Ep 74 – Navigating “Sportif” with Edna Zhou

In the lead up to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, join Emily Monaco and Edna Zhou in deconstructing the word ‘sportif’ to dive deeper into the French relationship with sports and exercise.

 

 

Edna Zhou is a freelance travel and sports journalist specialising in international sports media.

She has covered and worked with  the Olympic games all over the world.

Follow her on Instagram @expatedna or head to her website to learn more.

 

CHRISTIAN PIERRE LA MARCA’S ODE TO NATURE
WONDERFUL WORLD: AN IMMERSIVE MULTIMEDIA CLASSICAL CONCERT

 

the elite of the French cellists Le Monde.

music brought to life at the highest degree Fono Forum.

French cellist, Christian Pierre La Marca has, in a few years, distinguished himself by his radiant presence in the world’s leading concert halls and his award-winning recordings. Apart from his numerous awards, he has also performed on some of the biggest stages in the world along with leading orchestras such as Philharmonia Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France to name a few.

On July 21, La Marca will captivate audiences at Snow Concert Hall in Canberra with his immersive performance concept, ‘Wonderful World.’ This multimedia concert is a homage to our planet, celebrating the awe-inspiring beauty of nature and emphasising the urgent need for its preservation. Driven by La Marca’s dedication to environmental conservation, this innovative programme is designed to inspire reflection and action towards safeguarding our natural world.

In a remarkable collaboration, La Marca is joined by the eminent Israeli pianist Itamar Golan, renowned for his collaborations with the most distinguished instrumentalists of our era. Golan’s artistry and critical acclaim have solidified his status as one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, promising a performance that will be both extraordinary and unforgettable.

Christian Pierre La Marca’s ‘Wonderful World’ transcends the traditional concert experience, presenting what he calls “a concert show.” This visionary performance weaves stunning videos and images by renowned environmentalist, activist, and photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, creating a deeply moving and immersive backdrop for the music.

Both La Marca and the distinguished Israeli pianist Itamar Golan embark on a breathtaking journey through the wonders of our planet, exploring the natural world through a rich tapestry of music. Their repertoire spans popular jazz-inspired classics such as Gershwin’s Summertime and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, alongside beloved contemporary tunes like Mancini’s Moon River and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.

La Marca envisions his work as a powerful medium to appreciate and marvel at the beauty of our planet. By intertwining music with evocative imagery, he seeks to evoke deep emotions and a sense of urgency, compelling audiences to reflect on the necessity of environmental conservation. Through this innovative fusion of art and advocacy, ‘Wonderful World’ aims to stir both admiration for our natural surroundings and a commitment to their protection.

 

To book visit snowconcerthall.com
or purchase tickets through Eventbrite,
here.

When science puts on a show

 

What if plants were to take their rightful place in our daily lives? Turning this dream into a reality is the challenge taken up by the founder of French start-up Aglaé, Sophie Hombert.

 

Where does Aglaé come from?

Sophie, 32, has been interested in the world of plants for as long as she can remember. She grew up in the Normandy countryside, in a family of farmers. Following her baccalauréat, Sophie moved to Paris to study for a preparatory class with the goal of getting into design school. Paris life didn’t appeal to her though, “It was very complicated for me to live with such little greenery “,  she says. After a spell in Brest, she finally enrolled at the École Européenne Supérieure d’Art de Bretagne (EESAB) in Rennes. It was then that she began to think about the place of plants in the city, about “how to reconnect people with nature“.

In 2014, as a second-year master’s student, Sophie approached the Institut Agro Rennes-Angers to write her dissertation on the subject. After graduating, Sophie began working in a design agency, without much enthusiasm. She was looking for a job more in line with her values… and without a boss. One day, while in the Paris metro, she came across a face-down newspaper on the floor. In it was an advertisement for an international start-up competition with €20,000 up for grabs. She signed up, fell down the rabbit-hole, and a month later won the competition. And so the Aglaé adventure began.

What is the concept?

The concept: produce light with flowers. Sophie’s company was founded in Chartres in 2016. Sophie and her team developed a “biosourced and biodegradable” serum which, once absorbed by plant roots, makes them fluoresce[1] for around three months. The formula is kept secret, but the 30-year-old assures that the product is not harmful to plants. It should also be noted that plants exposed to the serum pose no danger to animals or insects that are in their vicinity or in contact with them.

