Third Christmas in France

My first Christmas in France was in 2006. I had just arrived in September and met David shortly after, and since I had no plans (no money) to go back to the US for Christmas, I spent it with his family. It was interesting and different but it just didn’t feel right. Especially when they brought out the oysters. As soon as I could, I bought tickets to Michigan for Christmas 2007. We were only there for a week, but I got to eat traditional (at least to me) Christmas food – turkey, NOT seafood! – and be surrounded by decorations and carols and actual Christmas spirit. To be fair, we decided to stay in France for Christmas 2008 and planned on doing even years in France and odd years in the US. Then 2009 arrived and the uncertainty of… let’s just say many work and family-related things led us to stay here for another year. It was extremely hard for me because I had decided long ago that Christmas in France will never be real Christmas to me, because real Christmas can only be in Michigan. I honestly don’t know if we can afford to go back to the US for 2010, but I certainly hope so.

David spoiled me a lot this year and I definitely don’t deserve it. He got me an iPod nano as well as a French dictionary specifically designed for people whose native language is not French (that includes lists of faux amis in 14 languages!) and an advanced French CD-ROM program.

Then for the tirage au sort we do with his family, I got two books, one on teaching French and one on Quebec (Irréductibles Québécois), and two DVDs: Bon Cop, Bad Cop and La Grande Séduction.

I noticed that Bon Cop, Bad Cop had a version française along with the version originale sous-titré (the movie is half in French, half in English). I wanted to see if they had actually dubbed the Quebecois dialogs into European French, and yes they did, but the French voice actors put on a very slight (and probably) fake Quebecois accent yet still use European French vocabulary so that French people will understand. Oddly enough, they did not dub the English dialogs into French, but just use subtitles, and even when Patrick Huard is speaking English instead of Quebecois French, they dub his perfectly understandable English with some other guy’s English!!! It’s so bizarre because sometimes it’s his real voice when he says something in Quebecois French that isn’t radically different from European French, but then at other times, it’s the French or American voice actors that completely redo his scenes. I really don’t understand why they felt the need to redub the English parts, but I can understand why they left the English scenes in since Quebec vs. Ontario / French vs. English is a major theme. But three voices for one character is really distracting!

Looking Ahead to 2010

Winter seems to be over already. Those 3 days of cold and snow were enough. Now it’s rainy and nearly 50 F, which is fine by me since I only like winter in North America. One good thing about not going home for Christmas is not getting stuck at airports or train stations like so […]

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Lost: Motivation

I had intended to work on my website during vacation, but my lack of motivation is astounding. I keep thinking about next semester and what I should be doing to prepare for it even though it doesn’t start until January 18. Then I think about the summer and what I should be doing to prepare […]

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Dreaming of a White Christmas…

Il a neigé sur Chambéry hier ! / It snowed in Chambery yesterday! The parking lot yesterday when the snow started The parking lot this morning Someone didn’t know what to think about the white flakes My poor little car (the roads and sidewalks are not salted or cleared at all) I tried to make […]

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Germany = Christmas

I’m officially on Christmas vacation, except for a few things to grade and absences to count up for my labs. Now I can finally start answering all the e-mails that have been sitting in my Inbox forever. I really want to work on my French tutorials and add a listening section, but Christmas always put […]

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Fahrenheit vs. Celsius

Sometimes I don’t think I will ever get used to non-American measurements. The Metric system and Celsius degrees are much more logical, but it’s not what I spent most of my life using and even after years of living in the country that was the first to adopt the Metric system, I still find it […]

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French Christmas Songs

Learn French through Christmas songs! La chanson en cours de FLE has a few listening activities for the first 3 songs if you want to test yourself. Petit Papa Noël Vive le Vent (Jingle Bells) Mon Beau Sapin (Oh Christmas Tree) Douce Nuit (Silent Night) Au Royaume du Bonhomme Hiver (Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland)

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Oh Tiny Christmas Tree

Trees here are so oddly-shaped and small, but it smells like pine and that’s good enough for me. That is an elephant ornament as a topper. A teacher at my first lycée back in 2006 gave it to me. And since Chambéry is the elephant city, I think it’s fitting.

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Le Marché de Noël à Chambéry

I have to say the marché here is a little depressing. It’s very small and there aren’t many decorations or interesting things to buy. Plus the weather is just awful, so I’m sure that contributed to my dislike of the marché. Shoving your way through the crowd is bad enough when it’s not raining and […]

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Le Téléthon 2009 à Annecy

I had completely forgotten that the Téléthon would be in Annecy this year. France2 is showing live video from the lake right now. It is nice to see the pretty buildings and mountains on TV, but I’m still glad to no longer live there.  It is a great place to visit though, especially in 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 January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. 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 the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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