On my way home tonight I was listening to tracks off the album À la grâce de Dieu by the Charbonniers, and in particular, the song “Allons vidons”. Jean-Claude Mirandette was just getting started on the first verse when I had that delightful double-take reaction of HEY HEY STOP I UNDERSTOOD THAT! I backed up, played that bit again, and sure enough, the sentence “C’est dans notre village / Il y a un p’tit moulin” popped right out at me. “In our village there is a little mill”. It’s a tiny sentence to be sure, but I was inordinately proud of comprehending it.
It’s weird and wonderful to hear a whole sentence in another language, only to understand it just like it’s the language I grew up with. I’m still getting bits and pieces of songs piecemeal, but that I’m getting them in general gives me ridiculous amounts of glee. My main goal is still musical, i.e., to be able to understand the lyrics of all these awesome songs and therefore appreciate them more. Anything I get out of it for conversational purposes is really icing on the cake.
But that said, I was also very pleased to be able to construct this whole sentence all by myself when posting to Facebook: “Je lire les paroles en anglais et français, j’écoute les chansons en français, je peu à peu comprends plus et plus!” Which means, “I read the lyrics in English and French, I listen to the songs in French, bit by bit I understand more and more!”
A good chunk of that sentence did in fact come to me either straight out of songs or else from poking around on band websites. “Les paroles” I know as “the lyrics” from looking at the French edition of leventdunord.com. “J’écoute”, “I listen”, I swiped right out of the lyrics to “Écris-moi”. “Chansons”, “songs”, is all over the place in all the songs in my collection. “Plus et plus” I got out of the lyrics to “Le dragon de Chimay”.
I’m still also heavily using Google Translate–but sometimes I only have to use it to doublecheck gender of nouns or verb conjugation spellings, because some of the words are starting to actually pop into my brain on my own and I just need to doublecheck them. As opposed to having no idea what the words actually are. Progress! I has it!
So yeah! Plan to learn all the Quebecois trad by slow osmosis: proceeding nicely. 😀