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Wishing I Knew How to Speak French

Submitted by Belinda on Sat, 05/09/2015 - 12:05

I just finished creating and translating six long forms for a large company. Well, I didn't do the translating into French, just the coding, but it was still a challenge to make certain that the correct things were being printed in the correct spot.

Yes, I did take French in high school... and even took basic French in my first year of university, but I still don't speak it. I remember being in Paris, in 1987, at a restaurant and struggling to order my meal in French. The waitress flicked her hips to one side, tilted her head and said to me, "Just order it in English, honey." No kidding. I have told this story a hundred times to friends and family because it is burned into my memory. I was mortified and have never tried to speak French in public since.

So when this project of doing French versions of six long forms came to me... I was a bit nervous. I told my husband, I felt like I was diapering a baby in the dark... sticking text with accents all through my code and hoping it would work when I tested it. I had my son (who is in his second year of French immersion) proof read the forms... just in case there was anything obviously wrong before i submitted to my client.

Anyway, the forms are launched! Successfully! Yay! Wish I would have stuck with my French studies in university....