The fluorescent plant is the result of research and experimentation by the start-up. The plant that receives this nutrient solution absorbs it by capillary action via the leaves and flowers. As a result, the veins of the leaves and flower petals are revealed to all in reaction to black light. Almost all plant species (98%) react positively to the serum.

These plants include : alstroemeria, ferns, arum, rose, snapdragon, lilies, etc.

And so, what’s the point of it all?

Over-lighting[2] releases millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year, as well as being a source of light pollution, which we now know is dangerous for biodiversity and to our health. While the start-up’s main market is currently events (seminars, parties) and arts, Aglaé hopes to conquer urban spaces in the future. The ultimate aim is to design soft, living, electricity-free lighting solutions for a more sustainable future where parks and gardens will be lit… by the light of trees! The city of Chartres has provided €40,000 in funding for the project for its famous Lights Festival, and Disneyland Paris is working with the start-up to create an entire fluorescent design. The start-up is already exporting in Montreal, New-York and… Melbourne!

 

This article is taken from the Aglaé website and the interview of Sophie Hombert from Ouest-France. Some images come from the Aglaé website and from Terra Botanica.

 

 

 

[1]Fluoresce :  to produce, undergo, or exhibit fluorescence. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2024)

[2] To overlight : to illuminate (something, such as a building) too brightly or thoroughly. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2024)

Bastille Day celebrations across Australia !

Bastille Day , or ‘le 14 juillet’ is the national day of France, celebrated yearly on the 14th of July.
The date commemorates the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille prison in Paris on the 14th of July 1789,
marking the start of the revolution and the end of monarchic rule.

Bastille Day is celebrated throughout the country, read on to find a little corner of France near you!

 

Adelaide

5 july – AF Bal de Bastille Day

Celebrate Bastille Day in style with an unforgettable evening of French flair !
Join the Alliance Française of Adelaide for a celebratory evening including champagne, gourmet French food, live music and activities for the kids.

Tickets: $35 for adults, $20 for kids & teens under 12

Book here

 

Brisbane

5-7 july – Le Festival

As the world goes bleu-blanc-rouge for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, Brisbane is joining the party with its iconic celebration of French culture,
Le Festival, making a momentous return for a special edition.

Head to Le Festival for a three-day immersive French culture weekend including live muisc and dance perfomances, a french market, mini-olympiades for the kids,
and last but not least a vast array of workshops and masterclasses.

Tickets: $13 – 21.20 for adults (depending on day), free for children 12 & under

Book here

 

Sydney

11-14 july – Bastille Revolution on The Rocks

Head to Circular Quay for a 4-day French food, wine, and art extravaganza. Taste winter specialties at the food markets, french wines, beer and other alcolohic beverages,
enjoy over 70 performances from local artists, performers, and well-known Australian bands, and  last but not least take a hands on approach with exclusive workshops and masterclasses.

Free entry festival

More information 

 

11 july – AF Sydney Bastille Day Grand Bal

Experience the best of French culture for le 14 juillet, with a thrilling programme of entertainment, music and dancing.

Inspired by France’s traditional fire brigade ball, enjoy live entertainment and music, delightful French treats, and enter the draw to win fantastic prizes including a 30-minute Heli flight,
a night at the luxurious Sofitel, and many gift vouchers from French brands including Louboutin, Decathlon, Tefal and L’Occitane.

Tickets : $29 including a complementary Marie Brizard cocktail.

Book here

 

Darwin

12 july – AF Darwin Bastille Day Party

Every year, the Alliance Française of Darwin organises its annual Bastille Day event.

Head to the Darwin Surf Life Saving Club / Cafe de la Plage for an entertainment packed evening including a French-style sunset supper, French music, raffle prizes and kids activities.

Free event

Register here

 

Gold Coast

12 july – AF Gold Coast Bastille Day Celebration – programme released shortly,

Stay updated 

 

Canberra

13 july – AF Canberra Bastille Day Brunch

Head to the Alliance Française of Canberra for an enchanting morning filled with the flavors and rhythms of France including a tasty brunch by Savoir French,
live music, trivia games, and a raffle with fabulous prizes.

Tickets: $60 non-AF members | $51 AF members

Book here

 

Perth

13 july – AF Bastille Day Dinner (Sold out)

 

Bendigo

13 july – Bendigo Library 

Part of a new series of French events in Bendigo, learn more about le 14 juillet, or Bastille Day.

