Benin French Immersion Ouidah, Benin Saturday, September 9, 2006
Benin is 161 Togo is 142 on my 2002 HDI - Human Development PDF file I have on my computer.
Ouidah, Benin has been a fresh change from Togo, it is almost as if the people speak more French here. The say Bon Jour Monsieur and not just Bon Jour, there is a completeness to the sentences, that was lacking in Togo.
There are always islands in any country where the average educational level is higher than others are. I had a little girl of 11 giving me the third degree, talking slow, deliberate fully empathetic that I need to hear the French slowly. I think she can read, I will go back tomorrow to the well for another French lesson. Her mother is exceptionally knowledgeable also, works selling telephone calls at a kiosk next to the Panff Hotel here in Ouidah.
The girl Nicole that works in the restaurant, that is part of the hotel was speaking in good passable English and helping to correct my French pronunciation and clarify. A quick intuitive nature is obvious in many people here in Ouidah, a breeze is blowing that helps me tremendously.
I am learning French as remarkable speed, there is nobody here that speaks English, my French is always dominating his or her English, and thus we speak in French. Very few can now speak English better than I can speak French.
I can speak Spanish, I remember how long it took me to learn, how tiresome it was, and difficult to talk. However, now it real bonus, because of the vast number of cognates or words that are most the same as Spanish words. I shall be able to change easy to French, the Spanish is an accent, I am thinking in French, and not by default Spanish. English is of no value, therefore no thoughts in English, a person naturally talks and thinks in what works.
Immersion in a language demands or it is required that people talk to you. I am glad I did not go first to France to learn, it would have only slowed down my learning. The people in Africa all want to talk with me; I can have a conversation anywhere and anytime and practice my French.
I will return to my room, listen to my French on the BYKI, Before You Know, It French program on my computer. This helps to clean the pronunciations and see how they adapt here or change.
I really do not want an African accent; however, I can go to France and clean up my bad habits. I did this in Spanish and a habit can be broken by me, I know this. I am capable of applying pronunciation guides if I work through all the rules. I am slowly sussing out all the rules of pronunciation. More difficult in Spanish because the combine two words on an almost word-by-word basis, they are Liasoned, or something like that, connected, the last letter can be the start of the next word.