Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fluency in a Foreign Language is Essential

Whether you like it or not, America is becoming a bilingual nation.

As a real estate investor I strongly urge you to learn a foreign language if you don't know one already. I completely agree with this editorial that says learning a second language is essential these days for business success.

But have some fun learning it. We all remember boring language classes in high school or college studying how to conjugate verbs.


My language of choice is French. I love France and French culture. (J'aime la France et le sentiment que j'obtiens quand je pense à Paris.)

But I admit I don't get to speak it enough to stay fluent. So how do I have fun keeping my French sharp---or at least as sharp as possible.

By having fun with French.

As an example of what I mean try listening to this totally silly song from December 1977 by the artist Plastic Bertrand called "Ça Plane Pour Moi." Here is a YouTube clip of the song. It's in French and if you understand the absurdity of what he is saying you have quite a decent understanding of the language. I remember this song very fondly and danced to it many, many times long long ago.

(HINT: It's about a guy on a sofa who has a cat who is drinking his whiskey while he's dreaming he's on a rooftop having visions in four colors when a girl comes into his apartment and drinks his beer and insults him. You get the idea???)

Here are the lyrics:

Wham bang mon chat "Splash" gite sur mon lit a bouffe Sa langue en buvant trop mon whysky Quand a moi peu dormi vide brime J'ai du dormir dans la goutiere Oil j'ai un flash ouh ouh ouh. En 4 couleurs allez op un matin Une louloute est v'nue chez moi Poupee de cellophane cheveux chinois Sparadrap une gueule de bois A bu ma biere dans un grand verre en caoutchouc (Ouh ouh ouh) comme un indien dans son igloo Ca plane pour moi ca plane pour moi Moi moi moi moi ca plane pour moi (Ouh ouh ouh) ca plane pour moi Allez hop la mama quel panard quelle vibration De s'envoyer sur le paillasson lime ruine vide comble You are the king of the divan qu'elle me dit en passant (Ouh Ouh Quh) I'm the king of the di - van Ca plane p6ur mai ca glane gour moi . . . Allez hop t'occupes t'inquietes touches pas ma planete It's not today que le ciel me tombera sur la tete Et que la colle me manquera (Ouh Ouh Ouh) ca plane pour moi Ca plane pour moi ca plane pour moi . . . Allez hop ma nana s'est tiree s'est barree Enfin c'est marre a tout casse l'evier le bar Me laissant seul comme un grand connard (Ouh Ouh Ouh) le pied dans le plat Ca plane pour moi ca plane pour moi

Have some fun learning a foreign language or brushing up on your rusty language skills. They do come in handy in the business world, not just on a resume but when you meet a new client, real estate seller, or agent. Sharing a foreign tongue means sharing a culture, a cuisine, a fantasy vacation and more. The more you have in common with people, the more they will want to do business with you.

Gagnez l'argent, ayez l'amusement, et aimez la vie.

Robert J. Abalos, Esq.