As chaos (strikes, gilets jaunes, black blocs) is looming on the Parisian horizon, I am peacefully writing my Thursday blog post for you, with the help of my beloved Chopin Nocturnes in the background…

 

Connaissez-vous la différence entre romantique (avec un “r” minuscule) et Romantique (avec un “r” majuscule)?

 

romantique, avec un “r” minuscule, is the most commonly used version. You may describe a man as romantic if he is sensitive, offers you flowers, takes you to your favorite restaurant, holds the door for you, acts in a delicate and thoughtful manner around you.

 

Not everyone is aware of the difference with Romantique (avec un “r” majuscule) though. Alors voici une partie de la très bonne et complète définition du site cnrt.fr: Mouvement intellectuel, littéraire, artistique qui visait à renouveler les formes de pensée et d’expression en rejetant les règles classiques et le rationalisme, en prônant la nature, le culte du moi, la sensibilité, l’imagination, le rêve, la mélancolie, la spiritualité, en réhabilitant le goût contemporain, la couleur locale, la vérité historique. More here.

 

I happen to love both therefore this blog post will talk about both, in my own new Parisian context.

 

Let us begin with romantique, avec un “r” minuscule

 

I am very pleased to announce I have officially had my very first authentic Parisian experience! What I mean by this is that, I had my first that’s-it-I-feel-like-a-parisienne moment, on Thanksgiving day. As we skillfully walked around les belles rues de notre quartier parisien que nous connaissons maintenant par coeur, allant de boutique en boutique et de marché en marché to purchase all our precious Thanksgiving ingredients for our very first dinner party, for a moment I felt like I belonged here, pour la première fois, and I found that très romantique. Surtout en automne, qui est ma saison préférée, précisément parce qu’elle me semble si romantique.

 

Bien sûr, le sublime candlelit concert donné à la basilique Sainte Clotilde dans le très chic 7ème arrondissement de Paris, added to this romantic vibe.

 

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We were freezing, and our butts hurt like crazy after 15 minutes of sitting on horrible hard tiny little wooden chairs, but Mozart & Gounod bringing pure bliss to our ears & the view of this marvelous basilica decorated with thousands of candles, definitely made up for it!

 

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Ma maman also came to visit me to celebrate her birthday and, you know me, I had prepared quite the non-stop program for her, including lunch at one of my favorite vegan restaurants near the Jardin du Luxembourg, où l’adorable owner (kissing my mom on the photo below) not only got the whole restaurant to sing “Happy Birthday dear Marie-France!” but also offered us both dessert as his birthday present! How sweet is that??? Whether you are vegan or not, I highly recommend Michael’s restaurant next time you are in Paris: World Food Barn.

 

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Ça aussi c’est romantique un bisou, n’est-ce pas?

 

The older I get, the more I like to buy “experience” presents as opposed to stuff. So to celebrate my mother’s birthday in Paris this last weekend, I took her to this play: Cyrano au théâtre le funambule in the 18th arrondissement à Paris. Have you ever read Cyrano de Bergerac? A brilliant, stunning, et très romantique French classic written by Edmond Rostand in 1897. I know the story par coeur of course, but it never ever gets old. I laughed, I cried my eyes out, and watched the 3 outstanding female actors in total awe. I actually want to go back maintenant and join une école de théâtre!

 

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Et maintenant, le Romantisme, avec un “r” majuscule

 

Avant de commencer, let me reiterate the definition already shared above: Mouvement intellectuel, littéraire, artistique qui visait à renouveler les formes de pensée et d’expression en rejetant les règles classiques et le rationalisme, en prônant la nature, le culte du moi, la sensibilité, l’imagination, le rêve, la mélancolie, la spiritualité, en réhabilitant le goût contemporain, la couleur locale, la vérité historique. More here.

 

In fact, one of my top three men is part of le mouvement Romantisme: Alfred de Musset, and just for fun, here’s a famous quote from him, let’s see if vous comprenez cette citation:

 

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“Aimer est le grand point, qu’importe la maîtresse?

Qu’importe le flacon, pourvu qu’on ait l’ivresse?”

 

This is a perfect quote for broken hearts, une citation parfaite pour les coeurs brisés. So if that is your case or if you know someone who could do with a little help right now, feel free to pass it on and don’t forget to quote my beloved Alfred. Make sure you understand it first by indicating your result in the comment section.

 

Qui sont les grands représentants du courant Romantique en France? Ce courant à la fois littéraire, musicale, et politique? Peut-être vous les connaissez aussi?

 

Victor Hugo (this one I’m pretty confident you know!)

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Alfred de Musset

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George Sand

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These last two, I had already talked about in a previous blog post so feel free to go back to it, and if you haven’t already seen the movie called Les enfants du siècle, you simply must watch it. It describes the Romantique period, lifestyle, and the destructive passionate burning love story between two 19th century French literature super stars: George Sand & Alfred de Musset. Just how ridiculously hot is the actor dressed as Alfred de Musset?!! The hair, the shirts, the colors, the frills, the fabrics, the textures, aaaaaah everything! I can’t take it j’adoooooore!!! Admire the trailer (en français) and see for yourself.

 

Eugène Delacroix

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You may this super famous painting by him:

 

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Cette peinture s’appelle La liberté guidant le peuple. Most people think it describes the 1789 révolution française but it doesn’t. Elle décrit la révolution de 1830, aussi appelée la révolution de juillet ou les trois glorieuses because it took place on July 27th, 28th, and 29th 1830.

