I don’t know about you but I’ve always had lots of crushes. Je me souviens déjà quand j’étais petite à l’école, je rêvais que l’un d’entre eux viendrait me chercher à la fin de la journée, qu’il m’attendrait à la porte d’entrée, qu’il m’emmènerait ailleurs. But it wasn’t your usual crush. Usual pour une jeune fille je veux dire. Ces silly boys band ne couvraient certainement pas les murs de ma chambre. Stupid boys, non merci, berk. (berk = yikes en français!)

 

Je réalise aujourd’hui que je devais déjà être amoureuse des mots car mes deux préférés étaient Jean-Jacques Goldman et Mylène Farmer c’est-à-dire deux poètes, who both conveniently also happened to be très très beaux. Clicking on their names will take you to articles I wrote about them a few years ago.

 

I must admit I did make a couple of exceptions, la première fois dans mes années adolescentes, en tombant (un petit peu) amoureuse d’un joueur de football de l’équipe de France Youri Djorkaeff (the name alone is dreamy, n’est-ce pas?) puis bien plus tard en découvrant les joies du football américain (mais ça n’a pas duré car les dangers qu’il représente pour le cerveau m’en a dégoûtée) j’ai collé une grande photo de Russell Wilson sur mon frigo. Such a cutie.

 

Ok fine, mais comme on dit, l’exception confirme la règle, parce que, normalement, ceux qui me séduisent sont les intellectuels, les poètes, les philosophes, les fous, les écrivains, les rebelles, les artistes, les aventuriers. Et… je remarque qu’ils sont souvent morts ou célèbres… which you may find silly because, well, je ne peux pas les rencontrer! Mais c’est peut-être justement une autre de leurs qualités… they never disappoint! Qui aime être déçu? Pas moi. Ceux-là je peux les admirer et les adorer tant que je veux, ils ne retombent jamais dans mon estime. C’est rassurant. Stable.

 

In fact, when I first thought about introducing you to the man I’m about to introduce you to (ha ha patience, patience les amis!) I had the idea to start an “My Favorite French Men” series parce qu’il y en a tellement! Plus de morts que de vivants évidemment. Mais sont-ils vraiment morts ou survivent-ils dans nos bibliothèques et dans nos coeurs? J’opte pour la deuxième option. Voilà la magie de l’art. La mystique des mots.

 

Il se trouve que l’homme dont je m’apprête à vous parler est bien vivant! En fait il a failli mourir en août 2014 en tombant d’un toit d’une maison. Ouch. He came out of it partially broken, you’ll see that on his wonky face. Le visage de Sylvain Tesson est à moitié paralysé, ce qui, je trouve, le rend mille fois plus beau. Ça lui donne une profondeur tragique qui correspond bien au personnage et à sa folie géniale et à sa liberté rebelle.

 

(Vous apprécierez les sous-titres en français dans la vidéo ci-dessous)

 

 

Ok but what has he done that’s so special and exciting and rebellious?

 

Déjà, c’est un écrivain de talent, ainsi qu’un passionné de littérature et de poésie. Regardez un peu sa bibliothèque au début du reportage ci-dessous… en fait, son appartement parisien n’est qu’une bibliothèque!

 

 

En plus de découvrir son amour des livres, vous entendrez Sylvain Tesson parler de sa passion pour l’escalade… l’escalade des montagnes bien sûr… mais pas que! À Paris par exemple, il escalade les immeubles, les églises, les cathédrales, et même la Tour Eiffel! Et de manière complètement illégale et non protégée bien sûr. Sinon c’est pas drôle. Le voici très jeune et accroché à une gargouille!

 

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C’est un solitaire, un aventurier, un voyageur, and we’re not talking about comfortable travels here. More like cycling around the world through the most dangerous spots when he was just a kid, or more recently living in a cabin all by himself (pas exactement car il avait deux chiens et des livres!) en plein milieu de la Sibérie. Le livre connut un tel succès qu’il fut adapté au cinéma. Voici la bande annonce… peut-être votre prochain film français on your “to watch” list?

