Rosetta Stone Confidence

I did not broker a million dollar deal, dazzle small children or amaze a large crowd with my Rosetta Stone language skills. I am a middle aged woman from a small midwest town with a dream of going to Paris. When I actually had the time and the finances to go, one small problem came up, I could find no one to go with me. My husband stated that he was not interested, my Mom said the same. None of my fiends had either the money or the time, so I went by myself. But not without proper planning, which included ordering the Rosetta Stone language in French 1. Every night, sitting at my computer, the little headphones on, practicing my diction, my husband would snicker. My friends at work, suffering through my practicing on them, which consisted of answering any question that I happened to be able to answer in French. They kindly faked amazement and tolerance. But then, departure day came.

woman, city, skyline, france, bridgeArmed with Rosetta Stone confidence, I was able to call the shuttle company from the airport and say “Bonjour, j’ai une reservation. Mon nom Mme. Speed” They knew I was a struggling American, but answered me slowly in French and I was able to follow the instructions on where to meet the shuttle bus. I had leaped my first language hurdle and there was no stopping me now, I checked into the the hotel, my room was “c’est beau”, I was ordering meals and stating that the food was “c’est delicieux”. The waiters would grin. The nicest thing that I did, a lady stopped me on the street with a map in her hands asking, in French, where was this particular shop. She was talking really fast and I could barely keep up, and I took a look at her map and could see what she was looking for, it was a shop that I had just passed and was able to say, sort of, “c’est bas juste la rue”. She was a little taken back and said, in English, “you are not French? You look French”…I chuckled and she chuckled and took off for the shop.

The language course gave me the confidence to navigate a transit system, read menus and ask for a ticket for one to a museum. It is a small victory for a middle age woman who wants to go to a country and amuse the locals with her confidence and ability to speak their language. Merci.

– Cynthia S
Amarillo, Texas

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  • Bethany Fairfield

    Cynthia, I love this story. It’s so confidence-inspiring. A year ago I was visiting Paris and was totally intimidated to speak French (which I studied some in college and some with Rosetta Stone). There was this wonderful grocery store around the corner from our hotel. We asked the shopkeeper if he knew where we could purchase a pocket knife. His wife gave her advice. A customer gave his. Then another customer hers. Everyone was so kind. It was like a scene from Amelie. We followed it all. Even the shopkeeper’s wife scolding her staff to “stop man-handling the peas”. In fact, on our last day we were at this same epicerie picking up snacks for the train. I heard someone call out “Bonjour, Elisabeth”. I turned around and it was our waitress from the cafe a day before. She had remembered my daughter’s name. It was like an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Paris is a beautiful city. Thanks for reminding me that the most beautiful thing is being able to talk to Parisiens.

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