Thank You André and Rest in Peace

My father-in-law, André, passed away yesterday. He was a very kind man and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. A few months ago, he helped contribute to the French Listening Resources mp3s by answering a few questions on French cuisine, traveling around the world and France’s national holiday. I hope that his words, spoken with his slight Provençal accent, help French learners understand the beautiful language and culture that he was so proud of.

Mon beau-père, André, s’est éteint hier. C’était un homme très gentil et un mari, père et grand-père dévoué. Il y a quelques mois, il a contribué à French Listening Resources en répondant aux questions sur la cuisine française, le tour du monde, et la fête nationale française. J’espère que ses mots, parlés avec son léger accent provençal, aident les apprenants de français à comprendre la belle langue et la culture dont il était tellement fier.

He was diagnosed in early 2006 with stage IV lung cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 1 to 5%. And he did survive longer than five years, which I like to think is proof of his unfailing commitment to take care of his family. During that time, his granddaughter Mélina was born and he was able to spend nearly three wonderful years with her. I met him in October 2006, shortly after my arrival in France, and even though his doctor thought that he would have passed away by then, he was full of life and happiness. That is how I will always remember him.

Au début 2006, on lui a diagnostiqué un cancer du poumon au stade IV, qui a un taux de survie de cinq ans de 1 à 5%. Et il a survécu pendant plus de cinq ans, ce qui (j’aime bien penser) est la preuve de son dévouement intarissable à sa famille. Pendant ce temps-là, sa petite-fille Mélina était née et il a pu passer trois années merveilleuses avec elle. Je l’ai connu en october 2006, peu après mon arrivée en France, et même si le médecin avait dit qu’il s’en serait déjà allé à cette époque, il était plein de vie et de bonheur. Je m’en souviendrai toujours de lui comme ça.

André with his granddaughter, Mélina, in 2008
André avec sa petite-fille, Mélina, en 2008

Thank you André for creating such a great family and letting me be a part of it. Thank you for teaching me and so many others the French language. You will never be forgotten.

Merci André d’avoir fondé une famille exceptionnelle et de m’avoir permis d’en faire partie. Merci de m’avoir appris à moi et à tant d’autres la langue française. On t’oubliera jamais.

French Language Tutorial (2nd edition) Now Available

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now available! This is a major update from the first edition, available in either PDF format or as a coil-bound paperback. Changes from the first edition: Much more vocabulary and sample sentences, such as asking for help, giving advice, expressing opinions, likes & dislikes, etc. New order […]

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Numbers and Counting: American vs. French

I’m still endlessly fascinated by cultural differences between the US/North America and France/Europe that most people probably don’t spend much time thinking about. A McDonald’s commercial on French TV got me thinking about numbers and counting in other languages and cultures.  You learn quickly that Europe uses the 24 hour clock for schedules and the […]

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Comparative Grammar of the French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Languages

My new favorite book. Published in 1868! 400 pages of comparative goodness. Verb conjugations (we really should bring back thou hadst and the T-V distinction in English!) There’s even vocabulary at the end, though the words are not grouped thematically like they are in The Loom of Language. I’ve also ordered A Comparative Practical Grammar […]

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Female Polyglots and Language Learners – Where Are You?

The lovely Susanna, author of Language is Music, and I were talking about the lack of female polyglots online even though most language classes have higher enrollment of women than men and many language teachers are female rather than male. Most polyglots online – especially on YouTube – are men and we can’t seem to […]

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Getting Used to Being an American Abroad (and Realizing that 30 Degrees is Hot)

The weather has been gorgeous in France this past week and I’ve been looking at the forecast everyday hoping that the sunshine sticks around for a while. Yet every time I watch the météo on TV or check the prévisions on meteofrance.com, I always have to stop for a moment and convert the Celcius degrees […]

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Recent Foreign Language and Traveling News

Some interesting articles and websites on foreign languages and traveling that I’ve come across in the past week or two: In Troubled Spain, Boom Times for Foreign Languages: more Spaniards learning languages in order to find jobs abroad Scandinavians Rule, Russians Low in English Language Skills: ranking the proficiency of English among 44 countries and […]

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My Say it in French Phrasebook Available in September from Dover Publications

Guess who’s a published author now? It’s on Amazon so that makes it official, right? One of my jobs last year was revising and updating Dover Publications’ Say it in French phrasebook. The original was written in the 50’s and included a section on telegrams and cablegrams, so there was a lot I needed to […]

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New Language Tutorial on ielanguages.com: Afrikaans!

I’m happy to announce that a new language tutorial has been added to ielanguages.com: Afrikaans! The tutorial was written by Selçuk Mert Köseoğlu and proofread by native-speaker Sarien, who also plans to record some mp3s. Afrikaans originated from 17th century Dutch and is one of the official languages of South Africa. It is also spoken in […]

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My Library Thinks Finnish is a Germanic Language

I tweeted this photo yesterday but it irritates me so much that I decided to put it on the blog too. My local library puts Finnish in the Other Germanic Languages section. I could let it slide if they organized the languages by geography instead of linguistic families, but they don’t since they use the […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

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