Bread Machine in Italian & Books in German

I recently ordered a bread machine from 3suisses.fr because unlike most people, I do not like baguettes and prefer big loaves of bread with soft crusts. Plus the sandwich-style bread you can buy in France does not taste very good. Even though I had ordered it from a French company and the picture in the catalog clearly showed it was in French, all of the writing on my machine (as well as the instruction booklet and recipe book) was in Italian. This isn’t really a problem for me though, as I can figure out recipes with my limited Italian vocabulary.

Coincidentally, I also received a few German as a Second Language books today that I had ordered from amazon.de. Maybe this is a sign that I should really devote more time to studying languages. I’ve been slacking off lately on studying French too. And I can’t even remember the last time I majorly updated my language tutorials…

When I first moved to France, I thought naively that it would be very easy to study other languages because of the close proximity to Germany, Switzerland and Italy. However, I’ve discovered that’s not exactly true. Sure, we get a few channels in other languages (Deutsche Welle; which is in English half of the time & Rai; which cannot be broadcast in France at certain times for some reason…) and most good bookstores have a nice foreign language section – but it’s not much more extensive than what I found in the US. The internet is still the best way to learn languages, and the real authentic language that is not found in books.

Yet Europe does have an obvious advantage to learning languages: cheap & quick travel among the countries. I can be in Italy or German-speaking Switzerland in about 2 hours’ drive. I can fly to Berlin or Rome in an hour or so on a low-cost airline.  I can order books from German stores and have them delivered to my home in France for a few extra euros. (I’m wondering why there’s no amazon.it though… where can I order Italian books from??)

A large part of the reason that I haven’t been studying languages is the lack of motivation. I’m not taking any classes, so I have no homework or tests to study for. I don’t have to use other languages every day. I want to learn though because I want to become fluent in more than just French. And travelling to these other countries makes me realize how much more I need to learn in order to survive there – or even just be a less-stressed tourist. One day, I may have EU nationality and then it will be (hopefully) easy to relocate to Germany or Italy. The only (major) obstacle will be the language barrier.

So I’m going to grab a slice of the pain français pane francese I made, and crack open my language books that have been collecting dust on the bookshelf. But now the hard part is deciding which language I want to study first!

Summertime means…

Boats on the lake Big salads Bright lights Pretty flowers Clear water Fireworks on the 14th Cigales in the south

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The Best Photo Ever

This photo of David & his sister, Carole, was taken about 25 years ago at the OK Corral Western Theme Park in Cuges-les-Pins, just east of Marseille. I absolutely adore it because they are polar opposites.  Notice the arm holding Carole in place!  She smiles a lot more for photos nowadays, but man, did she […]

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Provençal Villages, Arles & Van Gogh’s Room

We’ve returned from our week in Provence!  Last year we mostly visited the larger cities (Avignon, Orange, etc.), so this year we visited many of the smaller villages in Vaucluse (74), and then drove down to Salon-de-Provence and Arles in Bouches-du-Rhône (13). The beauty of Provençal villages never gets old to me. The colors, the […]

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French Postcards from the Early 20th Century

David & I are down in Provence for the week at his mom’s cousin’s (Bobby & Martine) house in Sarrians, in the département of Vaucluse. The weather is perfect (hot and sunny), the sound of the cigales (cicadas) is so relaxing, and we have trips to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Salon-de-Provence, Aix-en-Provence and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue planned. I have no […]

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Introducing Mélina

Bienvenue au monde, ma petite nièce ! Je vous présente Mélina, la fille de la sœur de David. Elle n’a que deux jours dans cette photo. Elle est née le premier juillet et pas le quatorze comme prévu. (Canada gagne !) Elle ne le sait pas encore, mais elle va commencer à apprendre l’anglais très […]

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Bonne Fête Nationale, USA !

This is the fourth year that I haven’t been in the USA on the Fourth of July, and it’s always a little weird. I’ve never been an overly patriotic person, but I do miss my country today. At least I’ll still get to watch fireworks in July (just on the 14th instead) and the flags […]

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Happy 400th Anniversary, Quebec City!

Quebec City is 400 years old! Quebec City was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain on July 3, 1608, making it one of the earliest established settlements in North America. Some of you may know that I adore all things Quebec. The language, the food, the landscape. It’s just a great place. When or […]

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More Changes in France as of July 1

France takes over the European Union Presidency until December 31. Public transportation gets slightly more expensive. SNCF tickets increase by 10 cents, while subway tickets in Paris now cost 1.60 € for a single ride or 11.40 € for a booklet of ten tickets. The monthly Carte Orange-Navigo also increases: Zones 1-2: 55.10 €; Zones […]

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Reminder for all drivers in France

As of tomorrow, July 1, it will be law to have a bright yellow vest and red triangle in your car at all times to use in case of emergencies. And remember to NOT keep the yellow vest in your trunk because you need to put it on before getting out of the car. 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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