When having to listen to French in my lectures for over about 10 minutes, especially when I can see that other students aren’t writing anything down, I tend to phase out. Yesterday this happened, as it does almost every day, but then everyone quickly jotted something down. I still have no idea what.
I decided it would be a good idea to ask the teacher at the end if it was about a room change for next week as that seems to happen a lot here. Apparently they email your student account about it if they don’t tell you in class. That information would definitely be more useful to me if I could actually sign in to my student email account. Anyway, getting a little cocky with my language skills (I don’t think “skills” is in any way the right term) I decided to ask her in French. Now, normally at this point it is blatantly obvious that I am in fact English and often people will just speak to me in English despite my attempts at speaking in French. However, that did not happen, she answered me in French. Awkward. At that point I realised something: just because I managed to form a question and say it in a manner and accent that doesn’t scream “I’m English and my French is atrocious”, does not mean I will understand an answer.
I also think if I hadn’t been a tad proud of my slowly increasing French skills I may have paid more attention to the information I needed my brain to translate! I’m sure the answer can’t have been that complex, it was only a few sentences. So, now I’m back to embarrassed and awkward, and feel that will continue until next week when I potentially go to the wrong room…
Hey ho, you live and learn!