Head to the Bendigo library for for an enlightening talk where you’ll delve into the pivotal events surrounding this historic date in 1789.
Participants will explore the lasting legacy of the French Revolution and how Bastille Day is portrayed in pop culture today.

Ticket : $15, includes a selection of sweet treats,

Register here

 

Geelong

13 july – AF Geelong Bastille Day

In partnership with the City of Greater Geelong, join the Alliance Française de Geelong for a special Bastille Day evening at the Little Creatures Brewery.
Enjoy a charcuterie grazing starter and a two-course French inspired meal, entertainment by French duo ‘Les Baguettes’, and enter the draw for lots of fun giveaways.

Tickets: $85 non-AF members | $75 for AF members

Book here

 

Sunshine Coast

14 july – AF Sunshine Coast Bastille Day lunch

Join the Alliance Française of the Sunshine Coast for a celebratory evening including music and songs, and a lovely meal at the Loose Goose restaurant.

Register here

 

Toowoomba

14 july – AF Toowoomba ‘Le Quatorze Juillet – Déjeuner’

Come together at the Monty Brewing Co to celebrate La Fête Nationale, try your luck in the raffle, share a meal
and enjoy performances including Can Can dancers and live music by Josephine & Jesse.

Register here : https://www.frenchtoowoomba.com/community/event-rsvp/?event_id=71

 

Townsville

14 july – AF Townsville Bastille Day Sunday Lunch

Join the Alliance Française of Townsville at the Rambutan Rooftop for a special poolside Bastille Day lunch including a quiz game with prizes.

Tickets: $55 Adult and $22 Children for non-AF members | $45 Adult and $12 Children for AF members.

Register here

 

Melbourne

13-14 july – Melbourne Bastille Day French Festival

The annual Melbourne Bastille Day French Festival returns at the iconic Queen Victoria Market for two days of French and francophone entertainment including a French Winter Market, French and Francophone cuisine, perfomances, as well as a cultural program filled with Les Lumières talks, Walking Tours and interactive masterclasses. This year’s offering also includes an online program.

Event free to attend, booking fees apply to cultural program events.

Book here

 

20 july – So Frenchy So Chic Bastille Day Soirée

In celebration of La Fête Nationale, put on your best sparkly fit and join So Frenchy So Chic at the Meat Market
for a musical journey featuring France’s most iconic dance-floor bangers from the last 40 years.

Tickets from $50,57 – $59,99 depending on number of guests.

Tickets include complimentary cheese grazing station courtesy of L’Artisan Cheese Organic

Book here

Alphonse Mucha: Spirit of Art Nouveau

A Dazzling Journey into the Heart of Art Nouveau at Art Gallery New South Wales

Dive into the mesmerizing world of Alphonse Mucha, one of art’s great stylistic innovators, with the most comprehensive exhibition of his work ever seen in Australia. From June 15 to September 22, 2024, the Art Gallery of New South Wales presents ‘Alphonse Mucha: Spirit of Art Nouveau’ in the Naala Badu, North Building, Lower Level 2.

 

An Unprecedented Immersion in the Work of a Visionary

Known for his seductive, sinuous compositions, Mucha (1860-1939) created a visual language that defined the look of late 19th-century Paris, embodying the very spirit of art nouveau. This exhibition, realized in close cooperation with the Mucha Foundation in Prague, draws from the Mucha Family Collection. It brings together over 200 works, including illustrations, jewelry, interior decorations, photographs, and more, revealing an artist and designer whose powerful influence continues to resonate today.

 

A Journey Through an Extraordinary Life

Once hailed as ‘the greatest decorative artist in the world,’ Mucha rocketed to fame with the posters he created for legendary actress and international superstar Sarah Bernhardt. He gained global recognition through advertising and product design, taking his first steps toward the democratization of art that he so passionately desired.

The exhibition traces Mucha’s journey from his humble beginnings in Moravia (present-day Czech Republic) to his breakthrough in Paris during the belle époque, and his later years dedicated to championing the Slavic peoples.

