Hello! My name is Francesca. I’m from Chile. I’m 35 years old, and I came to France following my husband whom obtained a job contract for two years.
At the beginning it wasn’t easy for me to find a job. My research took some time, but finally I found a job in an American company. That was fine for me because my biggest issue was the language, when I arrived I couldn’t speak more than three words, “bonjour” “merci” and “baguette”.
In Santiago de Chile I was working as a computer engineer for an important company, but lately I was starting to feel bored, without motivation. That’s why I chose to follow my husband and try some new experiences here. But you should know that at the beginning the problem with the language was a real nightmare, I couldn’t understand anything, I was desperate, I felt as a complete invalid, I was even unable to buy bread by myself because even though “baguette” was one of my three words, I felt ashamed to pronounce it….I was paralyzed. I felt like a three years old girl, I had the feeling that everyone was laughing at me anytime when I tried, with a tremendous effort, to say something. I felt that they were looking at me in a funny way….
At the beginning and for several months, I just tried to avoid any interaction with French people, but that started become the more and more isolated and locked on my self. I said to myself “either you do something about it, or you go back…” That’s when I started to see the situation from a different point of view and I began to laugh about it! I started to interact with my neighbors, with the owners of shops from the street, I tried to talk about anything, or I just ask them anything, my goal was to look at their faces every time that I’ve a verb tense mistake like a three years old kid may make, or when I couldn’t found a word to express myself and I just invented one from Spanish to French, without realizing, of course! Or when I pronounced it with a particularly strong accent…
At night, I couldn’t wait for my husband to tell him about those unusual experiences, and we laughed together! But the most interesting part was to discover that I could remember every single correction those people made to me!
Step by step started to see how I was incorporating to my vocabulary Parisian expressions! My motivation evolved, and by the end of the year I started a course at an institute, and now I feel more comfortable!