Je suis une airhead.
My kids go to a French immersion school, so I have access to French speakers 5-days a week. You would think that I’d be practicing my French all the time. But I’m not. I have two hang-ups:
1) I panic during the first two minutes of a conversation. When someone approaches me and starts speaking French, I freeze up. I can’t find my words quickly, so I either smile dumbly or respond in English.
2) I feel stupid and I look like an airhead. I like to think I’m smarter than my French vocabulary suggests. Mostly, I smile and nod my head a lot. When I finally do say something, it’s a dumbed-down version of what I really wanted to say. Oh yes! Picnic very nice! Making me feel, once again, like an airhead.
I’d love some suggestions on how to get over these hang-ups.
Besides wine – which as I’ve already discussed, isn’t available when I need it most.