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Bienvenue Adam! Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Culture, Vocabulary

Have you ever dreamed of wandering through the quaint cobblestoned streets of Paris, pausing to savor an exquisite cafe gourmand at one of the city’s many celebrated neighborhood cafes? My name is Adam, and I have the incredible opportunity to do just that…every single day! Originally hailing from small town Iowa, I’ve called Paris home for nearly three years. Perhaps one might think that the wonders of the City of Lights would pale after having been experienced nonstop for a few years, but I can guarantee that isn’t the case! In fact, one might say I’m more in love with Paris today than ever before!

The only thing that comes close to rivaling my love of Paris is my appreciation for the French language. From the beautiful nuanced prose of authors like Voltaire and Victor Hugo, to the scruffy argot used by the teenagers in the streets, the French language is a wonder to behold in and of itself! Of course, as established readers of the Transparent French blog, I imagine je preche des convertis! (I’m preaching to the choir, or converts, as we say in French!)

As a learner of the French language myself, I can easily relate to many of the struggles and obstacles experienced by both newbie learners and longtime francophiles alike! From mastering the pesky subjunctive conjugation form, to shaking the anglophone accent once and for all (still a major challenge for me, as you might notice in my vlog*), learning French is more often than not a drawn-out process that takes place over a lifetime of learning! If you’re new to the language, don’t let that discourage you, however! While you’re unlikely to begin speaking like a native overnight, mastering the French language is a great joy filled with exciting discoveries that will keep you riveted for years to come!

I’m so excited to be joining the Transparent Languages team as a contributing blogger! In my first short video, I introduce myself to everyone and offer a few glimpses of the beautiful city I call home. You can expect to see much more of the same in the weeks to come! As an aside, if you’re not yet comfortable listening to spoken French, I’ve added optional subtitles to the video to make certain you don’t miss a thing!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on my first post and to sharing more great content with you in the future! À bientôt!

Adam

Video Notes:

I’m a young guy living in Paris, so of course my French is influenced by the speech of my peers. You might notice a couple of typical Parisian slang words in my vlog, including “un truc d’ouf” meaning a crazy thing…yep, it’s a pretty far cry from the traditional, “une chose folle!” Ouf is simply an inversion of the word “fou/folle.” If you’re not well-acquainted with French slang and this inversion structure, known as verlan, check out some of Hichem’s great posts on the subject!

* Accent Note

If like myself, you find it difficult to shake your accent when speaking French, take heart! One great way to improve your accent, is by studying phonetics. While this is hardly riveting fun, learning the nuances of vowel and consonant pronunciation is a great way to lessen your existing accent. I can attest to the effectiveness of this, as my own accent has greatly improved through the study of phonetics. Should you still find yourself struggling, not to worry. Some of the greatest cultural icons in modern-day France speak with thick English accents, such as Jane Birkin…and the French find her speech tout à fait charmant!

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Comments:

  1. CHRISTIAN:

    Morning all good felloows from Earth Mother,

    Learning the French tongue is more difficult for all abroad it’s the same for a native memebers. If you want speaking a perfect language ( more slang ) come living here amongh us a different style of life ( it’s twilight zone in fact ) but we don’t cannibal. So Welcome amongh us come between April and September nice season in France.

  2. Elizabeth:

    Adam, greetings from New Zealand – from a 83 year-old university student. I, too, love Paris – impossible to describe the feeling one gets there – last visit many years ago but still fresh in my memory. Looking forward to sharing your adventures. Elizabeth

  3. adam:

    Thanks for your comment Elizabeth! It’s great to hear from people all across the world…the internet is truly such a great tool! 🙂
    Best of luck in your studies!

  4. Hichem:

    Bienvenue a toi encore Adam! Je suis vraiment ravi d’avoir un co-equipier qui soit sur place, a Paris.
    J’espere bientot lire tes contributions, ou bien voir de nouvelles videos de ta part!
    Mes amities