At some point in learning foreign languages, a book called Francés para viajar came into my possession.

I don’t remember if it was given to me or I bought it; I just remember looking at my bookshelf a few years ago and realizing, “Oh, that French book is in Spanish.” I’ve been taking Spanish classes and traveling to Spanish-speaking countries for years. I baked a pineapple pie with an Ecuadorian family using Spanish. I’ve cried more from Spanish exchanges than English ones. That I could use Spanish to begin learning another language tickled me, and is of little surprise to those of you who know my habit of taking on new languages.

All that Spanish-related preamble is to say I’m going to France, again. Somehow France is the country I’ve visited most, on winter trips and bike rides and more. After a weekend in Spain, I’ll be spending three weeks at a language and cooking school in Montpellier. In and amongst learning how to make sauces and how to pronounce saucisses, I’ll be writing letters to you (je vais t’écrire des lettres / voy a escribirte cartas) along the way. Perhaps the Spanish-related preamble was to say playing with languages has led to some of my fondest adventures, and I am excited to see what will come with a new language.

While French is a new language, it is a familiar one. I am looking forward to weeks of faux pas and missteps, twisted tongues, and butchered accents. Of omelettes du fromage. Of café sans lait.

Being a beginner again is exciting, because as Jake the Dog once said, “suckin’ at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.”

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