Expats - The English-speaking French discussion

Life: A User's Manual
This topic is about Life
62 views
Links and Resources > is there anybody out there?

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Anyone interested in reviving this group? Looks like it never really got off the ground, but that doesn't mean we can't begin again...


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 20 comments Mod
Hi Jim. Just found this, and see there are no replies. I'd be up for it - but it's not looking hopeful is it!


message 3: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Susan wrote: "Hi Jim. Just found this, and see there are no replies. I'd be up for it - but it's not looking hopeful is it!"

I sent a message to the moderator re: reviving the site. I offered to help with the re-launch, so stay tuned!


In the meantime, maybe we can generate some traffic by beginning this dialogue. First let's do a brief intro.

I'm an American who has settled in the Southwest of France in the Dordogne region. I'm semi-retired, but I'm currently teaching painting and drawing through a local cultural organization.


message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 20 comments Mod
Hi Jim. So you're just an hour or two up the road from me. I'm an English retiree, relocated to Tarn et Garonne 9 months ago. One of the things I missed when we moved was talking about the books I was reading - I had lots of time to read, but no-one with whom to share - hence I joined Goodreads about 2 months ago, and I really enjoy it.

So, lets keep in touch and see if we can rejuvenate this thread!


message 5: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Susan wrote: "Hi Jim. So you're just an hour or two up the road from me. I'm an English retiree, relocated to Tarn et Garonne 9 months ago. One of the things I missed when we moved was talking about the book..."

Will do!

Goodreads is my intellectual oasis while I learn French.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 20 comments Mod
Jim wrote: "Susan wrote: "Hi Jim. So you're just an hour or two up the road from me. I'm an English retiree, relocated to Tarn et Garonne 9 months ago. One of the things I missed when we moved was talking ..."

LOL! Me too, Jim - so maybe we can support each other with the French too:))


message 7: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Susan wrote: "maybe we can support each other with the French too:)) ..."

Probably une bonne idée!

I'm currently reading Georges Perec's classic novel Life A User's Manual: Revised Edition. An amazing piece of writing about the interwoven lives of the residents of an apartment building in the septième arrondisement of Paris, near Parc Monceau. Try it!


message 8: by Kaye (new)

Kaye (kaye16) | 4 comments I''ve had my eye on the discussion, just not had time to reply following major computer down time in last days.
I'm another US American, but lived in the Netherlands starting in 1982 until we moved to the Charente in 2008. Officially retired now.


message 9: by Kaye (last edited Sep 02, 2013 08:47AM) (new)

Kaye (kaye16) | 4 comments I was enjoying Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer until I got to a section of missing pages -- a brand new book from Amazon, but over 30 days old, so not returnable. Have picked up Bossypants as a light diversion while waiting for another copy of Jessold to arrive from from ABEbooks.fr.


message 10: by Susan (last edited Sep 02, 2013 08:54AM) (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 20 comments Mod
Ah, the Charente. Are you in the Maritime? We had so many wonderful holidays there when the children were small - lots of happy memories.

BTW - welcome to this small but select group!


message 11: by Jim (last edited Sep 02, 2013 09:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Kaye wrote: "I''ve had my eye on the discussion, just not had time to reply following major computer down time in last days.
I'm another US American, but lived in the Netherlands starting in 1982 until we moved..."


Hi Kaye,

Lots of retirees in the Sud-Ouest. Wonderful part of France, isn't it?

If we're able to revive this group, maybe we should make one of those maps I see in other groups, with little flags for the members.


message 12: by Jim (last edited Sep 03, 2013 01:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim I've visited France multiple times over the past 25 years and love the country. I haven't visited every region, but at least half. I've always loved the Dordogne River valley for its history, beauty, and fine cuisine. When the opportunity arose to settle here 2+ years ago, I made the leap...


message 13: by Jane (new)

Jane | 4 comments Jim wrote: "Anyone interested in reviving this group? Looks like it never really got off the ground, but that doesn't mean we can't begin again..." I'; up for giving it a go. I'm not retired and not in the south-west of France - does that disqualify me? I work at an international institution in Strasbourg.


message 14: by Jane (new)


message 15: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Jane wrote: "Jim wrote: "Anyone interested in reviving this group? Looks like it never really got off the ground, but that doesn't mean we can't begin again..." I'; up for giving it a go. I'm not retired and no..."

Nothing wrong with Strasbourg so long as you share some choucroute and a nice Alsatian vin blanc with us, LOL!

I mentioned the retiree thing because I continue to meet retirees here in the south, mostly from Britain and the Netherlands. Apparently cost of living and mild climate are two big draws.

Where are you expat-ing from?


message 16: by Jane (new)

Jane Griffiths | 1 comments drop of cremant, nice Pinot Blanc, Alsace baeckhoffe, all good. From UK, London by birth and a lot of living, was at BBC, also in politics, have worked mostly as editor, which am doing now. In Strasbourg since 2007. Likes: books, learning languages, French songs, keeping rats, riding my bike, travelling. Dislikes: the Guardian newspaper, everything being closed on Sundays in France. I write, I swim, I like most things about my life really. Anyone who is up for talking about books, I'm with them.


message 17: by Jim (last edited Sep 03, 2013 12:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Jane wrote: "drop of cremant, nice Pinot Blanc, Alsace baeckhoffe, all good. From UK, London by birth and a lot of living, was at BBC, also in politics, have worked mostly as editor, which am doing now. In Stra..."

