Pardon your French!
Did you sit in French lessons at school? I’m guessing you probably did…
Could you translate the following into French for me, please? They’re all words you’ll have come across at some point in your lessons…
“My red dog with a very small head is late for his trip to the swimming pool because he threw his salt and pepper through the baker’s window.”
(Please don’t ask me why this is the first sentence I thought of - I’m starting to worry about myself!)
How did you get on?
You probably got “chien” and maybe even “poivre” right, and possibly “la piscine”, yeah?
But you probably struggled with the words for “late” and “trip” if you’re not fluent and never got much past learning French in school.
Google translate tells me it’s, "Mon chien roux avec une toute petite tête est en retard pour sa sortie à la piscine car il a jeté son poivre par la fenêtre du boulanger."
(Even that might not be completely correct, but I’m too shite at French to know what’s right and what’s not!)
Here’s the thing - you probably remembered “chien” because it’s one of the first words you ever learned in French lessons, and you loved going home and proudly telling your mum that Beano was your “chien”.
It made you feel terribly chic and worldly-wise.
“La piscine” might have stuck in your head after a few times of being scolded for forgetting it was spelt with a “c”, and you might have remembered it because of the jokes about “pissiiiin’ in the swimming pool”.
“Poivre” stayed current in your head because you really like steak with pepper sauce.
But the other words didn’t make any lasting impression on you once you’d sat your French exam. You recognise them when you see them, but you can’t recall them easily.
Why the hell am I banging on about red dogs throwing pepper today?
Well, some of my clients get really upset with themselves when I remind them of tips and strategies they’ve tried once or twice and forgotten to carry on, or thought were a good idea and never put into practice.
They get annoyed that they forget things they feel should be obvious.
But learning the skills that give you an easier or more productive life are essentially no different from learning any other skills like a language or playing a musical instrument.
Unless something lodges in your brain immediately because it’s linked to a strong emotion in your memory, or it’s hammered in by repetition, then it will probably slip from your mind.
That’s why I’ll often repeat things, or take things back a few steps in order to make sure you have a solid base to build on if I’m coaching you.
The link’s below if you want to find out more about how to apply to work with me.
(And I bet you say “Bonjour le chien!” next time you see a dog!)