Last Saturday was November 16th, the day I celebrated my 3 months in Paris since I arrived on August 16th. It seems so close yet so far away at the same time! Only I arrived wearing tiny shorts and now I never leave my apartment without mon manteau, mes gants, mes écharpes (yes I wear two, it’s my thing!), mon bandeau, et mes chaussettes en laine!
Mais vous allez me dire ça n’est pas très intéressant tout ça… non, ce qui est intéressant c’est to look back and see how much (so much) has happened in the past 3 months! I want to share some of these let’s-get-used-to-Paris impressions with you!
I used the word “overwhelming” dans mon titre. C’est exactement ça, mais comme j’ai dit, in the best possible way! Last summer my immersion students taught me l’expression FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out – I probably didn’t have to write this as I imagine I’m the only person who didn’t know about it! But just in case there is a Virginie # 2 out there…) que je trouve rigolote parce que, to my untrained oreille, it sounds like MOFO… not quite the same I know but that’s what I hear donc pour moi c’est amusant!
But back to FOMO… it seems to me that everything happens here in Paris! I used to be able to enter a few exciting events here and there in my calendar and simply look forward to them. Maintenant c’est différent! I could literally do nothing but attend super cool events, talks, visits, book signings, shows, you name it, tous les jours, tous les soirs, toutes les nuits, and I’d still be missing out! C’est complètement fou! Et je peux vous dire que pour une overachiever comme moi, c’est assez difficile à gérer émotionnellement. Sérieusement. Je veux tout faire. Je veux tout voir. Mais c’est juste pas possible Virginie, alors calme-toi et respire. Respire.
My first 3 months à Paris
Et ensuite je pense à tout ce que j’ai vu déjà en seulement trois mois! Je pense à tout ce que j’ai fait, à tous les endroits que j’ai visités, à tout ce que j’ai découvert, à toutes mes aventures planned and… not so planned… such as finding myself in the middle of a (super peaceful and friendly may I add) gilet jaune march along the canal Saint Martin last Sunday:
Je pense à tous les meetings que j’ai organisés, à toutes les personnes que j’ai rencontrées, notamment pour mon French Immersion Course à Paris which will take place en septembre 2020.
French Immersion Course à Paris
By the way quick parenthèse: the webpage for my French Immersion Course à Paris is being built as we speak (or should I say, as I type!) and, as promised, I will send an early message to all the people who have asked to be added to the Paris Waiting List, and there’s quite a few of you woohoo! If you want to be added too, ce n’est pas trop tard: just click HERE to send me a message. In a few days, I will send a private email to the Waiting List people called PARIS EARLY SIGN UP so stay tuned because you’ll have 2 DAYS TO REGISTER before I share the news with the world!
Je pense à toutes les conférences auxquelles j’ai assistées ces deux dernières semaines. Aaaaaah Paris est parfaite pour les nerds, les intellos! Voici les titres des quatre dernières conférences auxquelles j’ai eu la chance et le plaisir d’assister:
- Qu’est-ce qu’un gai savoir? (en référence au célèbre livre de Nietzsche) présenté par un de nos philosophes médiatisés Charles Pépin. Watch the below short video of him, in French with French subtitles, introducing the series of philosophy conferences he gives at MK2:
It’s kind of fun to find yourself chatting about Nietzsche, Proust, and Plato with a famous philosopher (Charles Pépin dans la vidéo ci-dessus) waiting in line for the bathroom… Et oui, I recently discovered his weekly conferences and I love them! They’re interesting, clear, intellectually stimulating, and you don’t need to be un monstre de philosophie to understand. Don’t forget the etymology of philosophie = philosophia = φιλοσοφία, which in Greek means l’amour de la sagesse, the love of wisdom.
- Next conférence topic: Le beau est-il l’éclat du vrai? Feel free to answer in the comment section… en français évidemment otherwise ce n’est pas amusant!
