Counting “in tongues”

This and That
“This and That”
Blogging in Paris


Commenting on one of my posts, Joared, who definitely should open her own blog wrote:

(…) My only occasion to be exposed to French after college in the 50’s was a few years ago, when the task fell to me to enable, if possible, a 100 yr old dear sweet lady to use her English more (no French speakers around.)

Her birth language was French, but she had used English mostly, all her life. As sometimes happens with certain types of neurological insults, she had reverted more to her birth language, so began speaking mostly French again.

My goal was only partially accomplished as she wandered in and out of French/Eng., Eng./French within any given sentence, apparently, due to the more permanent effects of her neuro change.

As with life, we sometimes have to be satisfied with less than the desired goal, but can still feel some pride in what we were able to accomplish.

Just yesterday, I was talking about dental costs (ugh!!!) with two friends of mine, one of them born in Germany who has been living in this country forever and speaks perfect French.
We got mixed up between French Francs and Euros, (I can’t believe how many times that happens to me and to people my age! We’ve been with the euro for years, now!), and when she tried to figure the sum out, she returned to German!

And that again, reminded me of Gitta, my mother, who spoke excellent French although when she came to France she didn’t know one word of the language, but to the end of her life, when she had to add up or compute anything would revert to Yiddish.
When I was thirty or so, I spent two years in the US. When I came back to France, on the first days, I remember finding it strange to hear people speaking French in shops. At the end of my stay, I was pretty fluent and even my dreams were in English. But, when it came to numbers, I reverted to my mother tongue.

The mosaic, made with fdtoys mosaicmaker, is part of my squared circle numbers set on flickr –I told you I was a monomaniac 😉
On a daily basis, I upload quite a lot of photos onto my flickr account, but I choose one a day, which I blog at Claude’s Daily Snap

3 thoughts on “Counting “in tongues”

  1. I can’t say my telephone numbers in English because I am so used to saying them in Hebrew, but any arithmetic I do in English. I learned from my time in France many decades ago to write my 7’s and 1’s the European way, but here in Israel the hadnwritten 1’s look like 4’s to me. It would be even more confusing if most numbers weren’t computerized.

  2. Yes! Joared should have a blog of her own. But then again, maybe not. If she did that we might not get all her wonderful posts to our sites! I know she makes ME look good.

    The last paragraph of her letter above is profound. It’s true. Sometimes we do have to be content with “less than our desire goal.” But that isn’t always a bad thing. “Less than my desired goal” has most often ended up making my world much bigger and richer than I could have imagined. It’s just uncomfortable getting there sometimes.

    I wish you all a week of peace,

  3. Thanks for sharing your language experiences. I find that all so fascinating.

    What can I say, but thanks for your kind comments. But, those of you who blog have done all the hard work coming up with ideas about which to write. I’m simply responding.

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