I know everyone’s eager to start 2021 and forget all about 2020, and really what we mean when we say this is : go away covidpoop! Mais j’ai décidé de ne pas être trop injuste envers 2020, parce que, at least personnellement, l’année dernière m’a aussi apporté beaucoup de belles choses.

 

Donc ce matin en prenant mon petit-déjeuner, I took my notebook et mon stylo plume, and I made a list of all the wonderful things that 2020 brought me avec l’aide de mon calendrier, afin de ne rien oublier… I wouldn’t want to be ingrate!

 

1- Beaucoup de gens aimeraient habiter à Paris, even for just one year. Not only was I given l’opportunité de faire ça, but I truly took advantage of it autant que possible! Every bit of free time was dedicated to visits, seule, avec des amis, ou avec des guides, je suis allée au théâtre assister à de magnifiques pièces, par exemple, Cyrano de Bergerac ou Flowers for Algernon, I attended countless lectures about Paris artists, architecture, histoire, j’ai exploré les parcs, les jardins, les églises, les cimetières (I lived only 30 minutes away from le Dieu de la Littérature, j’ai nommé Marcel Proust, so I could go spend time avec lui très souvent) and last but not least, chaque lundi j’avais le plaisir d’aller écouter les conférences du philosophe Charles Pépin pendant lesquelles il nous parlait de beauté, d’art, de morale, de dignité, de confiance, de peur, de musique, bref, de la vie, avec sa merveilleuse et intelligente perspective philosophique.

 

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2- Grâce à French Truly, je fais de superbes et riches rencontres partout où je vais. Je dois dire que la plus belle de ces rencontres à Paris fut celle qui est depuis devenue ma grande amie Flo, une jeune femme française au parcours tellement insolite qu’elle sera la première personne interviewée par moi dans le cadre de mon nouveau podcast! I can’t wait for you to meet her as she is as smart and profound as she is hilarious. We keep joking about starting a two-women-show. Flo & Virginie… attention aux étincelles!

 

3- Here’s an event I would have forgotten without the precious help de mon calendrier… good grief Virginie mais comment est-ce possible d’oublier un tel événement es-tu donc folle!?? J’ai assisté à mon émission de télévision préférée La Grande Librairie during which I was able to meet my beloved François Busnel (ok fine he’s not really MY beloved but hey, one can dream) and picture myself assise sur le canapé en face de lui en train de parler de mon livre! Très cool!

 

 

4- J’ai eu la chance de revoir Seattle ainsi que toutes les personnes que j’y ai laissées lorsque je l’ai quittée pour venir m’installer en France en 2017. Seattle will always be my home et mes amies Seattleite seront toujours ma famille. Et puis j’ai aussi eu le plaisir d’enseigner deux French Immersion Courses (was supposed to be three mais bon, you know, stupid covid) et de rencontrer des personnes géniales!

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

5- J’ai vu Paris dénudée, vidée de son tumulte habituel, de ses habitants, de son brouhaha incessant, de ses embouteillages, de sa vie. Cependant, Tragique et Beauté ne sont pas contradictoires. How many people can say they ran right in the middle of the rue de Rivoli with nothing there but the stunning architecture et un silence total? I didn’t think I’d ever get to put that on my list of crazy adventures!

 

learn french online

 

6- Pendant le printemps 2020, trois nouvelles étudiantes privées not only became a part of my life, mais sont aussi devenues des amis très chères : Jennifer à Colorado Springs, Liz à LA, et Stefanie à Manhattan. Nothing but joy and gratitude to see their beautiful faces every week. Nous savons déjà que nous nous rencontrerons en personne quand nous pourrons de nouveau voyager internationalement! I can’t wait! Enfin ce n’est pas complètement vrai parce que Jennifer (photo above – white sweater girrrrls!) et moi avons déjà passé un week-end ensemble à Seattle lors de mes French Immersion Courses. Plus tard, j’ai eu le plaisir d’accueillir mon tout premier étudiant de Nouvelle-Zélande, Jimmy! 12 heures de décalage horaire won’t stop us because nous sommes motivés ha! Nous étions censés nous rencontrer en septembre 2020 parce qu’il devait venir au French Immersion Course à Paris mais… one can only hope September 2021 will be even better, n’est-ce pas? Et puis cet été, ce sont les belles Jo & Jennifer qui m’ont rejoint. Même si nous restons derrière nos écrans, et pas à cause de covid cette fois-ci mais simply because we are so far away from each other, j’ai toujours l’impression de me retrouver chez mes étudiants, invitée dans leurs salons, dans leurs pays. Grâce à Jo, je visite l’Irlande du nord tous les lundis matin et nous parlons philosophie, théologie, littérature… en français bien sûr! Can you think of a more perfect way to start off your semaine? Et Grâce à Jennifer, je visite… la Virginie ha! En fait c’est drôle parce qu’elle habite dans une ravissante petite ville près de DC qui s’appelle Alexandria, et que j’ai visitée en 2015 et beaucoup appréciée. Jennifer et moi went through the home buying process presque exactement en même temps l’année dernière. Nous avons donc partagé photos, stress, and excitement!

