Tag Archives: learning French

In Search of Christmas: Germany Christmas Market Tour – escape the tyranny of distance… and maintain your French – Freaking out Frenchie

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This Wednesday, Jeff Titelius from Euro Travelogue takes us on a tour of Christmas markets in Germany with stunning photos that all look by picture postcards. Fellow Australian, Carolyn Lee, from Escape to Paris, gives lots of suggestions for maintaining your French when not in France and Bread is Pain talks about French phlegm. Enjoy!

In Search of Christmas: Germany Christmas Market Tour

by Jeff Titelius from Euro Travelogue: European travel impressions brought to life through the power of lens and pen.

Herald in the holidays and Advent this year with an unforgettable visit to one of Germany’s classic Christmas markets or Christkindlmarkts as they are known locally. Steeped in centuries-old traditions and customs, you can find a Christmas market in just about every landmark city and storybook village throughout Germany—town squares that come alive with the sights and sounds and smells of Christmas! Lining historic city-centre squares, hundreds of elaborately decorated Alpine chalets are brimming with traditionally hand-crafted gifts and festive ornaments, not to mention the savory indulgences of food and Glühwein or mulled wine of course—hard to resist after their tantalizing aromas reach your cold little noses! Read more

escape the tyranny of distance… and maintain your French

by Carolyne Lee, from Escape to Paris, an Australian writer, teacher, and researcher who tries to spend every spare moment in France

The great challenge for Australian francophones is maintaining our French, given our distance from France. Even with one or two trips per year, as some of us are able to make, there are still long fallow periods when we’re not using French for many months at a stretch. I’m always interested to hear other Aussie Francophones tell how they do their ‘maintenance’. The most fluent people, from my small and fairly random sampling, seem to keep up their French by reading French books on a regular basis, preferably daily, and this is also what I do. Read more

Freaking Out Frenchie

by Bread is Pain, a 30-something American living in the Rhone-Alps, and slowly eating and drinking herself through the country

So the other night MB and I were sitting watching an episode of French Masterchef.  The contestants were in the middle of a challenge in which they had to create a thin hollow ball made of out sugar (not exactly like the BBQ challenges of US Masterchef).  In one part of the challenge it was necessary to roll out and work the hot sugar “dough” which is at a dangerously high temperature, they have to wear special gloves.  One contestant is working his dough and talking about how hot it is and how you must be very careful.  The contestant next to him then accidentally sticks her naked elbow into the dough and lets out a scream. Read more

French Tours: Beware Madame la Guillotine – It Pays to be a Friend – The Old Woman without a Clue

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While I was on holiday in Australia, I didn’t have time to read my favourite blogs so I have a lot of catching up to do! This Wednesday, Abby Gorden from Paris Weekender, posting on My French Life, reviews a wonderful iPhone app on the French revolution which begins at my very doorstep, Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris explains the advantages of being a “friend” of Parisian museums and Bread is Pain laments about her inability to assimilate all those French verbs while her knowledge of France increases in leaps and bounds.

French Tours: Beware Madame la Guillotine

by Abby Gorden from Paris Weekender, posting on MyFrenchLife, a global community of French and francophiles connecting like-minded people in English & French

When My French Life™ asked me to review Time Traveler Tours new ‘Beware Madame la Guillotine’ iPhone app, I eagerly agreed. I was not going to pass up a chance to learn some history while having fun, outdoors, on the go.

The app is not quite a self-guided walking tour and not quite a book on tape. It’s something in between and at the same time something more. It’s jam-packed with history and interesting tidbits. It’s interactive. It’s easy to use. I had never owned an iPhone until about 15 hours before I embarked on the app-guided tour, but I still found it easy to navigate. Read more

It Pays to be a Friend

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

(Friday afternoon) 

It’s less than an hour until my father-in-law’s train pulls into Gare de Lyon and I’m in a panic. It’s not that the apartment is a mess or that we don’t have any food, it’s that the elevator is broken.

The good news is that we could bypass the long lines of people huddling under their umbrellas in front of the Musée d’Orsay on Saturday afternoon because I’m a friend, “une amie”, of the museum. Read more

The Old Woman without a Clue

by Bread is Pain, a 30-something American living in the Rhone-Alps, and slowly eating and drinking herself through the country

I’ve been taking yet another French Intensif Course, this time at the University, and until today it has been an exercise in humiliation.  Everyone in the class is about 12 years old 20 years old and have been studying French for anywhere from 2 to 8 semesters.  They can reel off subjunctives and infinitives like it’s nothing.  When we had a session in which we described Fairy Tales, they were flawlessly reciting the plots to the Lion King*, Cinderella, and Pinnochio…and then there was me, the old lady without a clue (har har).  I could get the words out but not the correct grammar. Read more


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