The deliciously and politically incorrect french-bashing Mr Taylor

Let me introduce you to Paul Taylor.

paultaylor

Paul is English. He grew up in France, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
He now lives in Paris and quit a job at Apple in order to perform stand-up comedy in both English and French.

He created, wrote and starred his own show on Canal+ called “What the Fuck France!” (excuse my French…). And if you have not heard of it yet, then you really should! In these short and funny videos, the popular youtuber dissects French habits with typical British humour.

His first video “La bise” (“The kiss on the cheek”) hit over 2 million views!!

Continue reading “The deliciously and politically incorrect french-bashing Mr Taylor”

17 (good) reasons to learn French

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This week, I am passing on an excellent article from the Embassy of France in Wellington on 17 (good) reasons to learn French.
If you have another good reason, feel free to add it in the comments below!

1. Learning one language is not enough

In today’s world, speaking one foreign language is not enough. Students who speak several languages will increase their chances of finding a job, whether at home or abroad. Learning another language enriches the mind and opens up new horizons, both personal and professional.

2. French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents

More than 220 million people speak French on all the five continents. French is a major language of international communication. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the second most widely taught language after English, and is taught on every continent. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, is made up of 77 member States and governments. France also operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language course for close on a million learners.

3. A career asset

The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.

Continue reading “17 (good) reasons to learn French”

Off the Beaten Track: 8 cool things to do with kids in Paris

With  my boys in Paris in 2015
With my boys in Paris in 2015

My friend Andrea called me last week to “pick my brain” about places of interest that she could visit and activities she could do with her three boys when visiting Paris next July. But not just the usual stuff! Something a bit more off the beaten track…
As I started to browse the Internet finding some really fun activities to do with children, I realised that this information might actually be of interest to travelling families. So, here is a list of 8 cool things to do in Paris with little people! And no, we are not talking EuroDisney…Continue reading “Off the Beaten Track: 8 cool things to do with kids in Paris”

Do u want 2 Buy Sell Swap? The Lingo

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Recently, I have become slightly addicted to the Facebook “Buy Sell Swap” pages and have been merrily selling and buying “vintage” (sounds so much better than “second-hand”) goods.
I have, however, had to be on a lingo learning curve, as sellers or buyers do not waste time writing and use a myriad of abbreviations and acronyms, which can be really confusing for first-time buy-sell-swappers.

So I have come up with a list of all the abbreviations I have encountered, and hope it will be helpful!

Please, feel free to add any abbreviation or acronym I might have not listed in the comments below!

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BUMP / B = Bring up my post (when you want your post to be brought up at the top of the page)
EUC = Excellent used condition
F = Following (so as to be notified of new posts)
GUC = Good used condition
INT = Interested
ISO = In search of
LOOP = Listed on other page
MPU = Must pick up
NIL = Next in Line (in case previous buyer fall through)
NWOB = New without box
NWOT = New without tags
NWT = New with tags
OBO = Or best offer
ONO = Or near offer
PM = Private message
PPU = Porch pick up OR Pending pick up
WTB = Want to buy

Happy Buying, Selling or Swapping!

 

 

A Great Definition of “Bullying” (Not mine!)

 

High school students being bullied.

Last Saturday, I was at some friends’ celebrating the end of rugby season (or rather trying to make it last a little bit longer!) with my husband and two boys. We are not talking adult rugby but Under 9 , so the driveway looked a bit like a school playground gone completely mad with around 15 tough kids running wild!
At one point, I went looking for my 8-year-old as he was nowhere to be seen, and found him, upset, hiding behind the house. He told me that one of the other boys had “bullied” him. I never got the full story but from what I understand, the said boy probably said something mean and carried on playing.

Continue reading “A Great Definition of “Bullying” (Not mine!)”

40 useful French text message abbreviations

Texting

Call me old(-fashioned) but I just cannot get into abbreviating what I type! So, yes, it takes me for-e-ver….

When I see my kids’ texts, I am just amazed at this whole new language they seem to be using with such ease!

And I feel very very old(-fashioned)…

So here is a list of common French text abbreviations you (and I) might find useful:

Continue reading “40 useful French text message abbreviations”

Mon cœur pleure…

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Il y a quelques jours, en France, à Nice, a eu lieu un nouvel acte terroriste.
Un acte monstrueux, barbare, cruel.

