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!

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  • http://jpack.me/ Justin

    Merry Christmas Jennie. It looks like you got some wonderful gifts. Have a very Happy New Year!
    .-= Justin´s last blog ..Merry Christmas =-.

  • http://jpack.me Justin

    Merry Christmas Jennie. It looks like you got some wonderful gifts. Have a very Happy New Year!
    .-= Justin´s last blog ..Merry Christmas =-.

  • http://www.lafauxvaisienne.blogspot.com/ Emily

    Oysters for Christmas is just so strange to me. I guess since I live near the coast and can eat them whenever I want I would never consider them special holiday food in the way the pumpkin pie and turkey is.

    That French dictionary sounds amazing! What is the name of it?

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..New books for a new year! =-.

  • http://www.lafauxvaisienne.blogspot.com Emily

    Oysters for Christmas is just so strange to me. I guess since I live near the coast and can eat them whenever I want I would never consider them special holiday food in the way the pumpkin pie and turkey is.

    That French dictionary sounds amazing! What is the name of it?

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..New books for a new year! =-.

  • http://www.confituredulait.blogspot.com/ MilkJam

    I guess I’ve come to realize that it’s not about the food that you eat but the people you spend it with. My only Christmas away from Mystery Guest felt so wrong… I was with my family but part of that family was missing. Didn’t matter what we were eating, he wasn’t there to be a part of it.
    .-= MilkJam´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  • http://www.confituredulait.blogspot.com MilkJam

    I guess I’ve come to realize that it’s not about the food that you eat but the people you spend it with. My only Christmas away from Mystery Guest felt so wrong… I was with my family but part of that family was missing. Didn’t matter what we were eating, he wasn’t there to be a part of it.
    .-= MilkJam´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  • http://islandgirl4ever2.blogspot.com/ Leesa

    Hi Jennie…
    I know TOTALLY what you mean by this… I felt this way all throughout Dec, when I longed for the Christmas decorations that adorn the houses and apts. in Cali. I really missed that this year and I am really glad we went to Strasbourg because I am ALL about making new traditions here in France!
    I don’t mind the stuff they eat, except that I don’t eat it myself and it’s pretty gross for me to watch the others eat oysters and foie gras! I made cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes and we had turkey and chesnut stuffing… YUM!
    .-= Leesa´s last blog ..Me and the "gals!" =-.

  • http://islandgirl4ever2.blogspot.com Leesa

    Hi Jennie…
    I know TOTALLY what you mean by this… I felt this way all throughout Dec, when I longed for the Christmas decorations that adorn the houses and apts. in Cali. I really missed that this year and I am really glad we went to Strasbourg because I am ALL about making new traditions here in France!
    I don’t mind the stuff they eat, except that I don’t eat it myself and it’s pretty gross for me to watch the others eat oysters and foie gras! I made cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes and we had turkey and chesnut stuffing… YUM!
    .-= Leesa´s last blog ..Me and the "gals!" =-.

  • http://www.lindamathieu.com/ Linda

    I guess I have a mixture of a French and American Christmas-made my own traditions. I’ve stopped looking with longing at what I had in the States and what is my reality here. This is the first Christmas I haven’t felt blue-I talked myself out of it and counted the blessings I do have.
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Doll Museum =-.

  • http://www.lindamathieu.com Linda

    I guess I have a mixture of a French and American Christmas-made my own traditions. I’ve stopped looking with longing at what I had in the States and what is my reality here. This is the first Christmas I haven’t felt blue-I talked myself out of it and counted the blessings I do have.
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Doll Museum =-.

  • http://bisoufrancaise.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    We has a goose for Xmas dinner. It was great. I stuffed it with chestnuts and dried cranberries with some celery and carrots. Although I wouldn’t mind seafood for Xmas. But I really love seafood.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Dr.Heartless =-.

  • http://bisoufrancaise.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    We has a goose for Xmas dinner. It was great. I stuffed it with chestnuts and dried cranberries with some celery and carrots. Although I wouldn’t mind seafood for Xmas. But I really love seafood.
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Dr.Heartless =-.

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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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