Le week-end dernier la Sorbonne organisait Le Festival des Idées, en cliquant sur l’image ci-dessous, vous découvrirez le programme pour vous donner une idée des conférences proposées! Super intéressant, n’est-ce pas?
Bon, I also have to work and study, so I only went to 2, mais c’est déjà pas mal:
- La fabrique des utopies, le samedi après-midi
- Est-on moins crédule qu’au Moyen-Âge? le dimanche soir
In other words, autrement dit, it’s been a delightfully nerdy few days!
Petit album photo parisien…
Maintenant let me share a few cool pictures with a short explication / description et dites-moi si vous connaissez ou non!
Une de mes peintures préférées: La Grande Odalisque de Ingres. Je ne savais pas qu’elle se trouvait au Louvre! J’adore ces moments de surprise!
Dalida’s boobs! Or should I say, le buste de Dalida, c’est plus chic! Vous la connaissez? If you don’t well then let’s fix it because you simply must. After visiting her grave dans le cimetière de Montmartre, mon ami m’a dit qu’apparemment toucher les seins de Dalida porte chance, ce qui explique la couleur différente! Rigolo, n’est-ce pas?
My first time in a fabulous théâtre parisien: the stunning super fancy théâtre de la porte Saint Martin built in 1781. The play I went to see, La Dame de Chez Maxim by playwright Georges Feydeau from the Belle Époque era, was complètement hilarant and I honestly cannot remember last time I laughed so much for 2 hours non-stop.
Et me voilà partie à la découverte des magnifiques bibliothèques de Paris. Celle-ci s’appelle Sainte Geneviève, elle est gratuite et ouverte à tous! You just need to register at the entrance where they’ll give you a library card after they take possibly the ugliest picture of you of your life! Seriously the light is so bad it makes you look like un monstre! I’ve been tempted to throw it away ever since au cas où quelqu’un la trouve dans mon porte-feuilles! Oh vanity.
One of my University courses this year is 19th century French Literature with a focus on my beloved Alfred de Musset (that’s why I chose that particular course bien sûr) so I am now diving back into my favorite Musset books, one of them being “On ne badine pas avec l’amour” d’où provient le passage ajouté ci-dessous.
Oh Alfred! Just look at that face! The ultimate bad boy. One of France’s best poets. Je l’aime! Begin at “Tous les hommes sont menteurs…” vous comprenez? Que pensez-vous de cette description des hommes et des femmes? Share away in the comment section!
At the Pompidou library. I randomly picked the book called Gamiani, which I had never read before, can you see it in there? It happened to be un livre érotique très intense! I read the whole thing at the library, looking around me and thinking: “If you all knew what I was reading right now mwahahaha!”
Après ce livre “intéressant” je suis allée dîner dans un de mes cafés préférés and I made a new super cute (et apparemment un peu fatigué?) friend!
I previously shared with you in this blog post about Les Grands Voisins: I spent five hours there and had to kick my own butt to leave parce que je devais aller voir un autre endroit avant de rentrer chez moi. Un rêve. I had stepped into un rêve. Imaginez un vieil hôpital abandonné, architecture années 1900, taken over by artists, artisans, organic chefs, bakers, chocolatiers, all with a focus on community and solidarity for the creatives and those without a home. It’s precious, wacky, vibrant, and filled with talent, compassion, and laughter. Coup de foudre! Love at first sight! En plus, tout le monde est super sympa, accueillant, et heureux d’expliquer et de partager leur beau concept.
And then bien sûr il y a aussi the brilliant Recyclerie, which I officially visited, at length, with one of their staff members, while asking tons of questions, so I could share all the info with you. And I will do it, just be patient! Either on a blog post or as one piece of my new audio interview project! More info coming to you sooooon! Fascinating place!
My kind of Halloween… we spent the most magical & delightful evening at Le Train Bleu! Forget modern life for one evening and pretend this is La Belle Époque all over again. Fancy fancy just the way I like it youpi! (I just noticed I’m wearing the same top as on the Louvre picture! I do have other tops too but I guess I like this one ha!)