 

7- À cause de la pandémie, je n’ai pas pu passer mes exams (now now attention, passer un examen est un faux-ami, and I didn’t just say I wasn’t able to pass my exams but I wasn’t able to TAKE my exams!) à l’université comme d’habitude. Instead I was asked like all the other students, to take them at home, which I actually really enjoyed. Plus de place. Plus de temps. Great grades. Youpi!

 

8- Covid and the financial repercussions it had (still has, come on vaccine, come on, let us travel again pleeeeaaaaase!) also kicked me out of la très chère Paris! Yet I knew I wanted to stay close. C’est alors que je me suis rappelée que Chartres, située seulement à une heure en train de Paris and which I had visited back in 2017 when I still lived in the US, had made quite an impact on me. Ma mère et moi avons donc décidé de passer une journée tranquille, touristique, relaxante, exploratrice, à Chartres, le 23 juin 2020. I can’t forget that date. The date I visited the first, one and only home I ever visited, and fell in love with instantly before I had even seen toutes ses pièces! Only a few steps in there and I knew instantly : je suis ici chez moi. Et c’était vrai! Me voici en ce moment dans cet appartement, mon appartement, en train d’écrire this blog post! Only it looks totally different maintenant! Je promets de partager les photos quand les travaux seront finis! Pour l’instant j’habite dans un chantier as the top picture can testify… mon salon ha!

 

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That’s what le salon looked like la première fois que je l’ai vu… mais plus maintenant!

 

9- En août j’ai quitté Paris and was FINALLY reunited with my puppies, my babies, my loves of love : Sophie & Bruno! I can’t believe I somehow managed to live une année entière sans eux! Quelle horreur! Mes petits amours tout doux! Mes petits coeurs velus!

 

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10- Sophie, Bruno, et moi, avons passé deux mois super agréables à Vienne chez ma mère qui nous a chouchoutés non-stop, tous les jours! Chaque jour elle nous préparait des petits plats délicieux, créatifs, super healthy, et toujours différents! Merci maman! Et puis la piscine… la sublime piscine olympique de Vienne où j’allais nager pendant 1h30 tous les jours. Hello muscles! Hello tan! C’était trop bien!

 

11- Après quelques difficultés (quelques difficultés ha ha la bonne blague! A bloody nightmare you mean!) j’ai enfin signé le contrat de vente, et le bel appartement de Chartres est devenu MON appartement le 9 octobre 2020! J’ai emménagé dans la nuit du 16 au 17, aidée de ma mère et de mon ami Laurent (Sophie et Bruno n’ont rien fait du tout! How rude!) après 7 heures de route dans un grand camion tout neuf! Nous avons chanté tout le long c’était super ultra méga festif! Puis ils sont restés quelques jours avec moi pour m’aider à tout nettoyer (une fois de plus, zero help from the fuzzy kids! And they don’t even pay rent! Incroyable!) et à tout ranger avant l’arrivée de… Toni! Aaaaaaaah mon Toni! Mon homme à tout faire! A friend of a friend who is now my friend too (nous avons même échangé des cadeaux de Noël! Trop chou!) qui vient chez moi tous les jours depuis le 3 novembre pour faire tous les travaux : peinture, pose de papier peint, pose de carrelage, ponçage, réparation en tout genre, construction de meubles, inventions originales… et en plus, il me fait mes courses parce que je n’ai plus de voiture! I couldn’t dream of a more perfect handyman lucky lucky LUCKY moi!

 

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12- Have I mentioned que je suis amoureuse de Chartres yet? En plus de vivre dans une carte postale / conte de fée où la laideur de la modernité was carefully kept away, ma nouvelle ville has been nothing but lovingly welcoming depuis mon arrivée. Mes voisins Guillaume, Anne, et Olivier, sont adorables : je vais chez eux, ils viennent chez moi, nous papotons, prenons l’apéritif ensemble, bref, c’est top. Ça ne m’était jamais arrivé à Paris!

 

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Et que dire de mon nouvel ami Michael, who not only is American, but from Seattle! Comme moi! Et sa chienne s’appelle Sophie aussi! Comme la mienne! Franchement je trouve ça carrément magique, pas vous? Nous avons célébré Noël ensemble la semaine dernière, ainsi que le réveillon de la Saint Sylvestre hier soir. Il a même réussi à capturer une petite framboise poussée sur mon nez!

