abroad several times to Bruges to see the Christmas markets, and sometimes we stop over in Lille as well. In both places, French is spoken.

Use It or Lose It!

I said to this lady at networking that when i am there, I always like to use my French, because i think it is respectful if I know it, to try and converse in someone’s own language to the best of my capability.

In fact, although I use German a little less, if I was holidaying in Germany, I would brush up on my holiday type language. Even just things like “please speak more slowly”, “I don’t understand” > “ich verstehe nicht”, “do you speak english please” > “Sprechen Sie Englisch, bitte?” and “my name is” > “Ich heiBe Victoria” and so on.

I was actually amazed how much i could still remember at networking!!

For me, it was a pleasure to be able to recount this at networking, and use it even just as part of our conversation about it. And it made the lovely German lady, Barbara, smile also. Happy times 🙂

When in Lille once with a group of friends, when we arrived at the hotel, the kitchens were shut. We were all starving. But I could see on the nearby map there was a “supermarche” and I went to talk to the hotel receptionist ref directions. I spoke to him in French, and he was so chuffed, that he actually walked us pretty much all the way to the supermarket, so we could gather up and enjoy a French feast between us.

“En Francais” (In French)

On our walk, he complemented me on my French and said it was very good. It probably is my 2nd language as I am able to use it more often. Happy that i was speaking French, he wouldn’t give me a knife when we returned to the hotel saying to me “en francais”, but I couldn’t remember the word 🤣, so had to say in reply “Je ne sais pas le mot” which means “I don’t know the word”….for those that like closure, he did get me a knife after that :D.

Personally, as I have said above, if I know some language of the country I am in, I feel it is respectful and appreciated that I try to converse that way. Plus, I love doing it too! Keeps my brain nodules ticking over!

When you visit places abroad, how far do you like to immerse yourself into the culture, the language, maybe even the history of the place?