Category French Language

5 years ago, 5 years later

Five years ago I was about to turn 20. I had just finished my sophomore year at Whitman. I was about to start blogging. And I was about to move to France for the first time.


Grève surprise

Having lived in France three times now, it’s easy to trick myself into thinking I’m some kind of an expert on everything French. But there are, and always will be, surprises.


In English, we say “goodbye” no matter if someone’s leaving for a little while, for a long time, or even forever. In French, au revoir and adieu both mean “goodbye.” Au revoir is goodbye for now. Adieu is goodbye forever. Today I said adieu to TAPIF.

So this is how it feels to be a teacher

It’s just after 7 p.m. I’m curled up in bed in my cozy Whitman sweatshirt. My feet ache from scurrying over cobblestones and standing in front of a sea of eager faces, and my throat is raw from overuse. So this is how it feels to be a teacher.

‘On enseigne mal les langues vivantes en France’

Confused, I blinked and wrinkled my brow at the teacher who said this to me. I’ve long held fast to the notion that Europeans take foreign language acquisition far more seriously than their American counterparts.