That week. First week. – By @GwenDzelle

That week. First week. What a week. What. A. Fucking. Week. I mean, first of all, We passed it.  That’s done. Well done everyone ! Yay ! But second of all, I think I need to sit back and think about  what happened.  

Because everything went so fast, and without even thinking of all the new information that was brought into my skull during that week I realized something, something that I was a bit afraid of before beginning the classes. Something that was pushed back in the back of my head and that didn’t bother to put it in the spotlight before this instant. 

For the tiny french student that I am, being in an almost all British class is, yes, very exciting, but  also a bit odd. And I’ll admit it, I thought that I was way better at English than I actually am…  

Obviously, French’s English courses are kind of different. As long as you can hold a conversation  with your strongly French-accented teacher and hide behind your own, pretty decent not that  bad, accent, you’re doing fiiiiine, more than fine even. But when you are immersed in the  frightening reality that is the English speaking world, it is definitely not the same …  For the first time in my life, I realize that watching series and listening to music is not enough to  understand everybody. Ok, maybe I should have realized sooner that listening to the work of  people that have English, Philosophy, or Art History university degree in ENGLISH would not  actually be the easiest thing.  

Therefore, I googled, searched, looked into, sought, explored, investigated, new words, new  linguistic expressions, wrote synonyms, bought five new books in English all from a different era  passing to Shakespeare to Ian McEwan, passing by George Orwell, listened to every podcast I  could possibly find, and even followed Susie Dench on Twitter ! (apparently, she gives us a new  word every day). 

Now, I know that every language is not the same and doesn’t have the same logic, but on my hunt  for an enriched vocabulary, I found, when you go into the words, some pretty weird sayings.  

‘To be all thumbs’, can you really imagine only have thumbs ? A hand with 5 thumbs ? Quite a  freaky view. ‘To be dressed up to the nines’, why your’s is nine and us is thirty-one ? ‘To cook  somebody’s goose’ when we say to roll somebody in the flour, I know it doesn’t make much more  sense in French but, well… in my mind, it kind of does ! With did you have to add that poor goose  ? Could say the same with ‘the last straw that breaks the camel’s back’, why would do that to a  camel…? 

Elvis left the building’… 

Elvis ? … Well. I mean, Come on ! Who is he ? WHO IS ELVIS ? Presley ? And which  building are you talking about ? And most of all, WHY ? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ?  


Sorry about that.  


It’s crazy because when I’m on those ‘I need to know how to speak English moments’, I find  myself talking relatively poorly in French. Bad syntax, terrible grammar, inventing words.  Becoming THAT person, the person everybody hates in France, saying the most obnoxious  sentences, stopping in the middle of a sentence to say ‘Ah god ! How do say that in French  already, It’s on the tip of my tongue…’ Yeah It’s on the tip of your tongue you knobhead, but you  still can’t talk in English for shit ! – I hate myself when I do that truly – And the worst thing, you can  see in your friend eyes, ‘Oh excuuuuuse me Mrs. British girl, we don’t all have the same standards’ But, instead, says ‘Yeah, I get it, must be difficult …*knobhead*’. 

So I find myself « le cul entre deux chaises ». Ah, how you say that in English ? The arse between  two chairs ? No. To fall between two stools. Yeah, that’s it. Oddly stuck in the middle of two  worlds.  

Mark told us about diversity on Friday. It was rather beautiful actually, how diversity was one of  the things that made SCA. How diversity is what extends creativity. 

Well, maybe this falls into the kind of diversity that he was talking about… I don’t know…  well…Yes, I’m going to tell myself that. Yeah. 

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