Parlez-vous français?

In a somewhat rash move I ordered Rosetta Stone French yesterday at I opted for the full package, which includes Level 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 Set with Audio Companion. Cost: $599.00.

I’ve always been somewhat of an autodidact, and I’m hoping that Rosetta Stone will appeal to my atypical learning style.

If you’re familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), my personality type is Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiver (ENTP).

If you’re not familiar with the MBTI, you should take this TEST to find out what your type is. Once you get your 4 letters (e.g., ESFP, INFJ, INTP, ESTJ) you can read up on your profile HERE and HERE.

It’s sort of like astrology based on science.

I had heard of Rosetta Stone previously, but I was particularly fascinated to find a Rosetta Stone kiosk at the airport in Baltimore (BWI) on my way home from the EMS Today conference earlier this month. I took some pictures of the kiosk which I can’t seem to find right now, but I will post them to the blog soon.

If it seems strange to you that I would photograph a software kiosk, you should know that I also took several pictures when I redeemed 7072 pennies in a Coinstar kiosk at the neighborhood Bi-Lo last month.

Then I visited my parents in Florida last week. One of the reasons I drove down was help create a DVD for my grandmother’s 100th birthday. My grandmother (we call her “grandmama”) is French Canadian and has a French accent. In fact my father was born in Quebec and moved to the United States when he was only 4 years old, so he spoke French before he spoke English.

After several glasses of red wine, I found myself singing O Canada in French with my Dad at the kitchen table for the video. Actually, it was the bilingual version so only the second verse was in French. Regardless, I realized that the French language is part of my heritage, and if I hurry, I might actually be able to speak French to my grandmother at her 100th birthday party. To me that’s worth $599.00.

Speaking of O Canada (with the understanding that some of you may still be sensitive about our loss to Canada in the Olympics) here is a really cool video I found on YouTube. Apparently it’s the old “sign-off” from CBC-TV.


Anyway, since I’m going through the trouble of performing this experiment, I decided to blog about it. According to some of the reviews I’ve read, it’s possible to become fluent in about 2 1/2 months. If it really works, my plan is to order Latin American Spanish.

Wish me luck! Or should I say, “Bon chance!”


  • canshamrock says:

    Rosetta Stone makes a great product. I have used some of their German material. If you want a brush up and do not have the CD's available check out For the price (free) they do a surprisingly good job.Go Great White North!

  • Anonymous says:

    In a few weeks, you should be able to say "Bonne chance" 😉

  • Tom B says:

    canshamrock -Thanks for the tip! Very cool blog, too!Tom

  • Tom B says:

    Anonymous -Ouch! LOL! Je m'excuse! :)Tom

  • Christopher says:

    I enjoyed livemocha, but found it hard to stay focused.Mais ouais, c'est "bonne chance" mon ami. Ehhh, ou sont les touches correctes pour ces…ehh comment dit-on "quote marks"…haha, see more focus is needed.

  • Tom B says:

    I caught the first part of that, Christopher! This is seriously intimidating for me, but I'm going to give it an honest try! Tom

  • Christopher says:

    Me, the software engineer, couldn't get the correct quote marks into the post…very sad. Somehow I could muster enough to ask where the key was, but drew a blank for quote mark.I wish I was better at Spanish than "soy paramedico, tienes dolor? pecho? cabeza?" in a Southern accent. At least if I went to Haiti I could hold a 3rd grade conversation!Tip: I got used to saying quite a bit. Love it, embrace it.

  • Christopher says:

    Sigh, "comment dit-on [english word]". Stripped the <> out thinking it was HTML. A little part of the programmer in me just died for not realizing that.

  • Natalie says:

    bonne chance, mon ami!!French was my first language- I live in SouthWest Louisiana… my ancestors were deported here from Nova Scotia long ago- and I am now a proud little Cajun! I adore the language- if you need ANY help, I'll be around! Ps, just started reading this blog and WOW! I am such a cardiac geek, how did I not know this existed?! It will be a definite reccomendation. to my preceptee's and coworkers and definitely gained a spot on the ol' blog roll!

  • Tom B says:

    Christopher -You lost me brother! You'll have to explain in Google IM. LOL! :)Tom

  • Tom B says:

    Natalie -Thank you so much! I'm delighted to have you as a resource.I appreciate the kind words about my blog, too! :)Tom

  • If you are ever feeling down about French pronunciation just listen to Ed Wallitt ( pronounce Torsades. Guy does awesome work but man, the British do not do the French accent well. Ha ha ha.

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