- DIVER: Ileana Argyris
- NATIVE COUNTRY: USA
- CATEGORY – Linguist
- DIVE: French
- LEVEL: 1
- REQUIREMENTS: Level 1 (Can read, write, speak, and listen at a very basic level)
When and why did you decide to start studying this language?
I started seriously studying French in 2014, when I decided that I wanted to study abroad in France! I wanted to know enough French to get around the city I was staying in. It’s easier to not get lost if you understand what people are saying to you!
How long did it take for you to reach this level of proficiency from the day you decided to pursue it?
It took me about a year, though my French greatly improved after my three months in France! Now I work on improving my level.
What do you think is the hardest & easiest part about studying this language?
The hardest part for me is knowing when a word is masculine or feminine. English doesn’t have masculine or feminine gender words, so I am always guessing! The second hardest part is the pronunciation. I was used to practicing French online, so my spelling was spot on. However, when I first arrived in France, even though I knew the words, I couldn’t understand anything because I didn’t know the pronunciation!
As a native English speaker, the easiest part about French is the amount of words that are similar in English. Oftentimes, if I don’t know the word in French, I say the word in English but with a French accent and… ça marche!
What is your advice for someone who is pursuing this dive?
My advice would be to fully immerse yourself in the language! Watch French movies without subtitles, listen to French music, read news articles in French, get a French pen pal! Doing these things will help you learn how to pronounce words and will also increase your French vocabulary. And… learn the gender of each word when you learn the word–it will save you time and confusion later.
How did you prove you met the requirements for this level?
I was tested on my reading, writing, listening, and speaking by fellow Break Diving members Monroe Mann and Christophe Poizat! We interacted through posts, in the French chatroom, and had a French video chat to test my speaking and listening.
Please share some original writing in this language, with perfect spelling and grammar (Title, plus one paragraph).
Quand Tu Tombes Amoureux
Quand tu tombes amoureux, tu changes complètement. Tu vis dans un rêve et toute ta vie est de couleur rose. Tes pensées sont occupées avec ton amoureux et tu salues le monde avec un sourire. Ta vie devient charmante et ton âme brille. Ah, l’amour!
Will you be pursuing the next level? If so, what is the next level, and what is your plan? If not, why not?
I will be pursuing the next level because I want to be able to navigate my way in French speaking countries with ease. Maybe one day I will work in a French speaking country! [Editor’s Note: Maybe?! DEFINITELY! :D]
And having made this post, and provided adequate evidence to the dive committee, Ileana Argyris is now hereby certified by Break Diving, Inc. as: LINGUIST – FRENCH – LEVEL 1. Congratulations Ileana! Thank you for being an inspiration to others!
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