Thursday, November 30, 2006

Communal bilingual dinner = Education to the max

Last night's Dinner Count

Anglophones: 4
Francophones: 5

Lessons on Pronunciation en français for Anglophones

The difference between dessert and desert is you pronounce the 's' in dessert like the 's' in snake and the 's' in desert like a 'z'

il y a plus de (they are more...) - prounounce the 's' at the end of plus
il n'y a plus de (they are no more...) - the 's' is silent

bouilloire (a kettle) is not pronounced like bruillard (fog)

Reims en France is pronounced Reins

New Phrases en français

ringard - closest french equivelant to word cheesy
anticonstituionellement - longest french word (I can say it!)
To say 'that's a shame' you can say quelle dommage or c'est ballot but not c'est dommage. The latter n'existe pas en français...

The Francophones learnt that

You cannot use Angletterre to describe all english speaking countries or even all British countries

Meaning of the words 'redneck', 'cheesy'

antidisestablishmentarianism - didn't teach them the meaning of that

The difference in pronunciation between 'angry' and 'hungry' - those 'h's are hard to say!
The difference in pronuncation between the 'i' vowels e.g in 'fit' as opposed to 'feet' (I'm not going to publish what words were actually being talked about there)

And it's all written on the unpainted wall as pictured above so no chance of forgetting!

Communal educational bilingual dinner = Badinage!!!

Monday, November 27, 2006

baaaah ouuuuuais...

mmm... what a week

Soroco winds, ridiculously warm sunshine for November, bucketting rain, snow on mountains, then all melted again...

3 "Scottish" visitors, 10 visits to Grenoble train station (3 to retrieve a lost bag, 1 to miss a bus), several meals out, several meals in, 2 trips up the Bastille, 2 sunsets watched, much tea drunk, 1 chocolate tasting attended, 1 night of silly dancing to silly hours had, 1 trip to the cinema made, much franglais spoken, several new friends made, one random lunch with one lovely random muslim lady, random tram trips taken...

I am now losing my voice and am finding it difficult to speak english let alone french. Try saying "Royaume uni" (united kingdom) in the post office when you have a sore throat! The woman behind the desk might think you're saying Italie!

Some photo highlights

Crisp November leaves crunchcrunchcrunchbeeeeautiful mountains all covered in snow

and yes this was all made of chocolate!!!

we didn't eat it all!! honest! :P

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

se mettre en grève

Yes folks... today I experienced my first full-on infamous french strike!
Today... all just before 10am this morning all trams and buses stopped...
of course today was also the day that I had to travel to Meylan, a small town (also mini-utopia), 2 buses away from where I lived to teach at a school for 4 hours...
and of course I had already taken one bus and so was in the centre of town and even further away from Meylan when they decided to go on strike... and so I waited and chatted to grumbling little old ladies in french for a bit... and then walked... and was an hour and a half late for classes! Tant pis... All part o the cultural experience eh?!

Friday, November 10, 2006


It's funny... I was just thinking... if I were elsewhere... if I was back in Glasgow I'd be getting stressed right now or at least feeling veryveryworked like everyone back home, living it up in the library with essays galore no doubt... and yet here I am in this beautiful city where life is quiet, people go to bed at reasonable hours most of the time, where it hardly ever rains and I have this ridiculous amount of spare time on my hands. Well not that ridiculous anymore, but au moins more than I'm used to.
I wonder whether I'd rather be back in Glasgow sometimes, and be stressed and manically busy, or here with lots and lots of time and relaxation which sometimes I wonder if I need...
All I know is, whether or not I am always contented with the situation I'm in, I should always be grateful for it, for what I have and what's now and the situation that God has put me in... because he knows best and I know he's teaching me a lot by taking me out of my usual environment and placing me somewhere tout à fait different for a while.
Therefore... Rachetez le temps car les jours sont mauvais

Un mot - Enjoy :)

je suis l'assistante d'anglais

I can't believe I've been at this teaching melarky for over a month now and still hadn't blogged about it!

Ah... the joys... today I had to tell a class off for the first time
I said to them with a quiet disapproving teacher voice- "Il y avait trop de bruit aujourd-hui. Cette classe est pour vous de pratiquer parler et ecouter en anglais, mais si vous n'ecoutez pas, il n'y pas de point d'etre ici!" - translation -
"There was far too much noise today. This class is for you to practise speaking and listening in english but if you don't listen there's no point in you being here!"
They apologised so I think it will be ok. Bear in mind this was the first time I've ever had to properly tell anyone off.

See so far teaching has been generally very good! Very different from how I expected it... not at all nerve-wracking despite the fact that I frequently have to adlib... somehow french organisation means that despite all the preparation I may have done, every week I get at least a couple of groups of classes of age groups I haven't been expecting, so often have to make up lessons on the spot... but somehow managed to do ok so far though preparation is most definitely the way forward!

I teach kids ranging from the ages of about 12 to older than me. Have to use french with the 12-15 year olds cos the only english they understand is "I have blue eyes, I have brown hair etc." but some of my older classes speak very good english which is pretty cool, I just have to speak slowly and clearly with them!

And for some reason the fact that I am young has so far been a big advantage! There is always a collective exclaim of disbelief or surprise ("aaaah mais c'est jeune!!!") if anyone asks me how old I am, it's quite amusing! And after one class one guy who must have been about my age came up to me and said "Are you really only 20, I thought you must be like 22 or something!!" Hahahaha I think that was meant as a compliment... I think...

And aaaah the accents! My friends in France will tell you that I have developed quite a passion and a liking for imitating the french accent when speaking english... I will demonstrate with some phonetic spelling - demonstration of todays lesson with the 13 year olds

"Wot aaaav yooou got aateuuh treee o clockeuh?"
"I aaav got euuuh... doctors appooointeuhmnt"

sniff... isn't it just beautiful!

I'm tired... I think all this teaching has gone to my head...

à la prochaine

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Freiburg, ja!

Yes I know I'm supposed to be in France for the year... but what with the border being so close I decided to spend a few days in Germanland to visit these two wondericous people!

Of course I got to see the wonders of Germany too... bright neon signs, ridiculously tall trees and graffiti everywhere! Icecream, erasmus students and bicycles are plentiful!

I feel like I've just spent the last few days living the life of an erasmus student in Freiburg, which I basically did! Highlights included:
- Wonderfully large communal meals
- the Stusie bar (the student union) - is so scarily similar to the qm it's unreal! I felt very very at home!
- Being able to chat to a German girl in what was our only common language - french!
- Cable car trips into the mountains never go amiss
- Good food
- A judith-cooked German breakfast fry-up... mmmmm...
- Church in German AND English! (complete novelty!)

It was just sooo nice to be somewhere so completely different from France for a few days and break up the term, since I won't be going home till Christmas. And to live the student life again, Grenoble life is so quiet in comparison! Plus Freiburg is beautiful! If you wanna check out photos check out Jamie's blog, he's got a mixture of mine, his and other folks photos from the weekend.
It was however very satisfying to return last night and understand and be able to chat to folk at the station and in shops again! I discovered I really dislike being able to hold my own in a country communication wise. I hope to visit again... so the what has become quite a long list of languages to learn, Deutsch now has a prominent spot!