Since living in France I have always found it hard to read in French. In fact at first all the language was difficult to differing degrees. I could start putting words together before actually understanding anything someone would say to me. So conversation was difficult for one thing, and even now, I can’t quite handle a table full of people talking at once.
For sure, it’s taken me a long time to write in French. With the aid of my French lessons and writing to French friends on internet messengers I’ve got round that. But as I say, reading in French for me, is harder.
One of the main reasons is laziness, but another reason is that a lot of novels and stories are written in passe simple – which is only used in written form. You’ll never hear someone speaking using that tense, it would sound pretty funny if they did!
I read lots in English – I’m a veritable bookworm there, but as soon as I read a French paper back I don’t get much further than the first chapter.
So recently I decided I’m going to try, try again. You will laugh, but I started reading bande dessinés a few months back starting with Iznogoud. Then I progressed onto Asterix and have since read about 5 of them. I even bought one, but at 6 euros c’est pas donné.
The nice thing is that I actually understood about 70% of them, then reread them to try and understand more. I’m now a veritable Asterix addict, although I’ll draw the line at visiting Parc Asterix to the north of Paris !
Now having read my last Asterix (I’ll no doubt buy some others) I am now attacking my first paperback seriously. Thumpah and me have become hooked on the soap opera “Plus Belle La Vie” shown on FR3 at about 8.20pm. So much is our addition, that she bought two paperbacks over the internet which cover the past episodes that we have missed through not watching it from the start.
So now I’m reading “Les secrets du Mistral” – which covers the very first episodes. I would guess that as these are published for the mass public that the written French is rather simpler. Still it’s all a bit of a minefield scattered with that annoying passé simple again!
I think I will perhaps last out longer with this paperback though – it’s a lot less frustrating because I am interested in les secrets du Mistral 😉
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