 

Historical Art at Naala Badu

‘Alphonse Mucha: Spirit of Art Nouveau’ is presented as the first exhibition of historical art in the Naala Badu. Co-curated by Tomoko Sato, curator of the Mucha Foundation, and Jackie Dunn, senior curator of exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, this exhibition is a must-see for art lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

 

Tickets and Special Offers

Tickets for entry start at $35 for adults, with discounts available for concessions and groups. Hot tip: score two-for-one tickets on Wednesday evenings between 5–10 pm, when the gallery is open late. Grab your tickets here.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore the work of a visionary artist whose legacy continues to inspire and enchant.

Did you know that athletes and scientists play collectively for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games ?

 

Launched in 2018 by the French Minister for Sports, the “Sciences2024” program aims to help France’s top sportsmen and women improve their performance in the run-up to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris by providing them with the results of French research. In collaboration with 11 of France’s “grandes écoles”[1], the French National Centre for Research (CNRS) has worked on over 500 projects in 56 sporting disciplines.

The goals are simple: double the number of medals won at the previous Olympic Games and win at least 15 gold medals at the Paralympic Games so that France can make its mark in the 100 years since the last Games were held in Paris.

What can science offer sportsmen and women?

The aim of this initiative is to provide an in-depth analysis of the field and to develop innovative ‘scientific products’ in physical sciences, mathematics and sports engineering aimed at top-level sportsmen and women. Prof Christophe Clanet, research director specialising in fluid mechanics at the CNRS (behind this project), provides two concrete examples: “In rowing, the rowers have to row synchronously. So far, the coach’s eye has been what corrects them if their bodies or oars are not in unison. What coaches are asking for is for science to give them a tool to measure their synchronicity”. Another example: “In wheelchair racing, the question is about the choice of tyres: too wide and they cause too much friction. If they’re too thin, they dig into the tar of the track and the friction is just as high. There is an optimum between these two limits. What athletes want is for science to determine this optimum and give them a rule for finding it on each of the tracks they run on. These two examples show that the scientific answer will not be unique, but will depend on the question posed by the athletes”.

In practical terms, what does it look like?

Sciences2024 researchers go out onto the field and talk to sportspeople (coaches and athletes) to identify areas where scientists can help. These questions are then studied in laboratories, and feedback given to the athletes. This feedback generally enables them to optimise their training, their equipment and ultimately (hopefully) their performance. The academic disciplines involved are mainly physics, mechanics and mathematics.

A concrete example:

Question asked: In archery, choosing the right tail is one of the key factors in determining the performance of an archer’s arrow. These are plastic feathers glued to the back of arrows to stabilise their flight. There are several different shapes and sizes of feathers on the market, but there is currently no method for determining the optimal tail.

Tools developed and the reasoning behind them:

Using an arrow-shooting machine, researchers at the French National Institute for Sport and Performance (INSEP) studied the influence of the tail on arrow dispersion.

A similar experiment was carried out in partnership with the French National Centre for Aerospace (ONERA) to study the influence of wind on this dispersion.

Results: The researchers obtained an equation that predicts arrow dispersion as a function of the tailplane used, and which thus identifies the optimal tailplane minimising this dispersion.

This optimum depends on the archer, and also on the wind conditions on the day of the competition.

Prospects: In collaboration with the Atmospheric Environment Teaching and Research Centre (CEREA) and the EDF Foundation, the research team has begun measuring the wind and simulating the weather conditions on the day of the archery competition at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in order to anticipate the best choice of tailplane on D-day. The team is also developing an experimental protocol enabling each archer to determine his or her optimal tail.

And what’s next?

The ultimate goal is also to establish lasting bonds between science and sports. In the run-up to the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games scientists will be focusing on the questions posed by athletes. Some of the projects developed within this framework will be extended after the Olympics, in particular through the creation of start-ups. The program also aims to inspire young people to join the sciences by designing and distributing educational packs to secondary school pupils to help them learn physics and mathematics through sports.

 

 

This article is taken from the Ecole Polytechnique de Paris Sciences2024 press kit & projects presentation.

[1] A ‘grande école’ is a French specialised top-level higher education institution.

The Origins of the Fête de la Musique

La Fête de la Musique began in France in 1976, thanks to the initiative of Joel Cohen, an American musician working for France Musique. He proposed “Saturnalia of Music” for the summer and winter solstices. This idea materialized on June 21, 1976, marking the beginning of what would become a global celebration.