Samedi dernier, j’ai participé à un food tour et notre guide nous a emmené dans cette adorable petite épicerie qui n’offre que les meilleurs produits! Et je confirme! On a fait une petite dégustation c’était absolument délicieux! La propriétaire est dynamique, sympa, idéaliste, créative, et pleine d’énergie! My kind of person! I think she might have to be part of my new audio interview project mentioned above qu’en pensez-vous?
J’ai bien sûr des tonnes d’autres photos et des tonnes d’autres aventures à partager avec vous but since this is a blog post and not a picture book, je vais m’arrêter ici. Et pour finir de manière artistique, je vais vous laisser avec un graffiti sur lequel je suis tombée ce week-end, le grand Amour de ma vie, the reason I live in Paris: Marcel Proust.
New audio course project so you can just listen
Maintenant, je dois partager avec vous mon nouveau projet, on top of my third online course French Dictées coming out on December 1st and my French Immersion Course à Paris, of course. C’est un projet de cours audio because many of you have asked for a course they could just listen to while walking, driving, faire la cuisine, etc. au lieu d’être stuck devant l’ordinateur! Donc je vais créer deux types de cours audio différents:
1 – Des nouvelles (short stories) d’environ 10 à 15 minutes chacune, which I promise to make as exciting as possible!
2 – Des histoires personnelles des Parisiens que je rencontre lors de mes pérégrinations et recherches pour mes cours immersion, personal stories of inspiring Parisians: entrepreneurs, artisans, thinkers, etc. It will be a mix of moi and them talking in French slowly and clearly so you can follow peacefully and pleasantly, sans vouloir vous arracher les cheveux!
Random fun fact…
Oh and quick fun fact. Mesdames, if you ever look around you and wonder: “Où sont les beaux hommes?” I have the answer for you: They’re here. Ils sont ici. Sérieusement. It’s almost ridiculous. I thought it was a stereotype mais pas du tout. C’est la vérité. Ils sont superbes et ils sont partout with their lush hair and their trendy looks and their scarves and their cool shoes and their nonchalant ways and their everything else. Où sont les beaux hommes? Ils sont à Paris. No offense other cities, the concentration here simply happens to be quite astonishing!
FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEKEND IN SEATTLE MARCH 2020
2020 March 7 & 8: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT JOIN THE WAITING LIST
2020 March 14 & 15: This French Immersion Course is designed for beginner level students – 3 SPOTS left
If you’re unsure about your level, contact me to schedule a free Skype call
FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE
PÉLUSSIN – FRANCE
2020 April 6 to 12: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT JOIN THE WAITING LIST
2020 July 20 to 26: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT JOIN THE WAITING LIST
Paris will open for registration in a few days! The webpage for my French Immersion Course à Paris is being built right now and, as promised, I will send a special early announcement to all the people who have asked to be added to the Paris Waiting List. If you want to be added too click HERE to send me a message. I will send an email called PARIS EARLY SIGN UP in a few days so stay tuned! You’ll have 2 days to sign up before I share the news with the world and officially open the registration!
If you’re unsure about your level, contact me to schedule a free Skype call
100% French Experience
What inspired me to create this French Immersion Course? C’est très simple: how best to improve your French conversation skills than by being in France, surrounded with French culture and French people who will ONLY speak French to you? Yet so many times I have heard visitors express their disappointment at not really being given the chance to practice their French. Why? Because more & more French people, especially in big cities, speak English fairly well and are just so excited to practice their new skills with you! This ends up being nice and comfortable for you but not so satisfying or helpful for improving your French speaking ability! So to fix this and make sure you have the most enjoyable, and at the same time profitable, French learning experience, I decided to create the perfect environment for you by organizing this hands-on French Immersion Course.
