Non, Je ne regrette rien…

… sauf que je ne peux pas parler une langue étrangère. * translation a the end for those who need it.

I’ve been reading through various website recently and have noticed that there are some things going on:

  1. English teenagers and young adults have poor literacy skills.
  2. Universities are reducing language courses.
  3. Children who fall behind in their reading skills by age seven will struggle to keep up.
  4. Fewer children read in their spare time or for enjoyment. 

I’ve been quite lucky, I don’t have dyslexia as many people in my family do, I’ve always been pretty good at English and I was forced to take a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) at GCSE.  Hang on, why does that make me lucky? I didn’t particularly enjoy doing it, many of my classmates hated it, but I think that studying French for 5 (sort of 7, but I’ll get to that) years improved my English.

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An aside for various friends…

I found this poem when I tried, spectacularly unsuccessfully, to learn Hungarian.  This may seem an odd choice of language to learn, and well, it is, but since I had had members of a Hungarian folk band and dance group coming to stay with us since I was 12, it seemed polite to at least try.

I’ve managed to learn simple phrases like:

Yes – Igen

No – Nem

Thank you – Köszönöm

Please – Kérem

Good morning – Jó reggelt.

Good afternoon – Jó napot.

Good evening – Jó estét.

Good night/sweet dreams – Jó éjszakát.

Cheers – Egészségédre!

So at least it’s a start at the language, I can be polite, but the poem has become one of my favourites.  It is about a couple, but since I have no boyfriend at the moment (or for the forseeable future) then I’m thinking it actually fits well with friends here and far away…

I guard your eyes
With my aging hand,
with my aging eyes,
let me hold your lovely hand,
let me guard your lovely eyes.
Worlds have tumbled,
through their fall
like a wild beast chased by fright
I came, and I on you did call
scared, I wait with you inside.
With my aging hand,
with my aging eyes,
let me hold your lovely hand,
let me guard your lovely eyes.
I do not know why, or how long
can I thus remain for you –
but I hold your lovely hand
and I guard your lovely eyes.
Endre Ady