6 Choses tout à fait normales pour un français… (Dessine-moi un expat, Courrier International Blogs)

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Original cartoon via Dessine-moi un expat here.


Plus que Paris: Pornic

Petite ville sur la côte atlantique, Pornic a tout ce qu’il faut: la plage, le soleil (en petite quantité mais ça va, parfois il faut un peu de grisaille dans la vie), la Fraiseraie… qui peut en vouloir plus?

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Iss been a minute

Feeling like it’s time to resurrect La Virginienne. I’ve been “busy” (read: maybe a bit down in the dumps and watching far too many things on Netflix) and kind of forgot my perfect weekend morning ritual of fixing a big, American-sized mug of coffee, lighting a white linen candle and blabbering to the large void of the internet about my passions for language, culture, food…

In the two years that have passed since the time when I was writing regularly for my blog I’ve been doing some things (besides forgetting how to read due to my addictions to television and getting in bed before sundown). I’ve moved from Paris, spent a month living in Kuwait visiting my parents, crashed at my brother’s place in Richmond while squaring away a new visa and then moved to a new city in France – Nantes – to do a Master’s program.

It’s been a whirlwind and maybe not an entirely fun process, as evidenced by the anxiety weight I’ve gained thanks to never really planting my roots anywhere for fear of a visa snafu. That being said, I’ve got some material for this ol’ website. I’ve made a resolution — not at all connected to New Year’s, I don’t kid myself with New Year’s resolutions — to read more, to write more, to do more. That includes getting back to this personal project and sharing my experiences on:

  • the university system in France
  • the perennial debate of Paris vs. ‘province‘ (and why that term is ridiculous)
  • apartment hunting and settling in to a new city as a foreign student
  • general mid-twenties angst and why finding friends as an adult sucks, even more so when you had the genius idea of emigrating from home

You get the idea. Plenty more rambling in franglais coming your way, if you’re willing to read it.

An Unofficial TAPIF Handbook: Things You Should Know, from A Two-Time Language Assistant

TAPIF, or the Teaching Assistant Program in France, is something very near and dear to me. Directly and indirectly, it inspired 99% of what I write about here.

The program isn’t perfect, but I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunities TAPIF has afforded me. In my opinion, there can never be enough first-hand accounts of the unique experience that teaching assistants have, so I’m hoping to add to the information that’s out there in an honest and complete way.

If you’re considering the program – or you’ve already applied and want to know what you’re really getting into – consider adding this post to you reading list. It’s a long one, but maybe it will answer the questions you have.

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The English language could get really weird if Britain leaves the EU (Quartz)

"Bon Voyage Europe," Parlamentarium - Brussels, Belgium

Quartz published a really short but insightful article about a Brexit effect few have considered: How confusing the English used in the Eurozone will become without the UK’s influence.

The long and short of it is that a kind of “Euro English” — a sort of very negotiated, middle-ground style of English — has developed since the advent of the EU. It’s what’s used in official EU texts and even how officials talk to one another; it’s a jargon version of one of the main languages of the EU that’s quite different from the actual English language used by native speakers.

How did Euro English happen? Basically, “false friends” between other European languages (most notably French) and English have allowed for certain transformations of meaning to become acceptable in  European Union-speak. The article’s best example of EU English is the word “delay.” In regular English, a delay is a hold-up that makes something occur later than expected. In Euro English, though, the word delay has been transformed to also mean a deadline or specific time-frame to accomplish something, because the French word “delai” means just that.

If Britain really does leave after this June’s referendum vote, it could mean that all legal texts and other documents produced by the EU will become further and further distinguished from “real” English. Ireland would become the de-facto guardian of English in the EU and, frankly, they may not have enough sway in the institution to keep things from devolving. The risk is that officials will have even more difficulties truly understanding one another and that interpretations of EU law will become even more varied and more dissociated from one another.

For the rest of the story on this bizarre, but very important, possible effect of the Brexit, read more below or at Quartz’ website.

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