Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Exercises in Listening Comprehension

My French skills are still up and down. I'm doing better with managing the small conversations of daily life and reading the newspaper but I still have a really hard time with the TV and the telephone where the pace is faster than my ability to process what I'm hearing. But I keep trying. Most mornings, I turn on the radio when I'm getting dressed to see if I can follow the news. One item last week caught my attention. Did I really just hear the newscaster say that rescue workers had to come to the aid of a man on the TGV (the high speed train) who got his hand stuck in the toilet? No way. That can't be right. They must be using some colloquialism that's beyond me. (Although what kind of saying would that be?)

But yes, it turns out that I understood that perfectly. This dude accidentally dropped his cell phone into the toilet and when he reached in after it, the powerful flushing action sucked in his whole arm. The train stopped for two hours while rescue workers extricated him. Well sort of. According to this report from the BBC, "'He came out on a stretcher, with his hand still jammed in the toilet bowl, which they had to saw clean off,' said Benoit Gigou, a witness to the man's plight." I may conquer the French language yet.

1 comment:

Starman said...

I saw that story (in English). Comprehension has always been my problem with French. Still is. I can read and write a bit, but I'm just lost when anyone speaks.

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