The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

January 27

Times Staff Writer

After almost a year in Paris, my French has stalled, I fear. I'm not much better than when I got here, partly because I work in English.

This was brought home to me at a house party in the country, which was like a weekend of intensive language immersion. I understood only bits and pieces, although I was able to laugh in the right places even when I didn't understand the jokes.

But I did manage a complicated conversation with two French women about the casting of Audrey Tautou with Tom Hanks in the upcoming film version of "The Da Vinci Code."It's funny living in a foreign language. After working all day in my apartment, I go out and am shocked to hear people speaking French, not English, in the streets.

In multilingual environments, such as airports, I never know what language is going to pop out of my mouth. But I must be getting more comfortable with the foreign-language challenges, because after spending a few days in England last week, I was overjoyed to get on a plane from London to Paris and hear the flight attendants speaking French.

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