Before you can join me for real on my French Immersion Courses à Paris, how about you accompany me on my latest Parisian adventures: Saintes Chapelles, churches, scary dungeons filled with famous prisoners, never ending parks, revolutionary art & architecture!
La Sainte Chapelle
I no longer visit anything without a guide (je veux dire une personne, pas une machine!) now because it’s so much richer this way! Donc a few days ago, mon excellente guide et moi avons passé deux heures à la Sainte Chapelle. I actually gasped when we first stepped in. Seriously one of the most intense esthetic experience I’VE EVER HAD.
I think of you every time I go explore Paris and take lots of pictures and wonder: “Should I include this in my French Immersion Courses à Paris? How can I link it to everything else we’ll be doing? What will they learn from this and how can I make this an unforgettable experience?” I feel blessed because having a specific mission in mind makes exploring that much more exciting!
Une autre Sainte Chapelle! Et oui, it was a Sainte Chapelle kind of weekend ha!
Ever visited Vincennes? I spent a whole Saturday there, with guides again, and I learned so much. J’ai visité:
– La Sainte Chapelle: la guide nous a emmenés sur le toit, quelle vue!
– Le Donjon: even though it was supposed to be l’habitation du Roi de France, it mostly ended up being used as a fancy prison for fancy prisoners such as:
– The disgusting Marquis de Sade
– The brilliant philosopher Denis Diderot
– The brave (but not fancy) revolutionary women who fought the 1871 French civil war called la Commune, and who produced these moving “graffiti” en gravant leurs noms dans le mur en pierre. Ça m’a donné la chair de poule! Most of these women were then shot or sent to labor camps. How many names can you spot?
Ensuite j’ai fait une petite balade au bois de Vincennes, I was right there it would have been silly not to go malgré le froid! Absolutely gigantic so I’ll have to go back… when it’s less cold!
Théâtre Porte Saint Martin
I’m a little bit ashamed to admit that I had never heard of the book Flowers for Algernon by American writer Daniel Keyes. Hundreds of plays are shown every day à Paris, but somehow, I consistently felt drawn to the poster for Des Fleurs pour Algernon played at Théâtre du Petit St-Martin. J’ai eu raison de faire confiance à mon intuition car la pièce était MA-GNI-FIQUE. If you’re in Paris, go see it. Sinon, lisez le livre! Et si vous connaissez déjà l’histoire, pourquoi ne pas le lire en français?
I’m so excited to say that, both attending my favorite TV program La Grande Librairie (can you spot me in there?!) and making a new wonderful écrivain friend, motivated me to write my very first short story! It’s done, written, even edited!
ATTENTION! False friend mistakes to avoid:
Une nouvelle is a short story
Un roman is a novel
My goal now is to write a collection of Paris based short stories and make them into one book. I’m sharing this with you because doing so will stop me from chickening out!
And while you’re at it, écoutez comme Daniel Tammet (écrivain, poète et hyperpolyglotte anglais) parle bien français!
I’ve also been taking a weekly course on the History of Paris taught from the perspective of its art & architecture. Needless to say, j’adore et j’apprends énormément! Je prends des tonnes de notes ainsi que des photos des slides de la présentation du professeur, comme celle-ci par exemple:
Exemples de thèmes abordés dans les cours:
Paris de Haussmann
Les jardins de Paris
As I am now writing my second short story (more sharing = more accountability!) it just so happens that mixing some of the course content naturally presented itself pour la conclusion de cette nouvelle!
My favorite place à Paris
I’m curious: what’s your favorite place in Paris?
Tough choice I know, but what’s the first thing that came up to your mind when you read the question? Mine would probably have to be le Cimetière du Père Lachaise, and not just because it holds several of my favorite boyfriends from another life!
Last weekend, I paid a little visit to (one of) my beloved: the sexy, the passionate, the talented, the explosive, the ultimate bad boy, j’ai nommé Alfred de Musset, immense poète français.
I then spent the rest of the day working on my Musset dissertation (you can’t ever go wrong with a Musset kind of day) sipping on a lot of thé earl grey à la Brasserie Chantefable avenue Gambetta dans le 20ème arrondissement. I highly recommend it! Pretty, cosy, adorable staff (they gave me a table for 4 so I could spread all my books and papers!), yummy food.