 

 

Another giant Giant GIant GIAnt GIANT plus Sylvain Tesson has, is his love for the Greek civilization, the Greek mythology, and the Greek philosophers. Pour moi en tous cas parce que, I happen to share ses passions et intérêts. Lately and in preparation for my collection of short stories, mon recueil de nouvelles, rooted in Greek mythology, j’ai lu et relu beaucoup de livres à propos des mythes grecs, dont Un été avec Homère écrit par Sylvain Tesson. J’ai adoré ce livre. A summer with… followed by the name of a great author or thinker such as Homer, Victor Hugo, Blaise Pascal, Marcel Proust, Michel de Montaigne, etc. est à l’origine une série d’émissions diffusées pendant l’été 2017 sur France Inter, puis transformées en livres, pour inspirer les Français pendant leurs vacances d’été.

 

 

Sylvain Tesson et la magnifique chaîne de télévision Arte ont produit des documentaires qui retracent le voyage d’Ulysse de Troie à Ithaque. Voyage qui lui prit dix ans, dix ans de combat (which also included de très belles femmes donc je n’ai pas trop de peine pour notre pauvre Ulysse non plus… je pense surtout à la sorcière Circé (hyper sexy) et à la nymphe Calypso (bombe sexuelle) qui a retenu Ulysse sur son île paradisiaque pendant sept ans et qui lui a même offert l’immortalité et la jeunesse éternelle. Mais Ulysse a préféré sa (vieille) Pénélope…

 

 

Si vous ne connaissez pas la mythologie grecque, vraiment vous manquez quelque chose faites-moi confiance! Mais ne vous inquiétez pas, il n’est pas trop tard! Et grâce à un autre homme français que j’adore (et dont j’ai souvent parlé dans ce blog) vous pourrez à la fois la découvrir tout en pratiquant votre compréhension du français. Mon beloved François Busnel s’exprime élégamment et lentement, donc ses explications accompagnées d’illustrations enchanteresses ne devraient pas être trop difficiles à comprendre. Voici une série de vingt vidéos (et une fois de plus, merci à la chaîne de télévision Arte, paying taxes can feel good quelques fois!)

 

 

Et pour finir en beauté, voici quelques aphorismes de Sylvain Tesson:

 

Quelque soit la direction prise, marcher conduit à l’essentiel. Petit traité sur l’immensité du monde

L’élégance est de se comporter dans la solitude comme en société. Petit traité sur l’immensité du monde

L’homme libre possède le temps. L’homme qui maîtrise l’espace est simplement puissant. Dans les forêts de Sibérie

On dispose de tout ce qu’il faut lorsque l’on organise sa vie autour de l’idée de ne rien posséder. Dans les forêts de Sibérie

Lire nous confirme que la solitude est un trésor. Un livre peut changer une vie. Et dire qu’il n’y a aucune mise en garde d’inscrite sur la couverture. Géographie de l’instant

L’espérance est une insulte à l’instant. Aphorismes dans les herbes

 

If you love them, you’ll find more HERE.

 

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Ok, I just gave you a ton of beautiful material for you to work on your français alors allez-y et enjoy! That’s the whole point, n’est-ce pas?

 

Je ne vous parle pas encore de mon nouvel appartement à Chartres… in case you’ve missed the last two blog posts, I was in the process of looking to buy a new home in France dans la région parisienne, and am now in the process of buying a new home in Chartres near Paris, mais j’attends encore des documents de la banque et du notaire avant de pouvoir affirmer de manière sûre que l’appartement est à moi, et puisqu’apparemment je suis un peu superstitieuse, je préfère être prudente et attendre encore un peu avant de partager plus d’informations avec vous!

 

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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!

 

French online course #1: 600 WORDS

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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 🙂

 

Online course # 2: PERFECT PRONUNCIATION

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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 🙂

 

Online course # 3: FRENCH DICTÉES

French online course dictées

 

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

-Socializing

-Childhood memories

-Family dynamics

-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.

 

Become a monthly member!

Learn French Online

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!

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