Just had my place at Langue Onze confirmed! www.langueonzeparis.com This is an integral part of my stay in Paris and I really want to take the opportunity to improve my French. I'm afraid I suffer from the English disease of being rather pathetic at foreign languages. Through working as a musician I have a fair smattering of French, Spanish, German and can follow Dutch and Italian but rarely have had the opportunity to really get into a language or consider myself vaguely fluent. French is probably the best foreign language I have though I never learnt it at school. Having studied in France on the Formation Supérieure run by the Abbaye aux Dames in Saintes (www.abbayeauxdames.org) I picked up a fair amount, also through working in France either with French orchestras or with visiting British ones. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique (British based orchestra despite the name) we normally spend a month each year working in Paris at the Opéra Comique (www.opera-comique.com) but that rarely improves my French past "Je voudrais un verre de vin rouge".
Part of the preparation work for this project has involved me making an attempt at translation Gallay's Méthode pour le Cor (Paris circa 1845). I've made a pretty good stab at it however one quickly realises what skills are needed in creating a good translation rather than a rough paraphrase. Going back to French school will hopefully give me enough of a kick up the backside to really improve my French and the intensive nature of the course (daily 9am till 1pm) plus actually living in Paris will hopefully help! I realise that a month is very little time and I shouldn't expect too much but fingers crossed!