Monday, March 8, 2010

A dash of Shediac, a dollop of Caraquet

The job I do back home in Fredericton requires my attention for about 20 or 30 hours a week. How to fill in the other hours on my idyllic Greek island? Well, I can’t live on free olives and the view alone, so I’ve hung my shingle out here to teach English, French and Italian to the locals. I can handle school age kids who’s parents are keen on private lessons or local business people who want better language skills for their tourist based business.

Between you and me? I’m secretly keen to take on a few French students. I grew up in Moncton you see, and my French has that unique accent. Not the toff Parisian accent of the swanky language academies. I harbour a secret delight in educating a generation of Greek kids to speak chiac. It’s my revenge, you might say.

See, I learned to speak Greek from a Japanese professor. 30 years later, I apparently still have a damnable but very distinct oriental accent when I gamely and earnestly try and inflict my Greek on the polite but mystified villagers.

I never knew I had an accent of course. But too many times I’ve left a shop or restaurant to be followed out the door by gales of laughter – it finally dawned on me. Dear god, I sound like a bad Jackie Chan movie and should come with my own subtitles.

So, yes, I’m quite looking forward to teaching little Nikolai and Despina the finer workings of Chiac. Beh OUI for sure!

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