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Doing Battle with a Teenager in the Language of Molière

Contributor blog post by Jemma:

“Moi, je veux prendre le penne au pistou,” Lolo says to the waiter in fluent, properly French-accented French. Her order is no surprise. Pesto penne is one of my 13-year old’s favourites.

The wiry waiter turns his gaze to Philippe, who sits beside me at this restaurant spilling into Boulevard d’Aguillon, a busy pedestrian street in Antibes.  “Je vais prendre le linguinis aux fruits de mer,” he says in decisive French, fluently requesting the seafood linguini even if his pronunciation isn’t exactly local.

…Continue reading here for Jemma’s amusing story about her “battle” with learning to speak French – the language of Molière – and living with a bilingual teenager. This story might prove that it is easier to learn a language as a child, but certainly shouldn’t discourage anyone from trying to improve their language skills. In a tourist-facing town like Antibes, the service industry staff are often multilingual so you can  get by speaking English.

But, should you?

Learning a second language is never easy, and as a uni-lingual adult, the long “road” to mastering French is daunting. Even native French speakers agree that there are more exceptions to the language’s rules than necessary, and let’s not even begin to talk about verbs. Read about these flexible French language lessons in Provence and virtually via Skype.

Via:: French Lessons

      

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Jemma Antibes

Jemma Antibes

Jemma was born and raised in the US Midwest. A banker by trade, she slogged away at a Swiss investment bank in the UK and South Africa before moving – for decent spaces of time, anyway – to the South of France. At a similar stage, she also moved to the right side of her brain as a writer. She has published articles in Maclean’s, SuperYacht World, and various travel and university presses.

At this point Jemma lives mostly in Canada, but she spends the whole of every summer in the Côte d’Azur town of Antibes, from where she writes her blog French Lessons. Now (rather unbelievably) in its ninth year, the site is a summertime gift to readers, each note aiming to capture a snapshot of the remarkable, real life along the French Riviera. Jemma still holds her MBA from the University of Chicago, though, and for this reason she apologises if France’s quirky economic system captivates her attentions more frequently than perhaps it ought.

When not engrossed in things French, she is – not in any particular order – taking a stab at writing a book, making music, performing motherly duties, expanding education in bits of Africa, promoting Canadian writing, and travelling off-the-beaten-track: 84 countries, and counting.

You can reach Jemma through her blog site at French Lessons.

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