David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day

The story of “Me Talk Pretty One day” is about Sedrais’ candid description of his struggle to learn fluent French while residing and attending school in Paris, France. The author points out to the reader that his understanding of French isn’t completely null as he had vacationed in France in the past and had attended French classes in America. However, Mr. Sedrais’ opinion of his level of understanding the new language changes drastically when he finds himself unable to communicate properly with the little French knowledge he possesses and his instructor’s condescending attitude confirms this theory.

Having analyzed the text and my previous notes, several key points have stood out that support Mr. Sedrais’ message of the difficulties of learning a new language as an adult and the impact cultural shock has. He tells the audience about the long hours of studying he endures in the evenings in hopes to hear any positive feedback from his professor yet seems to never reach her desired standards. Mr. Sedrais tells us about his insecurities about practicing outside of class and the cultural shock it implicates just to do our average daily tasks like buying food at the butcher’s or a trip to the local grocery store.

The fears and insecurities Mr. Sedrais tells the audience about are fairly common to the average expat living abroad once the honeymoon stage of living in a foreign country passes, having experienced it myself on multiple occasions. Having a teacher that clearly enjoys putting her students on the spot and exposing their lack of knowledge to the whole class increase the author’s fears of public ridicule and knowledge insecurities.

The intended audience for this specific story fragment is the young adult to middle aged traveler and adult student between the ages of 30 and 55. Possibly requiring a higher than average economical status in order to sustain themselves in a foreign country that seeks to learn a foreign language by fully immersing themselves in the local culture this language is native to. The challenges the author is presented with is convincing his audience that in spite of the difficulties presented to him throughout his journey, the personal gratification will be far greater than the struggle.

Mr. Sedrais’ anecdotal description of his experience being quite negative and exhausting can be discouraging for the casual language student whom doesn’t need to learn a foreign language. People who might have considered taking on an exchange student program might find the stress of full immersion to be far greater than the sense of personal accomplishment and possibly even change their mind about taking on such a program.

The argument Mr. Sedrais that learning a foreign language as an adult can be difficult but absolutely worth it is accurate and can be confirmed throughout the story. He progressively understands his teacher’s insults better as he clearly states at the beginning of the story how little he understood her on their first day in class during their introductions. He points out how many hours a day he dedicates to studying and that in spite of all the invested time he feels like he isn’t learning quite fast enough. He proves his point quite comically by receiving his teacher’s insults with open arms and even asking for more as he realizes how well he understood her.

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Context of Me Talk Pretty One Day

The context for “” by David Sedaris is an older man moving to Paris to go back to school to study French. The purpose is to share the author’s personal story and experience. He uses a humorous and informal tone when recounting the story. By the end though it has an almost hopeful tone when he is excited about how far he has come in his learning of the language and what there is to come in the future.

He uses self-deprecating humor to help set the tone of the story. Also, when referring to the speech of the teacher he creates humor from her harsh words by replacing words he doesn’t understand with gibberish. Sedaris has a detail rich and satirical style of writing in his essay. I have learned that even though he is sharing a story from a difficult time in his life he is still able to look at the humor in the situation.

Taking a closer look and analysis of his story you can learn a few things. He shares his experience learning a new language. His style of writing makes it a relatable experience. Even if a person hasn’t specifically started to learn a new language it can apply to learning anything new for the first time.

He structures his story to start by sharing his nervous excitement about starting the new class. As he continues, he shares his difficulties learning the language which is exacerbated by his mean and sometimes spiteful teacher. However, he continues to persevere and work through his difficulties until the end he is noticing his improvement in understanding her speaking.

In “Me Talk Pretty One Day” David Sedaris has an informal and funny approach to his storytelling, but I do believe he is effective in getting his point across to the audience. I came to this conclusion because in his recounting of his personal story it is very relatable to his audience. Learning a new language is tedious, time consuming and requires consistency and practice.