 

And just for fun, I found this the other day, clin d’oeil parfait en ce 5 décembre 2019, début des grèves à Paris et des manifestations des gilets jaunes.

 

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Laquelle préférez-vous? Oh la joie des grèves… yikes.

 

Et bien sûr une autre grande personnalité du Romantisme est…

 

Frédéric Chopin

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And many, many, many more!

 

I took my mother to a conference about George Sand in my favorite cinéma parisien MK2. Pourquoi mon préféré? Parce qu’il met la culture en avant dans le tout Paris (12 MK2 cinémas à Paris) grâce à des événements et des conférences sur l’art, l’histoire, la littérature, le cinéma, et… la philosophie, which I religiously attend every Monday! The lecturer Charles Pépin is one of our national philosopher stars (only in France does such a thing exist oh France I love you!) and such a talented teacher… and he’s cute ha!

 

 

But I digress… aaaaah cute nerdy men with big sexy brains… of course I digress!

 

Ok back to George Sand. If you’ve never heard of her, well its’ time to fix this. Of course, watching the movie recommended above will be a great intro. She was une vraie force de la nature! Une vraie féministe! Not just talking about it, but living it, inspiring us all. She decided and created her life, and let me tell you, in the 19th century, it wasn’t exactly the norm, quite the opposite. She was highly educated thanks to her grandmother who brought her up, elle s’est séparée de son affreux mari (le divorce n’était pas encore légal), elle s’habillait avec des vêtements masculins to be free to go wherever she wanted to (the only unaccompanied women wandering around being prostitutes), she openly had plenty of lovers, men & women, one of them being the stormy Chopin who she took care of for ten years and God only knows if you & I would be able to enjoy some of his most beautiful pieces without her help, and of course as you’ve probably already noticed, she changed her original name Aurore Dupin to George Sand parce qu’elle voulait être considéré comme un vrai écrivain à part entière et non stigmatisée comme une femme écrivain.

 

Some despised her, such as Charles Baudelaire who wrote this about her: “Elle est bête, elle est lourde, elle est bavarde; elle a dans les idées morales la même profondeur de jugement et la même délicatesse de sentiment que les concierges et les filles entretenues. Ce qu’elle a dit de sa mère. Ce qu’elle dit de la poésie. Son amour pour les ouvriers. Que quelques hommes aient pu s’amouracher de cette latrine, c’est bien la preuve de l’abaissement des hommes de ce siècle.”

 

Some adored her, such as Victor Hugo who wrote this after she had just died: “Je pleure une morte, et je salue une immortelle. Je l’ai aimée, je l’ai admirée, je l’ai vénérée ; aujourd’hui dans l’auguste sérénité de la mort, je la contemple. Je la félicite parce que ce qu’elle a fait est grand et je la remercie parce que ce qu’elle a fait est bon. Je me souviens d’un jour où je lui ai écrit : « Je vous remercie d’être une si grande âme ». Est-ce que nous l’avons perdue ? Non. Ces hautes figures disparaissent, mais ne s’évanouissent pas. Loin de là ; on pourrait presque dire qu’elles se réalisent. En devenant invisibles sous une forme, elles deviennent visibles sous l’autre. Transfiguration sublime. La forme humaine est une occultation. Elle masque le vrai visage divin qui est l’idée. George Sand était une idée ; elle est hors de la chair, la voilà libre ; elle est morte, la voilà vivante.”

 

Back to the lecture about George Sand my mother and I attended.

 

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It was given by Des Mots et Des Arts who organize beautiful events & classes about, comme son nom l’indique, la littérature et l’art. Needless to say, I am now on their newsletter! One more amazing thing on my overwhelming Paris-to-do-list ha!

 

I could keep going because I’ve done & explored so much in those past weeks, mais je dois m’arrêter bientôt pour que ce blog post ne se transforme pas en livre… samedi dernier, une amie et moi sommes allées à la mairie du 9ème arrondissement pour assister à un spectacle Romantique (avec un “r” majuscule) qui mettait en scène l’histoire d’amour du grand Victor Hugo et de sa maîtresse Juliette Drouet, une histoire d’amour qui a duré 50 ans, et qui ne s’est achevée qu’avec la mort de Juliette en 1883. Pour nous conter ce récit, il y avait sur scène:

4 acteurs

1 painiste

2 chanteurs

1 projecteur (to share paintings and pictures of the 2 lovers, where they lived in Paris, etc.)

 

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Quelle belle idée!

 

For about 30 years, Victor Hugo had both his wife and his mistress by his side, living with him. This makes me feel so bad for these women but, like I explained above, we didn’t get much of a say back in the 19th century, so I guess they also felt incredibly fortunate to share the life of such a man!

 

Vous connaissez bien sûr Victor Hugo for his most famous books such as Les misérables ou Notre-Dame de Paris, mais saviez-vous qu’il avait été un grand homme politique? Et oui, c’était le temps où la politique et la culture allaient hand in hand! No comment.

 

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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.

 

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FRENCH IMMERSION COURSE – WEEKEND IN SEATTLE MARCH 2020

 

 

SEATTLE – US
2020 March 7 & 8: This French Immersion Course is designed for intermediate level students – SOLD OUT
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 – 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 – 1 SPOT 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!

 

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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 🙂

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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…

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The average French person only uses between 300 & 3,000 WORDS?

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This course will teach you…

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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.
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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.

 

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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

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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 🙂

 

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