In 1981, inspired by an outdoor concert in Paris, then-Minister of Culture Jack Lang established this annual musical day in collaboration with musician Maurice Fleuret. The first Fête de la Musique took place in 1982 with the aim of democratizing music and encouraging spontaneous performances in public spaces.

A DIY Music Festival

Unlike a traditional music festival, la Fête de la Musique is open to anyone who wants to participate. It’s a DIY music festival! Musicians of all ages, amateurs, and professionals, from all musical genres, can organize their own gigs or join various events hosted by different organizations. It’s an opportunity to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All events are free and open to the public.

International Expansion

Since its beginning in France, la Fête de la Musique has spread across the globe, becoming a truly universal celebration. In 1985, it started expanding during the European Year of Music, and in 1997, the European Music Day Charter was signed. Today, over 120 countries participate in this event, demonstrating music’s power to transcend borders and unite cultures.

Make Music Day in Australia

In recent years, Australia has enthusiastically embraced this tradition. By participating in la Fête de la Musique, Australia joins a global tradition that celebrates music as a universal language, capable of bringing people together beyond cultural and geographical boundaries. Every June 21, many Australian cities host events to celebrate this unique day.

In 2018, the Australian Music Association launched the first nationwide Make Music Day celebration in Australia, in partnership with the Australian Live Music Office. Since then, the event has continued to grow. The Make Music Australia website lists various events happening across the country, so be sure to check it out.

A Promising 2024 Edition

In 2024, Make Music Day in Australia promises to be even more spectacular, with events planned in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth. In Canberra, the celebration will take place on Saturday, June 22, at the Alliance Française de Canberra.

Make Music Day in Australia is a fantastic opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate musical diversity. It’s also a chance to discover new talents and immerse oneself in a variety of musical style. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to participate in an event that transcends borders and unites music lovers worldwide.

“Benjamin Millepied’s ‘Romeo & Juliet, The Suite’:

A Revolutionary Rendition at Sydney Opera House”

 

Renowned French dancer, choreographer, and director Benjamin Millepied is poised to enchant audiences at the Sydney Opera House with his groundbreaking interpretation of “Romeo & Juliet, The Suite“. Set to grace the stage of the Joan Sutherland Theatre from June 5th to 9th, Millepied’s innovative take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy promises to captivate theatergoers with its blend of classical elegance and contemporary flair.

Having garnered international acclaim for his pioneering work in dance, Millepied is revered for his ability to bridge the gap between classical ballet and modern sensibilities. From his tenure as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet to his founding of the L.A. Dance Project, Millepied has consistently pushed the boundaries of artistic expression, earning him a reputation as a visionary in the world of dance.

Millepied served as the director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet from 2014 to 2016, further solidifying his legacy in the dance world. Additionally, he made significant contributions to the film industry, choreographing the acclaimed movie “Black Swan” directed by Darren Aronofsky.

“Romeo & Juliet, The Suite” represents Millepied’s latest foray into reimagining traditional narratives for contemporary audiences. Following its sold-out run in Paris last season, this production marks its highly anticipated Australian debut.

One of the production’s most notable features is its inclusive portrayal of romantic love, which extends beyond traditional boundaries. Through three distinct pairings—male-male, female-female, and male-female—Millepied challenges conventional notions of romance, highlighting the universality of love in all its forms. Each rendition offers a unique perspective on Millepied’s vision, ensuring that no two shows are alike.

Audiences can also expect a truly immersive experience as dancers seamlessly traverse the Joan Sutherland Theatre stage and other areas of the Sydney Opera House. With live video projections capturing every movement, spectators will be transported into the heart of the action, blurring the lines between performance and reality. Accompanied by Sergei Prokofiev’s evocative score, “Romeo & Juliet, The Suite” promises to be a sensory feast for the eyes and ears alike.

 

Performance Schedule:

 

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness Benjamin Millepied’s transformative take on “Romeo & Juliet” at the Sydney Opera House.

Secure your tickets now for an unforgettable evening of dance, romance, and innovation.

 

 

On Exchange to France from Australia

Allison studied at HEC Paris, France through an exchange at the University of Melbourne last year.

Campus France talked with Allison to hear about her time in France.

 

 

CF: Hi Allison, thanks for joining me today. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

OK, my name is Allison, I’m taking my master’s degree and my majors in marketing and communication. It combines with the business and arts faculty. So when I got to France, I took those two streams of studies.

