So, ummm ... I did the federal Oral Interaction test for French language competency last week. I'd received an email, rather out-of-the-blue, from a FedGov position I'd applied for sometime back in the early summer, requesting my presence at such-&-such a place at such-&-such a time. I knew I wasn’t ready for this, but I was told, basically, that there was no way to reschedule the test, except.... Well, here:
Note: Scheduling of alternative dates will only be considered for religious purposes, death in the family, pre-existing travel plans or cases of serious illness (a medical certificate or other proof will be required).
I arrived well on time. (It felt like walking to the gallows). I did the test. I choked.
The best part was when the interviewer stopped me to ask, "What language are you speaking?" I'd slipped into Russian! Not only that, but I didn't even know I could speak the Russian that I was speaking. It was a complete case of nerves taking over. I'd slipped into this pre-conscious state, into the comfort language of my infant years. I switched back into French and we had a jolly laugh.
Then, I started losing my French vocabulary. I'd try to think of an equivalent word in English, only to realise I couldn't remember how to speak English. Thanks, mother tongue. I could only think in Russian, but that was proving too freaky.
At this point I could read the writing on the wall. It was very clear. It didn't have to be in any particular language. I could understand it quite clearly. Hmmmm.
The results of the test were supposed to be available within 48-72 hours. They haven't arrived yet. However, I don’t think they need to get back to me. You know, it’s just a feeling.
More language classes, more conversation practice, more calm. And where the hell did that Russian language come from?