I went along to some evening classes in French over summer, and found by the end of the four months I’d lost confidence in my ability to use what I was learning. That’s no good; a language is there to be used. So I’m keeping up the French in an evening conversation class.
I do seem to be quite good at bullshitting in bad French. For example, the subject last night was sport. Now, sport is a great life choice as a burrow to dig for the mildly psychopathic. Mildly psychopathic? I cannot see how anyone with any empathy for the needs of others could dedicate their lives to an activity that saves no lives, and leaves nothing for future generations. Sport has no utility. I didn’t get the chance to mention the original Olympics, and remind people the only thing to survive are the plays and the poetry. We don’t even remember the rules of the ancient sports; some archeologists even had to do a dig to find out which way the runners ran round the track. Clearly sport has no historical significance.
I took my bullshit further, though, when the national question came up. Does success in sport enhance a nation’s well-being? I pointed out that, for England (remember, I’m in Ireland), even when we lose we really win. Almost all international sports originated in Great Britain. Football is English. Rugby is English. Golf is Scottish. Thus, whenever another country plays England at football, and wins, England wins too because the game itself is “philosophie anglaise”. Football is an example of the global spread of English culture. The same goes for golf and Scotland. I think I went a little too far with this; the class went silent. And I was already to do a rendition of “Football’s coming home”.
I might try and move myself up a class. I was making people laugh (darts is officially a sport, but it’s really an excuse to drink). No one else did that. I don’t quite follow the teacher’s French, though, which is not a good sign. I suspect I need to get over to France for a while and immerse myself in the language.