From faux pas to fluency: life as a French language student in Paris – Part Two

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 19_06_2013 4

This article is in English. Click here to read it in French.

Julia, Dehong and Manuele talk to us about their love of French culture, their enthusiasm for learning the French language and the challenges they face.

Why have you decided to study the French language at the Paris Île-de-France branch of the Alliance française language school (AFPIF)?

Julia (Germany): My husband is Franco-German. I think that it’s very important for me to learn his mother tongue. What’s more, he has changed jobs and the office is in Paris. We’ve therefore moved – and that’s even more reason for me to learn French.

Dehong (China): I work for a French company and so I’m required to have a basic knowledge of French. It’s easy for me to attend classes at AFPIF because the timetable is very flexible. and there’s a lot of choice when it comes to the length of classes.

Manuele (Italy): I studied French when I was at university. After my studies, I didn’t use it at all. Since French is a language that I very much admire, I wanted to carry on learning it. AFPIF is the best-known school for learning about the language and culture. So I bought a plane ticket to Paris, went to 101 Boulevard Raspail and signed up for classes immediately.

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 19_06_2013 1

In terms of the French language, what is the most embarrassing experience you have had during your stay in France?

Julia: One day I had to take the métro but I had no tickets left. So I went to the information booth to buy a book. The receptionist came to his microphone and asked me what I wanted. I looked at him and said “a canard [a duck], please” instead of saying a carnet [a book of tickets].

Dehong: I can’t remember any particular experiences. Me, I still have embarrassing experiences – that never stops!

Manuele: I have a lot of comprehension problems when it comes to jokes. Every time someone tells me a joke, I laugh without understanding what was said. And of course, everyone realises.

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 19_06_2013 5

What is your favourite French word and why?

Julia: I really like “Oh là là!”. It makes me laugh every time.

Manuele: I don’t have one. I like the pronunciation of all French words!

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 19_06_2013 2

What is your favourite pâtisserie?

Julia: Strawberry tartlets.

Dehong: Macarons – I love them!

Briony Kemp-Griffin - 19_06_2013 3

Do you have a goal to attain before finishing your studies here? What do you think you can achieve?

Julia: I want to find a job here. For that, I have to have a good base in the French language. I want to succeed in understanding a basic conversation and thanks to the classes, I’m sure to get there.

Dehong: I want to be able to immerse myself in French culture and to understand the language perfectly. I’m certain I’ll achieve this.

Manuele: My goal is to find a job here in Paris. I’m convinced I’ll be able to do this because the classes at AFPIP are specific, and the teachers are patient and understanding. I couldn’t ask for better!

Thank you Julia, Dehong and Manuele for sharing your experiences of France. We’ve really enjoyed talking with you!

Why do you study French? Do you have any anecdotes about your experiences of learning the language of Molière?  

Crédits images :
1. Métro, via Wikimedia
2. Alliance française Paris Île-de-France cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu – Dehong and Julia, by Briony Kemp-Griffin
3. French flag, by Francis LeFranc via deviantArt
4. Tarte fraise au mascarpone, by Renée Suen via Flickr
5. Macaroons, by April Aceto via Flickr
Proud Partner of Alliance Française Paris Île-de-France (AFPIF)

About the Contributor

Briony Kemp Griffin

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.