That’s it les amis… C’est officiel… La banque a signé (oooooh but not the useless bank that’s been making me hang around since mid-July, just wait for it and keep scrolling, you’ll be amazed, in a bad way…) which means the beautiful Chartres appartement I’ve been telling you about since June will be mine très bientôt and I’m so so so excited to share la bonne nouvelle avec vous youpi!

 

La prochaine et finale signature will take place at the notaire à Chartres début octobre where I will be given les clés allowing me to move into THIS beauty :

 

learn french online

 

Totalement canon, n’est-ce pas? Maintenant vous comprenez pourquoi j’ai eu le coup de foudre en juin quand je l’ai visité pour la première fois! And also why I didn’t want to share any pictures with you until I received le feu vert de la banque because, well, I was scared to jinx it… oh la superstitieuse!

 

J’ai d’autres photos de l’appartement à partager avec vous, ainsi que des idées de décoration (je veux repeindre les murs et installer une bibliothèque in one of the two bedrooms) mais avant ça, I need to share the incredible and completely unnecessary emotional rollercoaster my French bank just made me go through… not my bank for much longer, et vous comprendrez bientôt pourquoi! Alors oui je l’admets, I am about to vent, mais j’espère le faire d’une façon amusante et divertissante… c’est parti!

 

15 juillet : Le dossier que mon agence parisienne du Crédit Lyonnais m’a demandé de bâtir est finalement complet et je fais passer tous ces documents à mon banquier. Il me dit que nous recevrons une réponse avant la fin de la semaine suivante, c’est-à-dire, avant le 24 juillet.

 

20 juillet : Je décide de comparer what would be my monthly payments with a slightly lower down payment so I can have more money to paint the walls etc. Je ne demande pas de changer quoi que ce soit à mon banquier, je souhaite juste obtenir cette information just in case.

 

23 juillet : Pas de réponse donc j’appelle mais le banquier n’est pas disponible. La réceptionniste m’assure qu’il me rappellera le jour-même. Personne ne m’appelle.

 

24 juillet : Aucune nouvelle. Aucun appel. Aucun message. Je rappelle et, miracle, le banquier me répond. Il me dit que la réponse est reportée puisque je lui ai demandé de changer le montant de l’apport. What??!! I never asked him to change the amount of the downpayment! I asked what the monthly payment would be if we did! Cet idiot n’a même pas lu mon email qui était pourtant court et clair! But ok, let’s go with the new amount, tant-pis.

 

27, 28, 29, 30 juillet : Toujours rien. J’appelle tous les jours mais le banquier n’est jamais disponible, et même si la réceptionniste me promet à chaque fois que le banquier va me rappeler le jour-même, personne ne m’appelle.

 

31 juillet : Je rappelle. La réceptionniste is growing more and more annoyed that I disturb her every day for apparently no reasons as every time she tells me in a rather patronizing way not to worry since everything will be fine. J’insiste : il y a clairement un problème avec mon dossier puisque ça fait deux semaines que j’attends et que personne ne me dit rien! So she decides to look into my dossier. And what does she finally find? Et oui, mon méticuleux (not) banquier a indiqué que j’ai commencé French Truly en France en septembre 2019 even though that’s obviously not when I started French Truly at all! I started it in the US in 2013 and in France in 2017 (when I moved from Seattle to Pélussin I had to close it in the US to reopen it in France) et bien sûr personne ne veut prêter de l’argent à une entreprise that is only one year old! Mais quel idiot ce banquier! And to think that the receptionist (who I found out later actually was la directrice de l’agence…) only found the problem because I’ve been harassing her on the phone tous les jours! Incroyable!

 

4 août : And you’ve guessed… instead of an apology from le banquier, I get, silence. I officially lose it = Je pète officiellement les plombs. Je décide d’aller prospecter de nouvelles banques, même si je n’ai pas envie de changer de banque parce que ça représente a lot of hassle. Puis une idée me vient! J’ai deux comptes en banque au Crédit Lyonnais, un personnel et un professionnel. Le personnel est à Paris depuis août 2019, mais j’ai gardé le professionnel à Vienne, et puisque j’ai de bons rapports avec mon banquier de l’agence de Vienne, je décide de l’appeler pour lui parler de mon problème avec l’agence de Paris. His answer: “Oh well that’s Paris!” amuses me because the non-Parisian French pretty much all hate Parisians who have a tendency to look down on the rest of the country. He tells me to move my dossier and personal account over to him and that his team will take care of it for me. He apologizes profusely on behalf of his bank et… je fais la bêtise de le croire… mais comment pouvais-je savoir que son équipe ne serait pas plus efficace que la parisienne?

 

5 août : Both the account and the dossier are transferred to Vienne. Holding my breath. Feeling trusting and hopeful.

 

And then I forget about it for a while parce que je suis en plein déménagement et je dois me concentrer sur mes cartons.

 

12 août : Je quitte Paris et j’arrive à Vienne.

 

13 août : Je reçois un email de l’agence du Crédit Lyonnais de Vienne qui me dit qu’ils sont en train de remonter mon dossier… wait?! What do you mean you’re putting my dossier again together? I transferred it on August 5th! You’re the same bank! You have everything! Qu’est-ce que vous faites depuis 8 jours vous vous moquez de moi? Well, little did I know… turns out they’re missing a document… are you ready for this? Un document qui n’existe pas! Yep, that’s right. They suddenly realized they needed a document that did not exist. Why is that? Because they asked for the 2020 / 2019 tax return not yet produced by the French governement… and not just for me, but for every single French person, le pays entier. But hey the wonderful Crédit Lyonnais didn’t know somehow. Good grief, quel talent!