Whoah! Where's my train schedule! We have some friends somewhere in Alsace who visit here each summer. I'm curious to visit the region, maybe next spring.

Currently reading multiple books, but at the top right now is the Perec book I mentioned above. C'est simplement incroyable!! Any favorites you're reading right now?

In my area, most of the super marchés are open on Sunday morning, and some of the boulangeries. And of course bars and restaurants.

@Peggy - Are you in France now? Or the UK? I imagine you spend a lot of time in Paris for your writing.


message 18: by Kaye (new)

Kaye (kaye16) | 4 comments @Susan, we're in the proper Charente, not by the seaside. ;-) Decided on France, rather than the Netherlands, for the (generally) better weather and cheaper property prices. Love it here, though, no regrets.


message 19: by Kaye (new)

Kaye (kaye16) | 4 comments My long-term reading project is reading one volume of the Durant's Story of Civilization series each year. I've been toting the books around since I got them as a starter gift for my Book-of-the-Month club membership a million years ago or so. On the fourth volume now. *Very* sorry I didn't start with these earlier. They are so well-written and interesting. A bit tempted to skip ahead to the Napoleon volume next year, but do like keeping them in order too.


message 20: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Peggy wrote: "Bonjour, Jim,
As you might suspect, I keep my whereabouts quite private. Left Paris a few days ago, but will return. We move about quite a bit, due to the nature of our interests - history, art, ..."


Mum's the word... Keep up the good work, Mrs. Bond, and say hello to James for us...


message 21: by Connie (new)

Connie Dominguez | 4 comments Hi all!
I'd like to join in and try to keep this going. I'd say I still fit the description...Expat from English to French...but my move wasn't as great as all of yours. My move was from Texas to Quebec. Maybe one day we'll make it all the way to France.

I've just recently read my first book in French...I made sure it was light summer fun read so I had more of a chance of success! :-) I'm interested in reading both in English and French and sharing some thoughts.


message 22: by Connie (new)

Connie Dominguez | 4 comments Oops! That would be helpful. ;-). It's "Soutien-gorge rose et veston noir" by Rafaele Germain.


message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan (suze0501) | 20 comments Mod
I moved to France 9 months ago and have what I think would pass as 'restaurant French'. I'm working with the McGraw Hill Easy French Reader at the moment, and start an Open University course early next month. Also hoping that my local French classes will reconvene now the summer has more or less gone. I'm not sure I'm up to a novel yet, Connie, but I do buy French magazines and have a go.

We live about 2 kms down a bumpy track - and about 5 kms from the nearest village, so even though I'm in France, my day to day contact it quite limited - and ironically our nearest neighbours are English!!


message 24: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Susan wrote: "I moved to France 9 months ago and have what I think would pass as 'restaurant French'. I'm working with the McGraw Hill Easy French Reader at the moment, and start an Open University course early..."

There is a "Franglophonics" class I go to twice a month in Castelanud. The English speakers do their best to speak french and the French speakers do their best to speak English. It's a fun exchange, plus there's coffee!

I haven't started reading it yet, but I have a copy of Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil that has the translated English versions, plus the original French versions of the poems.


message 25: by Connie (new)

Connie Dominguez | 4 comments Susan wrote: "I moved to France 9 months ago and have what I think would pass as 'restaurant French'. I'm working with the McGraw Hill Easy French Reader at the moment, and start an Open University course early..."

Susan, that's a great start! It'll come. Don't think I didn't have to use the dictionary for that novel. But the fact that it was full of expressions and modern, trendy language definitely helped. And I know what you mean about exposure. Even though I worked in Montreal, I worked in the anglophone area (West Island) and my husband & I only spoke English at home (even if he's Quebecois/French). In March I took a promotion within the company and moved to a predominantly French area... and now I'm learning lots!

I'm looking for classes here as well, but most of the university courses are during the day and I'm working. I began the French classes provided by the government though the immigration process, but it didn't help my speaking ability as it was all through the computer.

I'd like a real course with "homework" and a real professor that forces me to respond to questions. I need something structured to help with my writing, too, since I work in French and it takes me forever to write a letter. Then I have to ask colleagues revise/edit everything.


message 26: by Connie (new)

Connie Dominguez | 4 comments Jim wrote: "Susan wrote: "I moved to France 9 months ago and have what I think would pass as 'restaurant French'. I'm working with the McGraw Hill Easy French Reader at the moment, and start an Open Universit..."

Jim, your Franglophonics class sounds like fun! I think I might even look for a group here that might meet once a week or something similar. Perhaps outside of work it may be easier for people to take the time to correct my mistakes.


message 27: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela Randall (smange) | 22 comments Mod
Hello, I've suddenly realised this group gained some traction. I'll add a couple of you as mods so we can have some fun. :)


message 28: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim Angela wrote: "Hello, I've suddenly realised this group gained some traction. I'll add a couple of you as mods so we can have some fun. :)"

Hi Angela!

Glad you rejoined the group. Time for fun!


message 29: by Jane (new)

Jane | 4 comments I have just finished reading "Les Bienveillantes" by Jonathan Littell (American, writes in French) which won the Goncourt a few years ago. Anyone else read it, in French or in English translation? I've never read anything quite like it.


message 30: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela Randall (smange) | 22 comments Mod
Wow, Jane. That book looks to be quite interesting and disturbing. Also looks like it's in English too as The Kindly Ones.


back to top