My African Travel French is OK Bamako, Mali, West Africa Monday, September 24, 2007
I am not sure how well I speak, I do know I speak good enough to go down the Congo River now, my French was a question mark that just desired to be answered before I would go to the Congo. I do not know how well my French is, because I meet very few people in Africa now that speak French better than me, and I have begun to speak simpler and careful with words from my vocabulary or the locals will not understand. I can easily know when they do not speak French.
I felt very good in Orodara, Burkina Faso when the one woman said my French was better than the Peace Corps girl; this was like getting a big gold star. I am happy, I know people normally travel to places where they are already half competent in the language or know they do not need to speak a language. I am learning French on the fly, and now I know my biggest obstacle has been the locals do not speak French well.
If I met just one French Traveler, with a personality rating above 4, then I could have a conversation as an examination. Their accent and pronunciation is different, however I am semi-clear they speak ok, if not Euro-Trash, and always hard to know this or that, some 1 or 2 hanging around. Many of the French girls I think are in Hiding; I suspect they do not want the world to know that having a go with the local men.
I have resorted to saying I am from France, as this really belays problems of communications. If a person here hears I am from the USA, their French almost stops, and they say their 2 words of English, when I say I am from France, they want to prove they can speak French, thus they turn on their brains.
Moreover, now if they do not like me, they will blame it on France, however, I think I am little too handsome to be from France, and I do not smoke.
One smart gentleman started to quiz me about French, asking about who politicians in France were, I admitted I was from the USA, but think, the reason for the quiz was because he was not sure…!