In February of last year I lost my job. To complicate matters at the time I was a uni-lingual anglophone (english speaker) living in Canada's french province of Quebec. My inability to speak french was becoming a major road block in becoming gainfully employed again, not to mention just down right frustrating sometimes. Let's put it this way, in a place where we have a minority separatist provincial government in power, language police and laws that dictate that french must be protected at all costs life can be very difficult if you can't or just plain refuse to speak the language.
In May of the same year I was accepted into a provincially funded program and admitted into adult education to upgrade my skill set and learn french. At the time I was skeptical. Could I really learn french in one year? Or was I going to have to uproot my family and move to somewhere else in Canada?
My french classes are intensive. I'm required to be at school 30 hours a week. Monday to Friday, 8:20 am- 3:30 pm. In my afternoon period we have a conversation class and each of us was given an assignment to teach the class about a hobby or a passion we have in our lives. Obviously RPG's is a no brainer for myself and today after 8 months of studying and practice I taught and ran a simplified version D&D for my teacher and fellow class mates. Almost entirely in french.
It was a fairly exhausting and difficult experience, yet it was also rewarding. First I'm proud of just how far my ability in the language has come since those early days. I have a lot to learn still and I wouldn’t say I'm fluent but I can now communicate with and understand others on a fairly basic level. It was also rewarding to see my fellow students and teacher flexing their imaginations and giving this bizarre hobby (and that us veterans some times take too seriously) a chance. In fact we might actually continue the game again on Monday if time allows. I'll take that as a good sign.
In a future blog post I'll write out what we did and present the simplified rules we used to play the game.