I’ve signed up for a French class and today was my first lesson. As it wasn’t raining and considering that the place (Alliance Français) was near my office, I decided to leave the office at 6.00pm. The moment I hit the road, there was a huge, huge jam. For 20 minutes I sat patiently while my car moved 10 meters. The problem was, my class was supposed to start in 10 minutes time.

I got into class 10 minutes late. The teacher was a big genial guy who spoke with a French accent. I didn’t catch his name so I got to know later that his name is Ruffino (or feno for short).

I also missed the first joke of the class when he told the students that they must be disappointed to learn that a Malaysian is going to teach the class. But he ensured them that having a Malaysian is better because he will be more committed to the students as opposed to having a part-time French expatriate who:-
1. Can’t speak good english
2. Treat this as a by-the-way job

But having settled in quite nicely, I started to observe the class. I didn’t remember all of the names of the student but some did stand out Patrick (the young boy who has a problem pronouncing his “l”s and “r”s), Pixie (the girl who, well, looks like a pixie), Hanizah (because the Feno keeps calling her “anizah”- the French don’t pronounce the “h”, you see), Mala (who is one of the 2 Indian ladies in front of the class but I’m not too sure who’s who yet). Et deux de mes amis bon- Jennifer et Baset. There was also a Lithuanian private airline stewardess in the class. Can’t remember her name but both she and Baset were the only 2 foreigners in the class.

We were asked why we wanted to take up french. Unprepared for that question, I said the first thing that came to my mine- because I wanted to watch French films without the aid of subtitles. A pretty insignificant reason compared with some of the people who wanted to do it because they are thinking of relocating to France for professional reasons.

So what did we learn in the first lesson? Why bonjour, of course!

We learn salutations as well as words that would be use in the course of the lesson. These included words like écoutez (listen), repétez (repeat), lisez (read), écrivez (write), je ne comprends pas (I don’t understand), Je ne sais pas (I don’t know) and etc. (or as Feno would say ehhseahteweahwa)

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