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Learning French My Own Way

Ah, finally…a time to blog! :)

I was so busy with work that I literally forgot that I have my very own space in cyberworld. But now that I’ve complied with all my deadlines, I can blog guilt-free!Yey!

Aside from work, there is something that really keeps me busy here…and that is learning French! I have heard so many things about the French people before I came here — the most common being, “The French are such snobs, if you speak English they won’t even look at you!”. But guess what, when I got here, my first impression was that the French are the most courteous people I’ve ever met! My neighbors greet me “bonjour” when I pass by them, the baker always says, “au revoir, bonne journée” when he hands me my pain au chocolat, and yeah, “s’il vous plaît” is in almost every sentence I hear. And about them being snobs, think of a reverse scenario…a French goes to an English-speaking country and starts asking directions in French…see what I mean? :)

I promised myself I’ll learn the French language for two reasons: first, out of respect for the French people because I am living in their country; second, because I want to be a multilingual Executive Assistant — and hopefully work for UNESCO or something like that. :wink:

Learning this language has been quite a journey for me. My solid foundation on the French basics courtesy of Alliance Française de Manille did wonders for me as a beginner. It pays to have a really good teacher in your foundation class, I tell you. I remember that my foundation course emphasized proper pronunciation, and learning how to say French words correctly gave me the motivation and confidence to say simple French sentences without turning red. :)

And then I moved on to studying on my own and bought Rocket French online for $99.  They also have this free 6-day trial, 60-day money back guarantee, and it has, by far, the best reviews online so I didn’t think twice of asking my hubby to buy it for me. Hehe. I never did regret getting it. Rocket French is interactive, has fun games that facilitates learning, and it has audio features that helped me polish my pronunciation. It has worksheets, too, so you can actually test how much you’ve learned after each lesson. It was absolutely the best complement to my foundation courses at Alliance Française de Manille.

And my all-time favorite way to learn French is through Michel Thomas! This man is incredible! Our friend, Marc, gave us the French with Michel Thomas Foundation Course and I literally listen to it over and over again. I fall asleep with Michel Thomas in the background. I love it soooo much because within 30-minutes of listening to it, you will be able to form French sentences in your head quite easily, promise! He teaches you French in baby steps then builds up on it and surprise, surprise, you are able to form really long French sentences — on your own! Oh, I can go on and on about the Michel Thomas Learning Method because it has really helped me learn French faster than I could ever imagine. In fact, on my birthday, I think I will ask for the Michel Thomas Advance Course audio-book. :)

So there…so far, this has been my love affair with the French language. I hope that I would someday speak like a native. Hehehe! Just to have a little fun, I plan not to show up in my favorite bakery here for a couple of weeks…then, go back and surprise the friendly French baker who goes out of his way to accommodate my halting French. I will say 3-5 sentences in straight French, without blinking, and see if he gives me a free pain au chocolat. Bonne chance à moi!

Comments

Comment from grace
Time: May 20, 2009, 1:52 am

hahaha..your life is really so interesting there, monette…and i LOVE the UNESCO part…who knows?! :-D

Comment from Ysabel
Time: May 20, 2009, 12:47 pm

wow, this is great!, I just downloaded his “free audio clip” and you’re right! he’s incredible. I will definitely order his Advance and Foundation Review Courses. thanks

Comment from monette
Time: May 20, 2009, 2:25 pm

interesting and hard at the same time. hehehe! :) funny, i don’t even know where the UNESCO office is! :)

miss you, grace…mwah!

Comment from monette
Time: May 20, 2009, 2:26 pm

glad to know you liked him, ysabel! he makes french seem easy…hehehe! :)

Comment from Mikki
Time: May 22, 2009, 12:17 pm

Great blog. I also dream of working in europe, what job do you do in particular? if you dont mind :)

Comment from Marc
Time: May 22, 2009, 4:46 pm

Hey Monette! I’m glad Michel Thomas is working for you :) I find it really great how he builds up your vocabulary without you having to memorize too much! I used to listen to his lectures on my 3-hour train rides…it was really a great way to kill time. Unfortunately, haven’t had much free time lately :(

A bientôt!

Comment from monette
Time: May 22, 2009, 5:03 pm

thanks, mikki!

i work as a virtual executive assistant…which reminds me, i have to blog about this kind of work because people seem to get surprised that you can actually hire someone halfway across the world. :)

where in europe do you want to work? let’s pray for your wish!

Comment from monette
Time: May 22, 2009, 5:47 pm

Marc!!!

Super thank you for the Michel Thomas audio-book you gave! I love it! I can say simple french sentences now…hehehe! I asked my French office mates to talk to me in French even if they can speak English…but they have to speak really slow for me to catch on. I am trying to think in French, too…hahaha, feeling! But you know, I am still very pinoy because when I get exasperated, I say, “susmaryosep!”…hahaha. :)

Give Joelle a warm hug for me!

Comment from Mikki
Time: May 23, 2009, 12:10 pm

Prague, i want to work in prague my dream place. :) I want to walk to their cobblestone road and ride their vintage tram. The city was entirely fantastic. No wonder it has been acclaimed as the best city in europe. Mamatay ako kung makikita ko charles bridge haaay! Actually kahit saan sa europe gusto ko :) I love architectures kasi although malayo current job ko sa gusto kong work. Sa france gusto ko makita yung Le Mont St Michel balitaan mo kami kung makapunta ka roon please post maraming photos. Sa greece yung meteora. Sa germany yung bavarian castle Neuschwanstein. And sa luxmebourg yung mga casmates nila. Haay.

Comment from monette
Time: May 25, 2009, 10:59 pm

wow, mikki, you do know a lot about the places here! alam mo, i’ve read once, “when you know where you want to go, you’ll get there”…so i guess it’ll just be a matter of time before you find yourself walking on prague’s cobblestone roads! i am with you in praying for your dream, and sana pag andito ka na, kita tayo! pupuntahan kita sa prague! hehehe! i wish i can go to all the places you’ve mentioned, mukhang interesting! promise, if mapadpad ako dun, i will post pictures and stories. for the meantime, aral ka ng czech language. if you know czech, you will integrate well in prague. i am not sure kung saan ka puede mag-aral dyan…but here’s the link to the czech embassy in manila…maybe they can point you to the right direction? — http://www.mzv.cz/manila/en/index.html

Comment from Mikki
Time: May 26, 2009, 12:42 pm

thank you sa link. :) na bookmark ko sya visit ko later. I’ll meet you when i get there, but for now gain muna ko experience. hihihihi. Atska mag aral ako at least isang european language.

Comment from arlene
Time: November 11, 2009, 4:43 pm

hi, nakaka inspire naman ang blog mo.i “accidentally” read your blog kase im looking for small church near acropolis,libis,for the up coming wedding of my barkada. to padre pio church..to know him little by little and heres my greatest dream to at least go to paris for eiffel tower watching fireworks display.thank you so much in advance for the inspiration.”when you know where you want to go,youll get there”..hmmm…i really really like it. thank you so much.

Comment from ara
Time: January 5, 2011, 11:42 am

hi..nakakainspire ung mga blog mu..same din aku as arlene..by accident ku nakita ung blog ku because i was looking nmn for map for padre pio. gustu ku din kse mag work jan. glad sobrang enjoy ung life mo. HappyNewYear to you and your family.

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