Un peu Français, s’il vous plaît?

Written by Marli Hadden

Hadden here. Remember me from rosé? Sorry to take over your weekly intake of Al Drinkle’s prose, but he is away in Germany tasting Riesling or something.

I am currently learning French and so far I’ve learned that it’s very hard. I thought that I would pick up on the language quickly, much like I did with wine. But the wine learning curve was much easier to navigate as I was slightly buzzed and the textbook was in English.

Last week we covered how ‘qui’ and ‘que’ are used differently in a sentence. For you other unilinguals out there ‘qui’ and ‘que’ both kind of mean ‘that’… sort of. Now think about this; when is the last time you thought about how to use ‘that’ in a sentence? It’s second nature, it’s that easy. This is why learning a second language as an adult is so humbling. I’d forgotten that the fundamentals of my own language were once new to me. So I am back to being an elementary student learning the absolute basics of spelling, grammar and speech.

So why do I put myself through the discomfort of learning French? WINE, well, French wine. One day I hope to be able to speak to our French producers in their own mother tongue. I’ll ask them about the sites the grapes grow on, how things have changed this vintage from the last and how they made their wines so damn tasty! I am convinced that I will only be able to understand the stories of the people and the wines when I can understand the language by which they were raised.