How Important is it for a Visitor to Speak French in France?

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You’d rather listen to this post than reading it? No problem:

Introduction

When you travel to France, for work or leisure, it can happen that you encounter limitations and problems that you wouldn’t come across at home. Often, these are based on the local language and culture being different from the sounds and experiences where you live.

We actually do often conclude that this is purely a language phenomenon. And it’s definitely the most obvious conclusion, especially in Europe where so many languages are found over such a small area. The languages are also very different from one another and can hardly be understood without being studied first. In other words, limitations due to lack of skills in the local language become obvious as soon as you arrive.

On the other hand, we perhaps don’t think as much about Read more »

The European Project – What Future?

logo blog post about the future of the European Union

Introduction

I think the first time I truly reflected on the European Union was in the last year of high school, when our history & geography teacher asked us our opinion about it and how it impacted our everyday life. At the time I didn’t really know what it was and certainly didn’t see how it had anything to do with my life, and I said so. That got me the following comment from my teacher: “in tartiflette we trust” (tartiflette being a typical dish from the Savoy region, in the French Alps, where I was born and raised), which was the slogan the locals used to show their pride at being from the region.

Of course that was her way of highlighting that my perspective was limited to where I lived and that I didn’t see bigger, but isn’t it true for everyone? Until you see something or its consequences for yourself, it doesn’t really exist in your world… And I still believe it was smarter to write down things as they were (i.e. that I didn’t really have an opinion on the EU since I felt like it didn’t do anything for or against me) than listing praises or critics about something I actually didn’t know.

However I gained new perspectives on Europe when I Read more »

How to teach your mother tongue to your spouse

logo blog post about teaching one's mother tongue

Introduction

Expatriation because of work, business trips, exchange programs during higher education or international agreements that facilitate international mobility (the Schengen area for example); it gets easier and easier to travel and build relationships with people from other countries who, more often than not, don’t speak the same language as you. And while 10 or 20 years ago most trips were business trips (meaning quite short) or touristic travels (meaning mostly superficial contacts with the locals), things have changed indeed and it’s now much more common to build your life in a country different from where you were born. Or at least to spend an extended part of your life abroad.

And thus we naturally see the rise of couples whose members come from different countries and have different mother tongues!


Learning & Teaching One’s Mother Tongue – Why?

In general international couples have a common language (otherwise it would be difficult to understand each other!). Sometimes it’s the mother tongue of one of the two if the other one has learned it already, but often they use a third language.

For example I knew a Swedish-Indonesian couple who used Chinese to communicate! They had met Read more »

10 Tips to Write a Novel

logo blog post about how to write a novel

Introduction

To celebrate the release in English of the first volume of my novel “Chroniques de Galadria” (under the name “Chronicles of Galadria I – The Other World”), I have decided to write a post about the adventure it is to write a novel, and to share a couple of tips taken from my own experience as an author. I hope this will help those wishing to start writing, that other authors will use this opportunity to share their experience and opinion, and maybe that readers interested in knowing more about the “backstage” will find some answers as well.

What should you think about before starting? Traps to avoid? Methods and techniques to make things easier? If these questions caught your interest, read on…

Who Am I?

logo blog post to introduce David Gay-Perret

Background

I was born in the town of Annecy, France, where I lived until I reached 20.

After 2 years spent studying logistics and quality at the local IUT (QLIO Program) I moved to Gävle, Sweden, to complete my 3rd year and obtain a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management.

I then started a 2-years program (“Innovation & Business Creation”) at Jönköping International Business School leading to a master’s degree in Business Administration. I also had the opportunity to study 4 months in South Korea during that period.


I never really enjoyed going to school, though the university years certainly were much more interesting than the regular school years since I could pick what I wanted to study, and after going to Sweden Read more »

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