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Let’s start at the very beginning… Posted by on Jul 26, 2022 in Culture, History, Language

As they say, it’s a very good place to start. It turns out, it’s also a good place to end. After 6 years … and over 300 posts! … this will be my last blog for Transparent Language.

Me at the Pont Alexandre III, 2012, with the Grand Palais in the background

All good things…

My French journey began way back in 1981 when I was in the 7th grade. My local college only offered French and so I –  and about 30 of my classmates – got our first taste of foreign language from the fabulous Madame Rankins. Despite a boring old textbook (in which we followed the adventures of John Hughes, an American living in Paris … and from which I still remember the phrases “Voici une lettre pour vous.1Here is a letter for you. and “Ma faute? Comment cela?!!2My fault? How can you say that!) she made learning le français fun!

In the intervening years, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Madame Rankins more than once. She taught my step-daughters French in the mid ‘90’s, and in the early ‘00’s I worked alongside her at the same school where she initially taught me French, when I taught French myself!

I had so much fun learning French that in 1985 I left my hometown and moved to France for a year! It was an experience that, as I shared in my first post for Transparent Language way back in March, 2016, completely changed my life.

Since that first trip over 35 years ago, my French family has grown. I still love going to visit people in France as often as I can (like I did here and here and here) but now I also have extended family in Canada and I love visiting them and the wonderful places they live (like here and here and here) to keep my French skills up and immerse myself in the nearest thing I can find to France this side of the Atlantic.

And I owe so much to two more people. My high school French teacher, Madame Wheeler, who encouraged me to pursue my passion for French in new ways and to the whole team at Transparent Language who not only gave me the opportunity to share that passion with all of you these last years, but also helped set me on my career path with my first job!

My son and I, Champs de Mars, 1995

And I have so enjoyed our time together these last 6 years sharing my love for French literature(like here, here, and here), films (like this and this and this), television (here and here and here), and songs (like this and this and this and this and this).

But toutes les bonnes choses ont une fin3All good things come to an end but as another famous song says, ce n’est qu’un au revoir! And so, until we meet again, mes amis, keep learning, keep loving the wonderful gifts of language, of cross-cultural connections, and keep growing! Write your own love letter to France, keep falling for France, et vivre heureux!4live happy

And if you’ve enjoyed reading me these past 6 years (or you’re just joining the journey) you can revisit my past posts here. I’ll miss our weekly connections but I’ll still be immersing myself in all things French!

À la prochaine!5Until next time!

  • 1
    Here is a letter for you.
  • 2
    My fault? How can you say that!
  • 3
    All good things come to an end
  • 4
    live happy
  • 5
    Until next time!
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


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