French Language Blog

New Blogger Chez Transparent Language: John Bauer Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Salut tout le monde, je m’appelle John Bauer and I’m one of the new writers on the Transparent Language’s French blog. Mon histoire  (my history) with France and la langue française (the French language) is far from normal. I first came to France 3 years ago without knowing anything about the country or the language. I forced myself to learn as quickly as possible and achieve my goal of getting into grad school in France.

After a hard year learning the language enough to get into school, I was in! My troubles were far from over though. Once I was accepted by a université there were more stumbling blocks than I can possibly count. Not just trouble communicating in this new language, but cultural problems I hadn’t expected.Not to mention the fact that I had accidentally entered French law school! Now, a CM (Cours magistral, lecture class) is hard enough to follow in a normal situation, but when it’s a class on law in a foreign language… well, I was pretty lost.

After another year of figuring out just how the French education system works, getting out of law school, and getting my French to a more acceptable level, I was finally in a Master’s program that I wanted to be and I was finally able to keep up in class. Even if I had trouble remembering to regarder dans les yeux (make eye contact) when it was time to lever mon verre (raise my glass), I was at least able to understand that I should be looking at them in the eyes.

I’m currently in my second year of a LEA (Langues étrangères apliquées, Applied Foreign Languages) Master’s program at a university in Paris. Le français is a part of my everyday life now, but I still have to learn new things and I still make mistakes every day, so feel free to point out any mistakes you see in my articles!

J’ai hâte de (I look forward to) writing about the défis (challenges), both cultural and relating to language, I have had and how I eventually got over them. A big part of mes études (my studies) both inside and outside the classroom are related to culture and language and how they affect interactions between people. With the right tools and the right knowledge, learning a foreign language isn’t an insurmountable wall, but a scenic hike up a mountain trail you’ve never been before.

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Maggie:

    Hi John and enchante! I have been here for 4 years and am soon moving to Paris, I have been in the south. I’m looking forward to reading your blogs as I’m sure I will be nodding and smiling and agreeing. I am completely impressed you learned enough French to get into French uni in just one year. Respect!! Like you I had not a word of French when I moved here but petit a petit as they say!
    Maggie 🙂

  2. amro umrani:

    John, I like this approach. French and English., allowing me to see what i know and grow easily Merci

  3. Therese:

    Bon soir, ici aux Etats Unis. (Hope that’s correct.)

    Please, in your blog write complete paragraphs in French. The single words help with vocabulary, but it’s better to see them in context. If you want to include translation, bon.

    Ok, I started out a little strong there 🙂 Let me try French now. Je viens a la France au printemps pour deux semaines et je voudrais parler avec les gens un peu. J’ai etudier a l’ecole il y a beaucoup d’ans…

    Enough slaughtering of a beautiful language. Congrats on getting into the University and look forward to your posts.

  4. Zareena Laguet:

    Wow! I envy your courage for moving to a country with no knowledge of its language or culture! I live in Singapore and have been studying french on and off for a number of years until finally i married a french guy! Still i am not conversant enough! But you, you have shown me that there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

    bonne chance,
    Zareena 🙂