Thank you to Pierre for a super week in the gorgeous Tarn-et-Garonne countryside.
It was a pleasure to pursue my immersion in the French language for a week whilst taking advantage of the surroundings and of Pierre’s knowledge of language and history. I did wish I had booked two weeks!
Our excursions were fantastic. I am so grateful to Pierre for showing us some of les plus beaux villages de France – Bruniquel, Puycelsi and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val were just stunning places to visit. The wine-tasting at Gaillac was not only a great opportunity to compare French wines with Australian, but to also practise my French conversation with someone else in close quarters.
On our final day, we ventured on a pathway along the edge of Cirque de Bône with beautiful views across to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val and ended up exploring a gigantic cave, typical of the limestone geography of the region.
Each evening, we enjoyed the freedom to explore the local chemins which connected my stone, restored herbergerie with both Montricoux and Bruniquel. I loved relaxing at the end of each day with a walk home from either village, but not before a glass of red wine at one of several cafes.
And the French studies were also profitable and enjoyable…
I took advantage of Pierre’s Masters in History and thoroughly engaged with learning more of the history of France and the French language – a subject that I find fascinating.
Pierre and I studied the oral language in ways that I had not previously. I felt enriched after the week to have a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the French language such as intonation, accentuation and the art of knowing where to liaise and where a liaison is interdit. We reviewed the specific rhythms and sounds that make the French language such a musical and pleasurable experience for the listener. And then there were the multitude of phrases that the French throw around in everyday conversation but we etrangeres do not learn (or practise) in any grammar text book such as bref, dis donc or quand meme; d’ailleurs and d’ou. I still need lots of practice with the correct usage of three phrases: en fait, au fait and en effet. But I do know lots more about the construction of mise en relief!
After only five days, I surely have a far greater appreciation of the qualities and phrases of French. Can I now go forth and demonstrate these features more fluently when I am speaking? Ca y est – it’s an ongoing challenge for we non-native French speakers.
I will definitely be back for more immersion to assist me with this goal!