In learning a language, talking comes first. It’s how babies learn. Soon, though you feel foolish being a forty-something baby and you want grow up a little. One turns to trying to read French.
Tom’s choice was to dive into murder mysteries by Simenon (the famous Maigret series of nearly one hundred books) and Fred Vargas. Susan dipped her toes into The Petit Nicolas and Martine. Both of these book series are tales of young French children. Our fledgling conversations with our french friends were certainly quite humorous. Tom carried on about unsavory characters, sex and intrigue.
Then at one point Tom was reading some 18th century French and no one in our century understood him.
Susan veered towards the barn yard, forest animals and seaside vacations. She managed to use in conversation the name of an animal very few (if any) French people have ever seen-- “wapiti”-- “moose”. And that is not even a French word-- its American Indian.
Adventuring into worlds that we were interested in gave us the foundation to venture into harder literature. All the while keeping our French friends utterly confused.