Daily French Classes & Activities
This is the reason why I have created this 7 DAY FULL FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE for you, filled with daily classes & enriching adventures with French people who will only speak French with you. No English! It’s amazing how much you can learn and retain in such a conducive atmosphere in as little as 7 days. Mornings will be dedicated to French language classes and afternoons will be filled with interesting activities such as: visiting local artists or entrepreneurs workshops, meeting with local wine makers and farmers, guided hike in nature, cooking class, painting class, cinema, & museum… all in French!
WANT TO TAKE YOUR FRENCH TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
RECEIVE VIRGINIE’S FREE COURSE to Help You Become a little bit French in 3 Steps.
Learn French Online with Virginie via the French Truly Online School
Watch Testimonials from Virginie’s Happy Students!
Learn French online with Virginie
Join French Truly’s online school, either by buying the French online course(s) of your choice or by becoming a monthly member. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page
Each French online course is packed with video & audio files along with written material, to make it as fun, easy, and user friendly as possible for you! Come and learn French online with me!
Official launch date: December 1st 2019! Another course packed with video & audio files along with written material, to make it as fun, easy, and user friendly as possible for you so come learn French online avec moi!
When it comes to spelling I’m a little old fashion and I believe the best 2 ways are reading and what we call in French “la dictée”, which is a dictation or a spelling test. As a child attending schools in France, I was lucky to have very strict teachers who made us go through la dictée almost every day. And clearly it worked. So I’m really excited to announce my FRENCH DICTÉES online course to you because I know you’re going to find it really helpful, not only to reduce the numbers of spelling mistakes you make when writing in French, but also to improve your French comprehension! It’s so frustrating when people try to have a conversation with us but we’re just not sure what they’re saying!
In the FRENCH DICTÉES online course you will find 20 videos + 10 audio files to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. Why 20 videos? Because there are 10 dictées in total, each focusing on one particular topic, and for each dictée I have prepared 2 videos. Let’s say the video focuses on both French past tenses called imparfait & passé composé. The first video will go though the grammar, the conjugation, and all the tips on these two past tenses to help you understand and remember how and when to use them. The second video will be the actual dictée, a short story written by me, describing everyday life situations conveniently packed with imparfait and passé composé verbs! Boom! Efficient! The dictée will also be read by me, slowly first and then a little faster, with a close up on my face so you can more easily recognize the words and copy the shapes I make to improve your own pronunciation.
Become a French language expert
How do you become an expert at anything? By focusing on one thing at a time.
I’ve made sure to categorize and isolate either a verb tense, a verb group, a grammar or vocabulary topic per dictée, so you can effectively focus and interiorize concepts separately, which makes it a lot easier to remember them.
Here’s what you’re going to learn
What grammar & conjugation points will each dictée focus on?
Dictée # 1: Present tense
Dictée # 2: Past tenses – imparfait & passé composé
Dictée # 3: Future tenses – futur proche & futur simple
Dictée # 4: Conditional, imparfait, asking questions
Dictée # 5: Imperative form
Dictée # 6: First group verbs all tenses
Dictée # 7: Second group verbs all tenses
Dictée # 8: Third group verbs all tenses
Dictée # 9: Numbers
Dictée # 10: Prepositions
Each dictée is a short story written by me about practical everyday life situations. This means that not only do you get to work on conjugation & grammar drills, but you also improve your conversational skills at the same time: a magic combination for your next trip to France!
Grow your confidence talking about practical everyday topics
The dictées will refer to common topics that you are very likely to hear or very likely to use to express yourself such as:
-Traveling to France
-Everyday life routines
-How to express your ideas, opinions, and dreams
Two videos per dictée
First video: key grammar and conjugation reminders explained very clearly so you feel prepared and confident entering each dictée.
Second video: the actual dictée. I’ve made sure to categorize and isolate either a verb tense, a verb group, a grammar or vocabulary topic, so you can effectively focus and interiorize concepts separately, which makes it a lot easier to remember them.
