When you want to learn a new language, where do you start? In my experience – and this is my fourth – it doesn’t really matter.
Learning a new language is like building a house. Not that I’ve actually built a house. But I’ve seen it done. You start with a structure and some kind of foundation. Then you add walls, eventually you have something that stands on its own. Then you make it something you can live in. Later, you maybe make it elegant.
It’s the same with languages. Except for one difference. Don’t start with a plan. Just plunge in. Read more »
This is the question that motivated us to write The Story of French in the first place. With the mind-blowing spread of English across the planet, a lot of people assume French is being wiped out. Is it? Do these numbers surprise you? Read more »
In my last posting I spoke about francophones and used the pronoun “we.”
Okay, where I live, in east Montreal, no one would call me a francophone. I moved to Montreal when I was 19 and learned French as I worked my way up in society, from retail sales to writing.
Today I speak French almost without an accent. Read more »
Jean-Benoît Nadeau will be in Paris from March 11th to the 27th for the release of their new book, Le français, quelle histoire! With Télémaque Publishing.
This is a second edition and an adaptation of The Story of French. Jean-Benoît will give two public lectures on March 16th and March 22nd.
“… does its job marvelously well. After reading it, you may still think the French arrogant, aloof and high-handed, but you will know why.”
The Wall Street Journal
“…an excellent book … stuffed with surprises, insight and humor.”
“…a well-told, highly accessible history of the French language that leads to a spirited discussion of the prospects for French in an increasingly English-dominated world.”
The New York Times
If you’re a Quebecker, you’ll probably recognize the background music playing on our speaking page. It’s Quebec singer-songwriter Martin Léon’s song “C’est ça qui est ça”. (And YES, we paid for the right to use it.)
If you’re not a Quebecker, Martin Léon is big star on the Quebec music scene. He’s still pretty young so he’s bound to become an even bigger star, maybe even what you call a monument in Quebec. Other Quebec musicians are starting to record his music, so that’s a good sign. Read more »
Last Saturday over a lunch of steamies and toastés at our favourite Montreal greasy spoon, Jean-Benoit and I tried to tackle a lofty question: what exactly is the francophonie?
We wondered, what unites francophones? Our shared cultural references? A different way of thinking? Does it go beyond language, or the love of that language?
The answer was sort of staring us in the face. Read more »