New country, new language. I am once again in a place where I am a complete foreigner, trying to not look like an idiot speaking a language I barely know. French is beautiful, and I’m committed to learning it, but damn, it’s frustrating. Gendered nouns, for example. Some are self explanatory: le garcon, la fille. Some I’ll just accept: “sandwich” is male, “bottle” is female. But why is “car” feminine but “taxi” masculine? Of course fluent speakers are sadistically happy to inform me of proper m/f conjugation. Like before I can pat my back for remembering the words and pronunciation of “J’ai une chien,” someone will inevitably tell me, “It’s ‘UN,’ the word ‘dog’ is MASCULINE of course, you dumb American. You don’t get points for trying. It’s just how French is.” Great—now is “jerk” masculine or feminine?
Jan 03 2012 ∞