After being away from France for so long, my brain is having a hard time getting used to hearing and speaking French again. On my best days, my proficiency level could probably be described as “older toddler,” and these certainly aren’t my best days. (My twin niece and nephew are two, and I often think that they make about as much sense in English as I do in French.) Case in point: Colin and I went to an organ concert at Église Saint-Sulpice last weekend, and I spent ten minutes trying to figure out why the organist was improvising on a painting of Jacob wrestling the laundry before realizing that the painting was actually entitled “Jacob lutte avec l’ange” – the angel – and not “Jacob lutte avec le linge.” I mean, I wrestle with the laundry every week, but those sorts of domestic battles seemed a little off-topic for the Bible.
In any case, I find my linguistic limitations particularly frustrating because here in Paris most people seem to speak close-to-flawless English, even if they won’t admit it or don’t realize it. So even though I won’t get a lot of sympathy for this whole “learning a second language is hard!” thing here, it does make me smile when I find evidence that someone else is struggling with a foreign language. I’ve yet to see much in France (like I said, their English is pretty spot-on), but I did see these two gems in Greece: