The French language and I have a love/hate relationship. In school, I adored French lessons – here was a whole other language, a beautiful new world that I was entering just by putting together verbs, nouns and adjectives. At Sixth form, French was the first option I chose. I imagined myself sat in Parisian cafes chatting with the locals, at art exhibitions and wine tastings, on a yacht in St Tropez. Two years of conjugating verbs and there I’d be.
Then I went to University (choosing to study European Languages) and, within a month, knew I had made a major mistake. My choice of degree was based on little more than the fact that I was good at languages. I hadn’t considered a career plan; how I would use the 5 languages I would finish my 4 years speaking. They don’t pay people to sit in cafés, or admire art. There’s no such thing as a Yacht-sitter. I’m all for ‘learning for learning’s sake’ but I wasn’t enjoying myself either – my beloved French had become extraordinarily complicated and the teaching repetitive and dry. I dropped out of University, lost my mind and developed an irrational hatred towards all things French.