I’m back! Je suis de retour!

My apologies for the blog post break but let me reassure you right now : j’avais une très bonne raison…

 

My main occupation during le confinement

 

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Avant de continuer, je souhaite tous vous remercier pour vos messages asking me if I was ok since you weren’t hearing from me. I believe most of you know that j’étudie la philosophie à l’université de Reims depuis 2016. What some of you may not realize though is that chaque année, le mois de mai est dédié aux (gruesome but I love them) examens. À cause du coronavirus cette année les choses se sont déroulées différemment… au début du mois d’avril, l’université nous a tout simplement demandé de passer tous nos examens à la maison! Deadline? Demain! Je suis tranquille, j’ai tout fini et tout envoyé lundi, youpi! Il s’agissait tout de même de huit dissertations ce qui représente une sacrée masse de travail. Done. Next!

 

In any case, I hope you will forgive me for the lack of blog posts. Apart from answering my emails, meeting with my private students online, and reading, I have done nothing but study… and pull out mes cheveux… un petit peu.

 

Attention : faux-ami

 

Did you spot the faux-ami? the false friend?

Passer un examen = to take an exam (and not, as most people presume, to pass an exam)

To pass an exam = réussir un examen

So far, I know that j’ai passé mes examens, mais je ne sais pas encore si je les ai réussis. On verra!

 

Le déconfinement à Paris

 

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Vue sur la Seine et les Parisiens qui pique-niquent tout en respectant la distanciation sociale – 6ème arrondissement

 

Le déconfinement en France a commencé le 11 mai. I’m sure you’ve figured out that déconfinement is the opposite of confinement, confinement meaning lockdown.

Le déconfinement est graduel et le changement n’est pas énorme. Beaucoup d’entre vous m’ont envoyé des messages pour me demander if Paris was back to nornal. La réponse est non.

 

Ce qui a changé :

– Les écoles ont réouvert pour que les parents puissent aller travailler.

– Les boutiques (vêtements, chaussures, lunettes, bijoux, déco, galeries d’art, fleuriste, coiffeurs, etc.) ont aussi réouvert.

– La limite géographique est passée de 1km à 100km. Ce n’est pas super but at least I can now go walk around all over Paris again as opposed to sticking to my neighborhood, which soyons honnêtes, was beginning to drive me complètement nuts.

(In case you’re wondering : 1km = 0.62 miles & 100km = 62 miles)

 

Ce qui n’a pas changé :

– Mais beaucoup d’endroits restent fermés : cafés, restaurants, parcs, musées, universités, cinémas, théâtres, salles de sport, etc. Il est tout de même possible d’acheter des plats à emporter dans les cafés ou restaurants, et beaucoup de parisiens font des pique-niques assis au bord de la Seine, tout en respectant la distanciation sociale, most of the time.

– Le port du masque n’est pas obligatoire partout, certains magasins l’imposent mais pas tous, et puis il n’est pas obligatoire dans les rues.

Et maintenant, voici quelques photos :

 

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Sacré Coeur, construit entre 1875 et 1914 – 18ème arrondissement

 

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Chapelle expiatoire construite sous le règne de Louis XVIII où les corps de Louis XVI (frère de Louis XVIII) et de Marie-Antoinette ont été inhumés – 8ème arrondissement

 

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Statue d’Édouard VII – 9ème arrondissement

 

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J’ai même rencontré un fellow American… salut Thomas! – 1er arrondissement

 

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“AUX GRANDS HOMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE” Le Panthéon – 5ème arrondissement

 

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Une de mes églises préférées… Saint Augustin – 8ème arrondissement

 

I could keep going avec les photos so know that I regularly add a lot more on my Instagram account, click here to follow it.

 

Covid 19… are you a boy or a girl?

 

Merci à Patrick, un de mes étudiants participant aux French Immersion Weekends à Seattle en mars dernier, qui m’a envoyé cet article intéressant de l’académie française! J’ai donc décidé de le partager avec vous :

 

“Covid est l’acronyme de corona virus disease, et les sigles et acronymes ont le genre du nom qui constitue le noyau du syntagme dont ils sont une abréviation. On dit ainsi la S.N.C.F. (Société nationale des chemins de fer) parce que le noyau de ce groupe, société, est un nom féminin, mais le C.I.O. (Comité international olympique), parce que le noyau, comité, est un nom masculin. Quand ce syntagme est composé de mots étrangers, le même principe s’applique. On distingue ainsi le FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, « Bureau fédéral d’enquête », de la CIA, Central Intelligence Agency,« Agence centrale de renseignement », puisque dans un cas on traduit le mot noyau par un nom masculin, bureau, et dans l’autre, par un nom féminin, agence. Corona virus disease – notons que l’on aurait pu préférer au nom anglais disease le nom latin morbus, de même sens et plus universel – signifie « maladie provoquée par le corona virus (“virus en forme de couronne”) ». On devrait donc dire la covid 19, puisque le noyau est un équivalent du nom français féminin maladie. Pourquoi alors l’emploi si fréquent du masculin le covid 19 ? Parce que, avant que cet acronyme ne se répande, on a surtout parlé du corona virus, groupe qui doit son genre, en raison des principes exposés plus haut, au nom masculin virus. Ensuite, par métonymie, on a donné à la maladie le genre de l’agent pathogène qui la provoque. Il n’en reste pas moins que l’emploi du féminin serait préférable et qu’il n’est peut-être pas trop tard pour redonner à cet acronyme le genre qui devrait être le sien.”

 

Et oui! It’s a girl! Et pourtant tout le monde à la radio, à la télé, sur les réseaux sociaux, dit LE covid 19. Vous faites comme vous voulez mais vous ne pourrez pas dire que vous ne saviez pas!

(Click here to see l’article complet de l’académie française)

 

What now? Podcasts & Creative Writing

 

Et maintenant que les examens sont terminés, quoi faire?

 

Sadly, all my immersion courses have been postponed and I’m not able to open new ones yet because specific dates are not in vogue these days, les dates spécifiques ne sont pas dans l’air du temps. Donc il faut trouver autre chose.

 

En fait, juste avant que l’université décide de nous envoyer les examens à la maison, j’avais commencé un cours en ligne de Pat Flynn qui enseigne how to produce professional podcasts because, well, podcasts was a new land for me to explore before Covid 19 hit us all anyway. J’adore écrire, j’adore ce concept, j’adore partager des histoires avec vous, donc voilà! Les podcasts semblent s’imposer comme une évidence. J’ai hâte de me lancer.

 

En parallèle, j’ai aussi décidé de prendre les cours de Creative Writing sur le site Masterclass, vous connaissez? J’ai déjà fini le cours de Margaret Atwood et hier j’ai commencé celui de Joyce Carol Oates. Ces deux femmes sont vraiment intéressantes. Leurs styles d’enseignements sont différents et donc se complètent vraiment bien so it’s ideal!

 

I love online courses because you can study whatever you want, whenever you want, as much or as little as you want! He he watch this beautiful transition…

 

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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