Love letter after the Paris attacks #2
(Photo of me and AirBnB billionaire co-owner Brian Chesky, and host Francesca)
Today let’s discuss another kind of love: chosen love during communication.
Read on for a special prize at the end!
As mentioned in my last Post, the seven terrorist attack in Paris meant that I spent a very tense and uncertain seven hours in a café/bar just kilometres away.
We set up guards around the bar, and could only leave at 4AM.
But I want to speak of another love I found in Paris.
This time I want to speak of the love of communication, especially in a second language.
If love is present, then communication naturally follows.
And yes of course romantic love helps a lot!
But is there another more conscious more chosen path of love in a second language?
Or would I join the crowds around the Louvre, unable even to say, “Merci beaucoup”?
So I was keen to test out my very limited French in a different way.
First I need to give a little background.
As some of you know, my passion is second-language communication, and especially for those not native to English. Every day I talk of the greater importance of confidence over competence in all communication. Confidence is the deep knowledge that we can learn to communicate.
Whereas competence refers to the more exterior tools, such as the size of our vocabulary in a language, and to the correctness of our grammar in a language.
Sadly, schools normally only assess competence.
So my competence in French is based on just two things: my very limited couple of years of French in school in New Zealand forty years ago, and my knowledge of English words with French roots.
But my feeling confidence in relation to French is very high indeed.
Such a moment was an excellent test.
Did my technology, the BE-in-English ApproachSM, really work for me too?
Would it be successful like it always works with clients?
What would be my experience as a learner, and not as a coach?
So I am thrilled to report that I experienced a big shift in communication in French.
There was a great leap in my actual use of French with people all over Paris.
I didn’t feel even a little bit of embarrassment about my very ugly French.
From moment to moment I found I could switch from English or German to French.
I found I had access to far more of my passive vocabulary in French than ever before.
No thinking, no preparation, just speak.
So let’s examine this in more detail.
I found that my attitude towards in the first 24 hours was very important.
I came ready and excited to test myself.
In other words I felt tuned into the country, and to the language.
I was aligned within myself regarding my destination.
Again this was not a question of my knowledge of French, but my attitude.
I also chose to identify myself as a French speaker.
Very limited, but a French speaker nonetheless.
With this deep feeling within myself I found I could connect with everyone around me on the streets of Paris. I felt a part of their French world, and so I felt able to reach out.
So I see this as a kind of love.
But it wasn’t a love, that was begun outside of myself.
Rather I felt a deep love within myself.
It was a sense of connection so deep that it included myself and also those around me.
It was a sense of ‘I am‘ (actually ‘je suis’ in French) within myself, and also a sense of ‘We are’ outside myself with the people of Paris.
For me this chosen connection, or attitude of love, with the French made all the difference.
Clearly this success is not based on any school idea of vocabulary and grammar.
Finally I want to finish with a story.
So far I can’t explain it, but maybe you can.
On the first morning I woke into that dreamy state, half-asleep and half-awake.
Lying there I found myself thinking only in French.
I felt allergic to any thought in English or in German!
I thought in French, I felt French, and maybe for a moment I was French!
So is this another kind of love?
Count all the words with French roots (for example ‘example’ and ‘connection’).
The person with the most correct number wins a FREE 45-minute CONSULTATION WITH ME.