CF: You went on exchange to France. Can you tell me when you did that and what you studied in France?

Last semester I exchanged to France and for six months and majoring. I take most of my courses in business faculty because HEC is a Business School. Mostly they offer the courses focusing on business but also they have something for communication. So I take the course like “practising communication” which matched to my major, and also I took a course to use Python to do a business analysis. It seems more like business side. So both sides helps me a lot and at the same time the professors they all come from different cultures both like in Europe and beyond. They shared a lot of experience about the business because they have done a lot of work in the industry. I think I got great practical knowledge from them which is a little bit different from my university here. Most teachers in UniMelb focus on the academic. In France, they gave me much more like practical knowledge and helped me to know how to apply this knowledge into the cases and the business environment.

CF: What made you want to go to France?

Actually I was born in Shanghai so in my hometown most people have like many romantic imagination about France. I really hoped to get the opportunity to travel in Europe. France was my first choice so when I got the exchange opportunity to France, I felt really excited. So I just applied immediately. And I was surprised it matched my faculty but very happy.

CF: Have you learned French before?

In middle school we had some courses for French for beginners, but we only have one course each week and also lasts only one semester. I just got very basic information and knowledge. But I still remember in that semester our French teacher helped us to get some like pen pals in France, it’s really interesting because that means some French children, they learn Chinese and would write Chinese letters to us, and I will write some French letters to them. I think this experience also give me great impression on France, so that might be the reason why I choose to exchange.

CF: What do you think you’ll do with French in your future? Even if you don’t continue speaking the language, do you think this experience at HEC will add to your future career somehow?

Yeah, because I found in my hometown there are many like French enterprises. Actually I took an internship with a French enterprise for marketing communication. I found it’s not very common to use French to work, but sometimes it is useful to know their habits or behaviour. When I was at HEC the business courses helped me to know how French people work with others. They might take meetings in a different way to Australia for example.

My French friends were also really welcoming. I feel they showed me a lot about French culture. Even when I went to their home for dinner, I find sometimes they prefer we should be 5 minutes late. It’s more polite. But in my hometown, we need to be there on time. But I feel this experience helped me to learn more about French culture. So even if I will not use French to work but the culture behind this language may help me career. Yeah, I think that’s the reason why I choose to go overseas study.

CF: Since you’re back in Australia, how do you connect with France still? Is there any way you still connect to it, like talking to your friends or like watching French films? Do you feel like you still connect with the country even while you’re here?

I still keep learning French on Duolingo, which might be the only way I use French now. I mostly miss all my friends, sometimes we will watch French film but with subtitles. Also [helping out at] the UniMelb overseas fair that’s might be the biggest connection with the France.

CF: What do you think is the most overrated French food? Like overrated.

French coffee. The most surprising thing is most people have told me is that the good coffee is in Europe. But when I got it, I feel [it wasn’t good]. I found they made [their coffee] really fast and with a lot of water, so it tastes really strange. In my last course I had a project with my tutor on the Melbourne coffee markets because my major is marketing communication right. We do research on unique brands in Melbourne coffee, really high quality.

CF: Do you have any final comments, that you think people would want to know about your exchange?

[In France] I learned we should be proud of my language because in my hometown we have language like Shanghainese, but seldom people will speak because most people change to speak like Mandarin or Cantonese or English because that is most spoken around the world. But in France, I find most of people will still use French to communicate with you. Even I ask with English, they will answer me with French. And I also learned a lot from like such a conversation with even the Uber drivers. Sometimes I learn a lot like French words because some French words cannot be translated into like English. Because it may change the meaning and like the cultural meaning. So, and just back to my hometown, I will keep speaking our language with my mom, with my friends, because most of my friends, they just speak Mandarin. [French people] are really proud of their culture and language which is good.

I learned a lot from this exchange journey, so you should do it too!

Ep 69 – Navigating “Je Ne Sais Quoi” with Debra Ollivier

Je ne sais quoi is a phrase American women love to use to describe their French counterparts, but according to best-selling author Debra Ollivier,  the French don’t use it at all.
She’s here to talk about why – and what this means about the French approach to popularity, likeability, and identity.

 

Debra Ollivier is French-American best-selling author, ghost writer and book doctoring specialist. She is the author of What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind (Penguin) and Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl (St. Martin’s Press).

 

Head to Debra’s website to learn more about her and her work.