Cette atrocité a eu lieu lors des festivités traditionnelles et ô combien symboliques du 14 juillet : symbole de l’union fraternelle de toutes les parties de la France et de tous les citoyens français dans la liberté et l’égalité. Une fête qui célèbre la liberté.

Pourtant, le 14 juillet dernier, un camion blanc de 19 tonnes a foncé dans la foule, renversant les barrières de sécurité. Il a roulé sur la promenade des Anglais sur environ 2 km, et a renversé les personnes se trouvant sur son chemin.
Selon le dernier bilan du ministère de l’intérieur : “84 personnes ont trouvé la mort, dont 10 enfants et adolescents. Au total, 202 patients ont été pris en charge dans les établissements de santé des Alpes-Maritimes: Cinquante-deux sont en urgence absolue, dont 25 en réanimation.”
En d’autres mots, un carnage. Qui souille à jamais cette belle promenade et pour longtemps cette fête symbolique.

Mon cœur pleure pour mon beau pays.

Continue reading “Mon cœur pleure…”

Top 15 Must-See and Must-Do Things in Paris!!!

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Ah, Paris, Paris, Paris!!! La vie en rose … Chabada bada … Such a beautiful city but so much to see! So where to start? Here are my top 15!

1) The Eiffel Tower or as my son used to call it The “Awful” Tower is a must-see!

2) Le Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre with its lovely intricate back streets and its painters. Not really authentic but fun and beautiful nonetheless!

3) For the Romantics: Le Pont des Arts

Le pont des arts
Le pont des arts

4) L’Arc de Triomphe and its crazy mad roundabout: 12 main avenues radiate from this star after which the arc is named.

5) Le Centre Georges Pompidou, both a modern and contemporary art gallery and a cultural hub, its amazing structure attracts over 6 million visitors every year!!

Centre George Pompidou
Centre George Pompidou

6) Notre-Dame de Paris: one of the most popular attractions in Paris but so worth it!!

7) The Moulin Rouge or the Lido or the more intimate Crazy Horse!

The Crazy Horse
The Crazy Horse

8) Ride a Bateau-Mouche on the Seine to see many of Paris’s beautiful bridges. You can even book a Bateau-Mouche including a meal, champagne and music!

9) The Musée d’Orsay located in a magnificent former old Beaux Arts railway station displaying the world’s largest collection of impressionist paintings.

10) Enjoy Paris parks such as Le Jardin du Luxembourg near Saint-Germain-des-Prés and second largest park in Paris, where you can bask in a lounge chair while Parisian children play with their sailboats in the fountains: how quaint!!

Jardin du Luxembourg
Jardin du Luxembourg

11) A stroll in Le Marais with its fabulous Hôtels Particuliers, quaint museums, great restaurants, cafés and Boutiques, located in the historic 3rd and 4th arrondissements.

Le Marais
Le Marais

12) Shop on the Grands Boulevards and check the famous Galeries Lafayettes with its beautiful front windows decorations and AMAZING Christmas tree not to be missed!

Galerie Lafayettes
Galerie Lafayettes
Galeries Lafayettes' Amazing Christmas Tree!
Galeries Lafayettes’ Amazing Christmas Tree!

13) Visit the hidden gem of the Jardin des Tuileries and my old time favorite, le musée de l’Orangerie, where you can discover two amazing collections: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (The Nympheas) and the Walter-Guillaume collection (post-impressionist).

14) The Palais-Garnier Opera

15) Les Catacombes: The spooky underground ossaries which are believed to hold the remains of over six million people!

Les Catacombes
Les Catacombes

I hope that you enjoy your French trip and please please please, leave us some comments if you have visited any of those places!!

You can sit with me

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There is one topic I have always been passionate about, as a teacher, a mother and a writer, and this topic is bullying.

I loathe bullying and my heart sinks every time I hear of bullying stories driving beautiful young souls to despair. I believe that no child should feel alone, insecure or threatened.

So when I see a campaign or an initiative which goal is to help eradicate this sneaky from of violence, I need to share it with the world! And I cross fingers people will get on board and help fight this worldwide epidemic.

Continue reading “You can sit with me”

11 useful websites to learn/teach French!

 

Learn French

Whether you are learning French or teaching the “langue de Molière”, you probably have found yourself in the situation of trying to find some cool and useful websites to assist you with your French.
And if you indeed have, then you probably know how frustrating this process can be!! So many places to look, so little time, right?

So in order to save you some precious time, I have put together a list of some of my favourite sites, for all levels.

Continue reading “11 useful websites to learn/teach French!”