Adventures of living in France. Can we become bilingual? Part II

Stephanie C. has written us before and now adds some of her own French-learning adventures. When she took lessons from me, she was a single American, working in Boston. Now, she’s living in France, married to a French man and mother of 3 French children. Her frustration over the French word for “colander” indicates the advanced level of her French. Her final paragraph indicates a whole separate challenge to ‘getting’ French: understanding it over the phone!

My French is not fluent I would say, but it’s ok and my French friends say its good. I still get really irritated when I can’t express myself. Couldn’t think of the word for colander (‘passoire’) the other day and got stuck mid-sentence while I was trying to explain to someone French how to make oat milk but overall it’s ok. It’s just that with complicated paperwork and taxes in French, thank goodness my husband deals with that as its too tricky.
I also still have issues on the phone because when someone calls, and I say hello: if it is someone selling something, for example, in English I would IMMEDIATELY get it, and say – no thanks, not interested, or whatever. But in French, it’s not always clear – sometimes I have to be really blunt, like “This is who? You want what exactly?!”
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