Le 17ème arrondissement de Paris
I don’t know about you but j’aime beaucoup le 17ème arrondissement de Paris. C’est un peu plus calme, spacieux, élégant, j’adore. I initially headed there because that is where ma kiné is. What does “kiné” mean you may ask? The whole word is “kinésithérapeute” which means “physical therapist” and in case you’re already feeling overwhelmed by all the syllables, always remember that the French love cutting words in half… this is how kinésithérapeute becomes… et oui… kiné! Beaucoup plus simple, n’est-ce pas? And if you’re still thinking: “What a strange way of saying physical therapist!” well, let’s go back to etymology…
Kinesis en grec ancien signifie “mouvement”, which is also where the word “cinéma” comes from… mouvement… c’est pourquoi on appelle un film “a movie”. Aaaaah la vie est tellement plus claire avec une bonne petite dose d’étymologie spread throughout the day! Mais voilà que je digresse encore!
D’ailleurs sachez que je digresse aussi lors de mes promenades et explorations parisiennes! Je ne peux pas m’en empêcher j’adore ça! On my way to le 17ème, I walked past l’église Saint Augustin dans le 8ème arrondissement and I simply had to stop by. Et non seulement je me suis arrêtée, mais j’ai aussi passé environ une heure dans cette église sublimissime… je n’ai pas vu le temps passer… I wonder why…
Connaissez-vous Saint Augustin? C’est un philosophe et théologien du Ve siècle que j’étudie cette année et que j’affectionne beaucoup! Bon, on n’est pas obligé d’être d’accord avec tout pour apprécier un philosophe je vous rassure, mais le personnage est tout à fait fascinant!
Anyway, I had to force myself not to stop at other places on my way to the 17th, and I finally made it! J’ai commencé par le Parc Monceau. Comme c’est joli et charmant! J’ai notamment appris dans mon cours d’Histoire de Paris qu’avant la révolution française, le Parc Monceau était un jardin privé! Pas mal! Lots of whimsical additions were made during the Haussmann years of the French Second Empire such as the columns above, supposed to look antique and thereby reinforce un style scène d’opéra, pleine d’illusions et de surprise. Napoléon III s’est inspiré des nombreux parcs londoniens pour embellir sa ville en créant beaucoup de squares, jardins, parcs, mais aussi en imitant le style du jardin à l’anglaise looking wild and natural…
… as opposed to the jardin à la française looking perfectly geometrical. Think Versailles. Here’s what Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of my favorite philosophers, has to say about the French gardens he disliked so much. You must remember Jean-Jacques (yes I got used to calling him by his first name) was one of the first Romantics.
“Que signifient ces allées si droites, si sablées qu’on trouve partout, et ces étoiles par lesquelles, bien loin d’étendre aux yeux la grandeur d’un parc, on ne fait qu’en montrer maladroitement les bornes? La nature emploie-t-elle sans cesse l’équerre et la règle?”
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Julie ou La Nouvelle Héloïse, 1761
Comme c’est joliment dit! Décidément il est trop fort ce Jean-Jacques, je suis fan! Did you know that his book Julie ou La Nouvelle Héloïse was the giant hit best seller of the 18th century and therefore one of the inspiration for the Hameau de Marie-Antoinette à Versailles?
Comme vous pouvez le constater, nous sommes vraiment ici aux antipodes du jardin de Versailles à la française absolument, totalement, parfaitement géométrique!
If you’ve enjoyed this blog post, you will love my French Immersion Courses à Paris so look them up and join me here! And if you want to improve your French in the meantime, join my French Online Courses and School here!
FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEKEND IN SEATTLE MARCH 2020
SEATTLE – US
2020 March 7 & 8: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – 2 SPOTS LEFT
2020 March 14 & 15: This French Immersion Course is designed for beginner level students – SOLD OUT
2020 March 21 & 22: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – 2 SPOTS LEFT
If you’re unsure about your level, contact me to schedule a free Skype call
FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEK IN PÉLUSSIN APRIL & JULY 2020
PÉLUSSIN – FRANCE
2020 April 6 to 12: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT
2020 July 20 to 26: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT
If you’re unsure about your level, contact me to schedule a free Skype call
FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEK IN PARIS SEPTEMBER 2020
PARIS – FRANCE
2020 September 14 to 20: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT
2020 September 28 to October 4: This French Immersion Course is designed for beginner level students – 8 SPOTS LEFT
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
Learn French with Virginie via her French Immersion Courses in France, in London UK, and in Seattle US.
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!
French online course #1: 600 WORDS
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
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
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.
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!
You’re a girl you are! I sometimes wonder if you’re on steroids; I can’t keep up. I’ts a long way from Seattle. I like the 19th arr., It’s a bit seedy but it has a Librairie and a bath house. Rue des Pyrenees cuts right up to the Pere Lachaise. Looking forward to those short stories.
Best wishes – Malcolm
J’ai hâte de lire vos nouvelles! S’agit-il de fiction ou de non-fiction? Je viens de rencontrer un Mr. Haussman qui est l’arrière-arrière-’arrière-arrière-petit-fils du Haussman qui a aidé à planifier Paris. Il habite en Seattle. A bientot!