June 3 – Something You Have Read
aka. Post 3 of Those 30 Posts in June Blog-Every-Day Posts
It’s a small, stupid little thing, but as of today I’ve done eight hundred and sixty consecutive days of Duolingo French practice. Every day. Twenty or so questions. Fine tuning my second language skills.
Around the seven hundred and fifty days mark, and having finished the “skill tree” proper, I bought myself a little reward, related of course to the effort: a digital Kindle copy of the French translation of “The Martian” by Andy Weir, called “Seul sur Mars” –and then I began attempting to read it.
It’s slow. Geeze, it’s slow.
Not the book, of course. Me: I’m slow. I haven’t read this slow since grade two. But I am reading it. In French no less (obviously!) And getting it. It helps that I’ve read the English. It helps that I’ve watched the film a couple times. It helps that I already know the story, and I know the tone too, so the clever word play doesn’t have me spinning my tires.
It may seem like a small thing, but I remember trying to read some novel for Grade 12 French class and this was the nail in the coffin of my short second language journey in high school. I didn’t get any of it. It was a blur of incomprehension despite all the work I thought I’d done to reach a level of basic fluency. It would be twenty years before I recovered from that language experience and tried to re-learn it all.
So, while I’ve still got a whole lot of chapters to read, I’ve made a dent in the novel… and a dent in the roadblock of my confidence. And that second one is probably more important.