Within four days I have learned the past tense, some future tense, and how to structure my sentences (better anyway). However, I am also quickly learning how horrible my French is. Ruben can understand me the majority of the time, but this is because he is used to my forced choppy speech patterns. Everyone else does my signature move: smile politely and nod the head. It also helps to give a slight chuckle now and again. And if they laugh, laugh even louder.
Today Ruben and I took a trip to tour a few of the cute little villages along the Siene, one of which was inhabited by Victor Hugo (before he was exiled). There was also a very medival town with a large Abbey in the middle that was at one time sold to use the stone in other buildings! Our tour guide asked three times if we all spoke French. Again, I couldn't bear saying, "No, excuse moi monseuir mais je parle seulement un peu francais... Je suis Americanne!" I just bobbed my head politely and followed Ruben's lead.... I have never heard anyone talk that fast. He must have been trying to show off.
Allors, the good news is that my french is improving. The bad news is that I do not understand the French at all! However, I suppose we will both get better with time.