|First French Course|
However, over the years, I have returned again and again to the language through audio tapes, children's books, vocabulary lists, movies, and les chansons.
A couple of trips to Paris and France on my own have helped as well.
Anyway, I have a tiny collection of books in French that I have picked up along the way...not in France but in America. Two are French lesson books, one is a French dictionary (containing not a word of English), and another is a beautiful, leather-bound book with marbled end papers: Trois Heures au Musée du Prado (1939).
This lovely book, all in French, offers the reader a tour of the paintings and sculptures in the Spanish art museum located in Madrid. The illustrations are in black and white which don't really do much for the art, but it is a sweet little book nonetheless. My mom found it at a library book sale. There is not a mark in it!
|Trois Heures au Musee du Prado|
Andrea del Sarto (1488-1530)
|La Belle France|
The dictionary is a hardcover edition of Nouveau Petit Larousse Dictionnaire Encyclopédique (1948). It is thick (some 1800 pages), has an orange cover, and is illustrated. I found it for $1.50 at a yard sale. Not just a standard dictionary, it has a section Histoire - Geographie containing entries on famous people and places with photos and maps. Another section has a chronology, maps, and entries on the major players in World War II (La Seconde Guerre Mondiale). It is quite a treasure.
|Entry on Art Grec in Larousse|
Eh bien! Don't be fooled into thinking that I sit around reading these books. My grasp of French is still pretty basic. But, one of the reasons I am enjoying reading the M. Hercule Poirot mystery, The Murder on the Links, is that the action takes place in France and all sorts of exclamations and bon mots are in French. I get a little thrill reading them.
Do you have a secret stash of books in a foreign language? Are you a life-long student of French, German, or Spanish? How is that working for you?