As his audience many of us relate to such an experience. His fellow students in his story can relate to the difficulties he experienced. While his audience may not have the same experience, a lot of us have had to learn something new, something we were intimated by. His story gives others hope that even if you think you are to old or to hard you can do something if you put your mind to it.

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by D. Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One Day “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is an essay written by David Sedaris. David is forty-one years old, but he does not think it is too late to learn French. Despite the fact of his age he moves to Paris with the hope of learning a new language. A month before he left his city, New York, he went on some sort of evening school to learn the language just a little, before leaving for France. The apartment he got in Paris was only a ten-minute walk from school.

After paying for his tuition, he was given a student ID, which gave him access to lots of facilities. He was very nervous the first day of class, because he knows that everyone there was expecting to perform, to perform well, also because he didn’t know anyone. He felt intimidated by the looks of the young students in the class, but also because their French sounded almost fluent already. He wasn’t the only foreign in class, they were gathered from lots of different countries like Poland, Germany, China, Holland, Korea, Italy, Yugoslavia and Japan.

They were all in the same boat. French were the only language to be spoken when class starts, not only by the teacher, also by the students. The teacher talks condescending to the students at any time: “How very interesting. I thought that everyone loved the mosquito, but here, in front of all the world, you claim to detest him. How is it that we’ve been blessed with someone as unique and original as you? Tell us please. ” (Line 35-37, page 1). This is the first time the students and teacher meets and the teacher is some sort of attacking them already.

But no one understands everything the teacher says, only some of it. One by one the students were to tell about what they hated and loved after which the teacher were orally tearing them to pieces. When it was David’s turn, he tried to absorb as much of her abuse as he could understand. The teacher was using a method where she is questioning the students with all kind of questions. By using the method the students should be able to answer whenever she approached them with a question.

The teacher used the students to practice any of her five fluent languages: “I hate you…” (Line 88, page 3). David “gave” himself a new identity “David the hard worker” and started to ignore everything when he was in class, because he was so eager to learn it. As time passed he didn’t see improvement, but one day when the teacher was scolding, he for the first time since he arrived to France understand everything. That gave him the desire to learn even more. The tone of the essay is very calm and easily understandable.

The way he in the beginning is listening to the teacher scold them by saying: “I you not have meimslsxp or lgpdmurct by this time…” he gives us a concerning about how it was just to sit there without understanding much of what you are told, which I think gives me a figurative picture. David’s attitude towards learning French is remarkable, “I’ve moved to Paris with hopes of learning the language” (Line 6, page 1) He sounds like he does not even know if he will learn it, he is just giving it a shot. It sounds like he I taking it step for step.

And the fact that he only had a month with French before he arrived is fascinating and requires courage. “I absorbed as much of her abuse as I could understand, thinking – but not saying – that I find it ridiculous to assign a gender to an inanimate object incapable of disrobing and making an occasional fool of itself. Why refer to Lady Crack Pipe or Good Sir Dishrag when these things could never live up to all that their sex implied? ” He thinks of commentating it, but keeps his mouth shut, because he is cleverer than that. He uses the references to “Lady Crack Pipe” and “Good Sir Dishrag” as if they were their teacher.

He also calls the teachers way of teaching is like being with a wild animal, something completely unpredictable, which was the reason why he learned to “defend” himself. In spite of his eager to learn the language he became afraid to ask for directions or stopping for coffee. The teacher made him so afraid of saying the wrong words that he didn’t want to speak at all. But when he finally understood the words the teacher was saying to him, a new world opened up in front of him and with great joy he responded: “I know the thing that you speak exact now. Talk me more, you, plus please, plus. ”

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Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

The article “Me Talk Pretty One Day” is written by Davis Sedaris and it was published in 2000. Sedaris was born in New York and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is a playwright and essayist. In the article Sedaris did a good job by appealing to pathos by describing how he and his […]

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David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day

The story of “Me Talk Pretty One day” is about Sedrais’ candid description of his struggle to learn fluent French while residing and attending school in Paris, France. The author points out to the reader that his understanding of French isn’t completely null as he had vacationed in France in the past and had attended […]

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