February 17th, 2010

Invisible French Letters

I've been studying French for just over 2 years in school, and I've noticed something that has caught my interest. It seems that when some people read out loud, they are adding extra sounds. It's not that they are pronouncing letters that should be silent (or even incorrectly), it really seems like they are reading letters that just aren't there.

I started to wonder, since we get it in our heads that French is difficult to pronounce because of those pesky silent letters, if our brains sort of...overcompensate (probably not the best word) or try too hard by adding extra sounds. There must be a phenomena that I'm unaware of; or I've just run into many people who can't read, but I really don't think this is true.

What do you think?

France, semi-off-topic

Hello linguaphiles,

I know that this is somewhat off-topic for this community, and I apologize. I will delete it if a mod tells me to, but I'm desperate at this point. ^^;;

I am going to graduate from a US college with a major in French Language this May. I need to move to France and get a job. This seems impossible at the moment, and it's making me desperate. One suggestion has been to re-enroll in a French university and get a French degree, and this will apparently, magically solve all of my job-search problems, as well as provide me with a visa to be there legally. Excellent, but it's still incredibly hard, and I don't believe in quick-fixes.

That said, I'm still desperate, and looking for any suggestions, even quick-fixes. XD I've looked around extensively, and have decided to skip internships - they make you pay exorbitant amounts for no visa, no wages, no accommodations... Yeah, no. Being an au pair would be okay, but it doesn't get me work experience or a permanent job, *really.* Being a student again doesn't sound wonderful, and, as far as I can tell, the deadlines are past already for this year. I will try to apply to the BUNAC Work in France program, but again, that's only for three months.

Aside from just getting on a plane and going to France and knocking on doors, does anyone have any suggestions? I have very little work experience, but my academic transcript is excellent, for whatever that's worth at this point. I have a relatively high level of French proficiency, which should be helpful...

Anyway, ANY suggestions at all would be WONDERFUL. Or contacts. Anyone have contacts in France? I'd love to teach ESL (please don't link me to the FrenchCulture.org program, I've heard of it, but only SICNE the Jan. 15th deadline passed). I'd tutor, teach, attempt translations, waitress, work at an airport, whatever the hell. I just need an income, a visa (eventually a carte de séjour), and all of it legal.

I'm guessing that this has to be a common dilemma for language lovers - how to legally and permanently move to the country where your target-language is spoken. That's what I'm hoping, at any rate - that some of you will have been there, done that, and be able to offer some suggestions.

Merci mille fois en avance,

EDIT: I have to run to class right now; I will reply to more people later. Thank you for all the feedback thus far! A bit of information that I didn't include at first: I am engaged to a French citizen, but we won't be getting married for a couple of years yet, and I want to get to France to be in the same country as he is. I HAVE visited France before - for about three months every summer for the past four years. I've also lived abroad in Japan and England for an academic year each. I'm taking an ESL Teaching Methods class at the moment, have paid tutoring experience, and plan to get my TEFL certification after graduation, in the hopes that that will help. That said, I would gladly waitress or work the cash-register in a store somewhere just for the visa/carte de séjour and an income. I might try to find private tutoring jobs on the side, but really - my goal is to be in France, live there, love there, be legal there... not to make lots of money or have a prestigious title. ;)
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