 

18 août : They manage to finalize the dossier (originally finalized on July 15th remember?) and send it on its way for approval, or not. Le banquier de Vienne me dit que nous aurons une réponse d’ici la fin de la semaine, c’est-à-dire, avant le 21 août.

 

21 août : Bizarrement personne ne m’appelle. Personne ne me donne de nouvelles.

 

25 août : Il a fallut que j’attende le mardi parce que le lundi le Crédit Lyonnais ne travaille pas… cough cough… do they work on other days?? J’envoie un email et j’appelle. Personne n’est disponible. Personne ne répond à mon email. Je rappelle deux fois l’après-midi et finalement je parviens à parler avec le banquier. He’s checking, looking for the answer in his system… are you comfortably settled? He shamelessly tells me his colleague (the one who asked me for the non-existing document) received a refusal last week and therefore proceeded to try plan B. Non??? You mean, NON??? You mean, j’attends depuis le 15 juillet pour m’entendre dire NON??? And I have to call you to hear this wretched NON??? Et votre collègue le savait la semaine dernière et ne m’a rien dit parce que…??? Ne vous inquiétez pas qu’il me dit, nous aurons une réponse pour le plan B qui devrait marcher dans environ 10 jours. Yes. Sure. Ok. Je suis tellement choquée que je ne dis rien et je raccroche. Je mets mes chaussures et je vais prendre des rendez-vous d’urgence dans d’autres banques, dont le Crédit Mutuel, qui me donne un rendez-vous pour le lendemain à 9h15. I hope that it’s a good sign, yet I am left so empty I can’t even feel good about it. I can’t even feel furious either. Et je ne peux même pas pleurer non plus. Je me sens vidée. But I go back home and complete my dossier pour le Crédit Mutuel…

 

26 août : J’arrive au Crédit Mutuel 5 minutes en avance et j’essaie de me motiver pour ne pas avoir l’air trop dépité. Le banquier vient me chercher dans la salle d’attente et… je passe trois heures et demie dans son bureau! And just like in your typical Hollywood movie, believe it or not, I get my happy ending! Le banquier m’accueille dans son bureau, il comprend l’urgence de ma situation et ne comprend pas le problème avec le Crédit Lyonnais parce que mon dossier est bon, l’appartement n’est pas très cher, et j’ai un apport assez important. Nous parlons de French Truly, il me pose plein de questions, il adore le concept. Je sens qu’il veut vraiment m’aider et je vois aussi qu’il prend son travail très au sérieux. Il adore la banque coopérative pour laquelle il travaille (my bank in Seattle used to be a coop too, BECU, soooo much nicer than your usual bank I find) il parle avec enthousiasme de ses collègues, de ses clients, de son travail. Et comme par magie, il a tout son matin libre et il me le donne. Il comprend qu’il doit travailler vite parce que ma date limite approche dangereusement since the previous idiots wasted all my time et j’ai peur de perdre “mon” bel appartement à Chartres si je ne peux pas obtenir un accord de la banque à temps! Et là il me dit la phrase magique : Ne vous inquiétez pas, c’est moi qui décide, et je vous donne mon accord, c’est oui! OMG I ALMOST FELL OFF MY CHAIR! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? WHAT THE CRÉDIT LYONNAIS FAILED TO DO IN 1.5 MONTHS, THE CRÉDIT MUTUEL DID IN ONE MORNING. Not even a day. A morning. Turns out il a aussi sacrifié sa pause déjeuner pour moi car nous avons terminé le rendez-vous un peu avant 13h et en fait la banque est fermée à cette heure-là! So he had to walk me downstairs to unlock the door for me. HELLO CUSTOMER SERVICES GOSH DID IT FEEL GOOD AFTER SUCH A NIGHTMARE OF INCOMPETENCE. Ça a pris du temps parce qu’en plus de leur donner mon dossier immobilier, j’ai décidé de fermer tous mes comptes au Crédit Lyonnais pour les faire passer au Crédit Mutuel. Oh you don’t want my money Crédit Lyonnais? Fine. I don’t want you either. Au revoir then! Or should I say, ADIEU!

 

Morale de l’histoire : If you ever want to buy property in France, avoid the Crédit Lyonnais at all cost, mais allez plutôt au Crédit Mutuel, my new personal heroes!

 

Et maintenant, quelques photos de mon futur appartement dans la belle Chartres :

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

learn french online

 

Magnifique, n’est-ce pas? En fait je suis tombée amoureuse de cet appartement au moment-même où j’y suis entrée pour la première fois, et je suis sûre que vous comprenez pourquoi maintenant!

 

If you’ve been following me for a little while et si vous avez vu mon appartement de Pélussin où j’ai habité d’octobre 2017 à juillet 2019, vous savez que les murs blancs ne sont pas ma tasse de thé. J’adore les couleurs, les couleurs chaudes, les couleurs sombres, les couleurs chic, et j’aime aussi les beaux papier-peints! J’ai déjà trouvé des idées super que je veux vous montrer, mais je garde un peu de suspense pour la prochaine fois… peut-être vous pourrez deviner quelles couleurs je vais choisir? Et je peux aussi vous dire d’ores et déjà que je vais transformer la petite chambre de bébé en bibliothèque / reading room… ooooooh the lovely moments I shall spend in there with my books and my pups and my studies and my teapot and my music! J’imagine un dimanche après-midi d’automne, ma saison préférée, au chaud dans ma mignonne bibliothèque with a brand new fabulous book après une promenade paisible le long du fleuve… aaaaaaaah!

 

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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

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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