 

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13- En attendant que nous puissions tous voyager de nouveau, j’ai décidé de contacter Kaya Singer, the amazing business coach qui m’avait aidée en 2012 et 2013 à lancer French Truly. Grâce à nos échanges, j’ai réussi à trouver plusieurs solutions en ligne that you loved!

 

D’abord les Online French Immersion Courses based on Chartres and amazing Chartrains : restaurant owner, pastry chef, artisans, stained glass artist, Renaissance book store owner, beekeeper, the list keeps growing. I just LOVE finding out about all these amazing people, reaching out to them, chatting with them, and coming up with a plan for them to participate in our Online French Immersion Courses. The first 2 sold out in a few days only and the third one is almost there! So if you want to pick the last couple of spots, click here. In the process I even make new friends! Par exemple, Catherine une artisan sérigraphe m’a invitée à déjeuner chez elle mardi pour que je rencontre sa famille et ses amis dans son adorable maison! Un déjeuner typiquement français, commencé à 12h30, terminé à 18h, ha! J’ai même appris qu’ils avaient pour voisins un couple d’artistes : l’homme un sculpteur chartrain, la femme une musicienne de Los Angeles! Are you sensing a growing little American community à Chartres!?

 

Ensuite le Online French Bookclub starting next Tuesday oh la la! It’s also sold out but if you’re interested let me know here because I want to open a new one bientôt!

 

Et voilà pourquoi, malgré les difficultés et le stress générés par ce virus à la noix, je serais folle et parfaitement ingrate de ne pas voir tous les aspects ultra positifs de 2020. And so that’s just how I’ll remember cette année et puis c’est tout.

 

If you made a “Merci 2020” list, what would it look like?

 

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Learn French online with Virginie

Join French Truly’s online immersion course and 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 immersion course about Chartres, France

French online immersion course

Come to France anyway!

You want to go to France but covid decided you couldn’t travel right now? Maybe you have plans that keep getting postponed? How frustrating! I hear you. We know it’s going to get better but we don’t know when! So, instead of lamenting over an uncertain future, how about we make the present moment a little bit French… online? Who says because you’re stuck at home you can’t immerse yourself in the French language and culture? Join me and all my wonderful French guests in a small online group for 4 consecutive weeks!

I just moved to Chartres, the most charming French city only an hour away from Paris, and until you can come join us here in person, I’m going to share all I can of my new dreamy home with you online!

Intermediate level students

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 16, 23, 30, Feb 6 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES 2021 Jan 25, Feb 1, 8, 15 – 6pm French time JOIN NOW 3 SPOTS LEFT

Beginner level students

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 24, 31, Feb 7, 14 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES COMING SOON JOIN THE WAITING LIST

If you’re unsure which level you are, contact me to schedule a free Skype call

 

Benefits

  • Improve your French conversational skills in a completely safe & friendly environment with me and my amazing French guests who I am selecting because they represent true Chartres landmarks : art historians, chefs, entrepreneurs, artisans, pâtissiers, etc. all passionate experts in their own fields.
  • Practice speaking & listening to French while learning about the French culture. This will ensure a rich discussion as well as expand your French vocabulary.
  • Learn French grammar & conjugation in a natural way thanks to a practical context.
  • Relax knowing that I’m here to manage our time together and make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity to participate.
  • Discover Chartres, my new gorgeous city, with me! I very recently moved to this little piece of heaven and I am beyond excited to explore and share all I can with you!
  • Bask in French traditions & history in medieval Chartres, an endless source of fascinating stories.So, if you’re feeling a strong “OUI” for this, just click on the appropriate sign up button right below!

French online book club

french book club

You want to improve your French, become smarter, and hang out avec moi et un livre court, hilarant, facile à comprendre, et superbement bien écrit?

Join me and other French / Francophone book lovers to read, discuss, and converse together on our live Online French Book Club!

SOLD OUT 2021 Jan 5, 12, 19, 26, Feb 2 – 6pm French time
NEW DATES COMING SOON JOIN THE WAITING LIST

 

Benefits

  • Improve your French comprehension skills in a completely safe & friendly environment with me and Amélie’s amazing stories, hilarious plots, unique sense of humor, delectable vocabulary, flawless syntax.
  • Practice reading, speaking, and listening to French while bursting out laughing at every page. This will ensure a rich discussion as well as expand your French vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Learn French grammar & conjugation in a natural way thanks to a practical context.
  • Relax knowing that I’m here to manage our time together and make sure everyone gets a fair opportunity to participate.
  • If you don’t already know Amélie Nothomb, discover a fabulous author able to share a piece of life with you as she’s written 28 books! I guess if you’re good, we could just continue with another one of her books when this first course est terminé!

 

French online course #1: 600 WORDS

learn french online

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

Learn French online

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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in 3 easy steps

 

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