I have always been an advocate of learning other languages but recently I’ve realised how passive I’ve become in this sense.
When I was in school I wrote a persuasive essay talking about how irritating I found it that we, as Brits, don’t place enough importance into language education. In this country, we apparently don’t see the benefit in learning a second (or third, or fourth) language because “everyone speaks English for us anyway”. I hate this kind of ignorance and absolutely loved studying French when I was at school, wishing I could have started it way sooner than aged 9/10. I got an A in my fifth year of high school when I studied Higher French but then due to timetable issues, I was unable to continue my studies in my final year. Then again when I came to university, I was duped by the rules of timetabling and couldn’t pick up a French module because of the lack of continuity and the way that I only have optional modules in the second semester and not the first. It made me sad that I couldn’t study it and I’ve noticed that in that space of time I have kind of forgotten how to use the language, I am very rusty. But life goes on and you get busy with other things so it sort of slipped outside my radar.
However, this week my friend Hannah and I have decided to be spontaneous and we have actually gone and booked a holiday to Paris in the summer. A trip that I’ve been dreaming of for quite a while so I AM EXCITED!! I have been to Paris before but I haven’t had the time to do everything I wanted to do and slowly take in the most amazing city. I am shamelessly going to be a total tourist but also want to try and live the ‘authentic Parisian life’ (you can roll your eyes at this if you like). This has caused me to pick up my game and I am actively trying to pick up my French skills again but also I need to start researching Paris so that I’m familiar enough to navigate my way around an unfamiliar city. The centre seems pretty similar to the construction of London, especially with the Metro but I just need to know how to connect those dots. If you have any tips for that or recommendations of places to go, I will accept them gratefully!