Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Parlez Vous?

My friend Linda invited a few of us over yesterday to speak French.

Well. I mean, alors.

There was stumbling, mumbling, and...how do you say...? Rust. Rusty tongues, rusty minds, rusty French. But that was just me.

But it was fun. J'ai m'amuse bien. I hope that's right, or at least close to it.

The photo above is of an alley in Old Town Pasadena where you'll find the entrance to the Alliance Française de Pasadena. Step south off of Union Street or north from Exchange Alley into Kendall Alley, just west of Raymond Avenue, and you'll see the blue sign.

Pasadena's alleys are pretty tame. In fact, I may have just proven they're downright classy.

More from OldPasadena.org.

27 comments:

Shell Sherree said...

Yes, that's a very welcoming alley, Petrea. And good for you ~ I hope it becomes a regular educational amusement in your schedule. A French buddy system ~ sounds excellent.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

That is one of the better looking alleys for sure!.

Adele said...

I love the alleys in Old Town. What a great idea, to gather for French practice. I so admire that. I used to sing, when I was in school - Had to sing in various languages, and could never get the French pronunciation! I am (distantly) of French descent and actually had to take a one-unit incomplete, leaving French-town, with my head hung low!

Susan Campisi said...

Je sais [that] école. Such is my French. I was going to take classes at this lovely school but couldn't find the time in my busy schedule. I'll take them at some point. As David Sedaris says, me talk pretty one day.

Petrea Burchard said...

I hope it becomes regular, too, Shell. It was really fun.

It's an inviting spot, KBF.

Adele, so sad! But think of all the other languages you mastered.

Susan, of all Sedaris's essays, to me that is the funniest one.

Virginia said...

Well hush mon bouche! I've sat right there munching macarons with you and little did I know we could have been chatting en français the whole time!!!
Bises,
V

Virginia said...

And I could read that one of Sedaris' a million times and still fall out laughing.
V

Dina said...

Chapeau, tres chère amie.

Bellis said...

Quelle excellente Idee! Did you eat croissants and macarons? I can only speak Franglais.

Bob Crowe said...

Je parle un peu - tres peu. But the French love us when we make an effort, even if we mangle their language, rather than push them to speak English.

Jilly said...

Charming alley way and obviously a great gathering. Yes, keep learning for when you visit me ...!

Katie said...

Great alley photo -- I love that classy brick! Such fun that you're brushing off the rust and trying out your French again. One of my favorite Steve Martin numbers from an early album included: "Oeuf means egg. Chapeau means hat. It's like those French have a different word for everything!"

LONDONLULU said...

LOL at Virginia and Katie's Sedaris and Steve Martin bits. Love your neat, pretty alley, the tamer the better! (In my older age, menacing, smelly, city alleys are not for me anymore:)

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm loving the comments today. It was a great gathering, and there were macarons, but there was also a pear tart and that went first!

One of our members is French; she's extremely helpful and supportive. Next time we'll devote part of the meeting to speaking English for her sake, though I hope she keeps her beautiful accent.

Jilly: I intend to be ready!

As you say, Katie, they have a lot of different words! "Magazin" for store, "journal" for magazine...It can get confusing. But I don't have to tell you how many words are the same, or very close. The hard part for me is that nouns have gender and there's no rhyme or reason as to whether a noun is masculine or feminine.

Petrea Burchard said...

Virginia, we can speak French but it will take us forever to get through a conversation.

Bob, we talked about that yesterday. Make an effort, people appreciate it.

LOLfromPasa said...

Love seeing yet another spot I recognise from mi ciudad natal! Oops, think that's Spanish for 'my home town' not French :).

Petrea Burchard said...

Okay, that made me rire out loud.

Laura Monteros said...

Gibt's etwas auf Deutsch in Pasadena? Wahrscheinlich nicht, seit Stottlemeyer's ist noch nicht bei uns. Ich muss ueber Montrose gehen, meine ich.

Laura Monteros said...

Translation: Is there something in German in Pasadena? Probably not, since Stottlemeyer's is no longer with us. I have to go to Montrose, I think.

Petrea Burchard said...

Pasadena Language Center has German classes, Laura:
http://bit.ly/Taymfv
Also PCC.

Google is my friend! I didn't have this information in my head.

Ms M said...

What a lovely alley!
And very cool to engage in speaking French. I had French in college, but I'm extremely rusty and would mangle it magnificently (tres magnifique)!
I hope you're able to continue with the group. (Does Boz speak French? Perhaps you could practice with him :-))

Petrea Burchard said...

Boz doesn't do much speaking, Ms. M, besides "murph!" which, I believe, is Irish.

LOLfromPasa said...

You are a darling!

annick tamoto said...

lovely post :)

from: http://only4feet9.blogspot.com

Petrea Burchard said...

Merci!

Linda said...

Good for you. The rust gathers quickly. I have an ancient PhD in French (as opposed to a PhD in ancient French) and my French is very, very patchy. We have a cafe 'thing' in Edinburgh called 'Yakety yak', with conversation groups in various languages. You've inspired me to get going again.

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi Linda; apparently "use it or lose it" is an apt phrase for a language learned, even if you have a PhD in it. I hope you enjoy the practice.