This past weekend, I played board games with my Chilean classmate, Paola, and a few of her friends. Aside from Paola and me, everyone was a native French speaker, which was challenging but also immensely satisfying when I realized that I could understand basically everything that was going on. Being there and talking with them really helped me see how much I’ve progressed since arriving. My oral comprehension is far beyond what it was a month ago. I’ve picked up on a lot of slang as well, which I’m very excited about, because one of my objectives for the summer was to know when informal French was appropriate and be able to speak it. Thankfully, I got placed in a host family where I’ve had the opportunity to practice this a lot. My host dad really likes slang, and he’s been really good about explaining the register of the words that I’ve picked up. It has really helped me in informal, conversational situations like the get-together last Sunday.
The afternoon of board games was an interesting test of my French in another way as well; one of the games we played required a pretty wide vocabulary. It was a little like Pictionary, in that there were words that you have to get your teammates to guess. It was frustrating sometimes when I knew exactly what the word was, just not in French. They were really nice, though, and let me guess in English twice. But it was really exciting that that was all I needed!
Then, Tuesday was la Fête de la Musique, known internationally as World Music Day. It was started by the French Minister of Culture in the 80’s, and now it’s celebrated in countries all over the world. There were free concerts organized all over the city, but there but anyone who wanted to could perform as well. Before you were even out of earshot of one group, you’d come upon another.
If this doesn’t give you an idea of the kind of variety there was, nothing can
What I loved the most was that it really was a celebration for everyone. I saw families, old couples, teenagers – people from all walks of life – come out to take part in the event. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere, but I think the closest I can get is that the city was incredibly alive.
My time at Tours is going far too fast, but I’ve still got lots to tell you about! A la prochaine!