Saturday, February 1, 2014

French Dreams

When I was but a wee high schooler, my French teacher used to say that it was a sign that the French language was really sinking into your brain if you dreamed in French. This later led to a couple dramatic outbursts from my classmates: "I GOT MY FRENCH DREAM!!!"

I've had a handful of French dreams since high school (but who really knows, since I never remember my dreams?). The first time I dreamed in French was when I was either a freshman or a sophomore. I think that, at the time, I was eagerly preparing for a trip to Disney World, and I wanted so very badly to speak French to the French people working at the French Pavilion in Epcot. The problem was that I really didn't know that much French at the time. So I memorized one phrase and practiced it often: "Je voudrais un croissant, s’il vous plaĆ®t." (I would like a croissant, please.)

And then I had a dream that I was either in Epcot France or Real France, about to go to a restaurant, and I was practicing that one phrase over and over in my head before I got there.

So I guess I had that phrase down pretty well.

French dreams are on my mind today because I had another one last night (along with some weird nonsense about Downton Abbey in a huge modern-day bathroom). As I've gotten better at speaking French over the years, my French dreams have slowly become more sophisticated.

Last night, I dreamed that I was staying in France with a host family again. I was sitting down to dinner with them for the first time and feeling a little bit nervous. The details of the dream are fuzzy, but I do remember specific bits in which I was speaking real French to them, asking where I should sit and such, and they responded to me in French. I also fell asleep, sprawled across the table, because of some serious jetlag (always happens to me- although usually I only fall asleep while I'm standing up or walking).

Although the dream kinda took a lame turn after dinner was over and everybody had gone upstairs to bed except my host mom and myself. She asked me a question I didn't understand the first time (I swear it was just garbled nonsense my brain came up with to make me feel stupid), and when I asked her to repeat it, she switched to fluent English. My dream-self was very taken aback and thought, "Hey, that's cheating! She's not allowed to do that!" But that was the end of the French.

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