The French Effect

tetris

I’ve noticed that whenever I throw myself back into immersive French after a long stretch of barely using it, I experience something like the Tetris effect, which used to plague me for days at a time after playing too much of the game as a kid. Random word nuggets will pop into my head unbidden, apropos of nothing, and I’ll silently repeat them to myself – over and over and over again – until a new strange phrase appears from out of nowhere to take its place. Yesterday it was, “On ne sait jamais ce qu’il va faire” – You never know what he’s going to do. I have no idea who “he” is, yet this phrase colonized my brain-space for the better part of a day. This morning, meanwhile, I kept saying to myself, “Tu vas avoir un petit problème là” – “You’re going to have a bit of a problem with that.” What “that” is, again, I have no idea.

Does anyone else experience this?

[Photo: Wicker Paradise]

2 thoughts on “The French Effect

  1. I barely remember any German. It was the “new” 1960s method of listening, and my brain has always been totally into reading. (I’m that person at the conference staring at your chest to see your name badge because I totally don’t remember what you said 2 seconds ago.) But every now and then my brain says “Ein Mann flog durch den Weltraum zur Venus.” That and a few words are all that’s left.

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