And for you challenge lovers over-achievers?
Yes I have prepared something just for you! I have also made 10 audio files, 1 per dictée, so that if you wish to, if you want it extra difficult, if you want to test yourself more deeply, you can solely rely on sound. Indeed there are many occasions in life where we hear a language but we don’t see it: speaking to someone on the phone or listening to the radio for instance.
20 videos? 10 audio files? What else?
This new FRENCH DICTÉES online course also comes with written files with both the French text along with the English translation, so that you can evaluate yourself when you’re done taking notes.
To summarize, you’ll be able to use video, audio, and written material.
Dictées worked for me, they’ll work for you!
Let me tell you, I LOVE dictées because THEY WORK. And clearly you realize this too and that is smart of you. So now let’s see how something as simple as a dictée can truly help you become a little bit French! Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
In this course, you will find 15 videos (+ 10 bonus ones) to help & accompany you every step of the way through the course + for each word, each sentence, each expression, each conjugated verb, I have created an audio file of my voice, slow and slightly faster speed. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
Did you know…
You can converse (speak + understand) in French with only 600 WORDS?
The average French person only uses between 300 & 3,000 WORDS?
This means that if you can master a relatively short list of words, you’ll be able to express yourself like the average French person! Plus you’re much more likely to understand the French when they talk back to you!
This course will teach you…
1- How to speak French
2- How to pronounce French
3- How to make French sentences
4- How to conjugate all the most common French verbs
5- How to polish your results
6- How to self evaluate your French
More info HERE
- It should take you about 30 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 10 lessons
- This course is designed for a beginner / intermediate level. If you are intermediate but feel like you could really reinforce your foundations, you will love it.
- You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership at the bottom of this page
In this course you will find 11 videos + 150 audio files + 92 pages PDF format to help & accompany you every step of the way throughout the course. In some parts of the videos, my face will appear close up and profile so you can easily see how I make these sounds with my mouth. The 150 audio files are composed of the 100 most popular French words and the 50 most common French phrases. They are recordings of my voice, speaking slowly enough so you can easily grasp every syllable. Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. You can learn French online and benefit from the flexibility working at your own pace offers, while having me with you the whole time.
NB: if you are the proud owner of my previous French online course 600 WORDS, don’t worry, this is not a repeat as we are now exploring 1 letter words and up, whereas in 600 WORDS we began at 4 letter words and up.
Combine knowledge with confidence…
For you to be able to have a pleasant and efficient conversation with a French person, one thing is key… can you guess what it is? Confidence! How well do you think you will communicate in French if you don’t feel confident about your accent? If you are scared that people won’t understand you? Or even worse if you think someone might make fun of you? Without a minimum of confidence there is no room for communication. Yet if you feel confident, you can afford to make a few mistakes here and there because people will still understand you. What prevents a conversation from happening isn’t just a lack of knowledge, it’s also a lack of confidence. You need to have both to make it work, not to mention, to make it fun!
This course will teach you…
1- How to pronounce every letter of the alphabet
2- How to pronounce every digraph & trigraph
3- How to make every French sentence flow
4- How to pronounce the 100 most popular French words
5- How to pronounce the 50 most popular French phrases
6- How to avoid the pronunciation mistakes everyone makes
More info HERE
- It should take you about 20 to 2 hours to complete this course, which is made up of 11 lessons
- This course is designed for a beginner level. If you are intermediate but lack confidence when it comes to talking and feel like you could really benefit from focusing on pronunciation, you will love it.
- You can join whenever, either by buying the course or by becoming a monthly member giving you access to my French online courses from $10 / month. See more details about the membership below
Become a monthly member!
My goal is to transform your French language learning experience. This is why I’ve decided to offer you a new way to learn French online and gain access to the French Truly Online School! Actually, more than 1 new way, you’ll have 3 plans to choose from so come and learn French online with me!