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I enjoyed another great evening last night at the English speaking group (where I teach them English and they teach me French) which has swelled from the 6 attendees last week to 8 (or 9 if you count me).


Our chat ranged over a variety of subjects, at one point moving from Badminton, to Winston Churchill’s best quotes. One of the ladies that attends writes down phrases that she wishes to go over, and so asked me to spell out a particular word from one of the war-time PM’s famous sayings. She seemed to struggle with the English translation, so I switched to French.


This, however, meant I had to pronounce the letters ‘e’ and ‘o’, one of my weak points in French, which the group immediately noticed. I then spent five minutes practising how to pronounce them with Isabelle, the chemist, who was sitting opposite me. If anybody had passed the window at that point, and heard the sounds emanating from within, they would have thought that we were either A. Filming the world’s worst pornographic film or B. Re-enacting Planet Of The Apes.


Following on from this they also wanted to know if I could say the alphabet in French, which I said I could and, knowing they would ask me to anyway, I recited it. I was then treated to a round of applause from the assembled French upon completion of it and, when I told my partner about this when I got home, she started laughing. ‘They applaud you like you would a performing monkey!’ which, given the sounds I was making earlier in the evening, was quite apt.


Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, I’ve stopped ‘cutting them slack’ and was correcting their English at every opportunity.