Interview: authors of 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French

FUSAC: You two created 90+ Ways You Know You’re Becoming French, a very popular book that grew out of Shari’s article on the same subject. You have since received, read, listened to, overheard, gathered “becoming French” examples from countless non-native Francophiles, including residents of France, would-be residents, tourists, language teachers, students wishing never to leave, culture mavens and many people who have battled it out with each other in our comments section as to who has racked up more Becoming French badges of honor. But wait! What about YOU? You’ve both been here since the 1980s. It’s Turn the Tables Time! What are several ways that YOU know YOU’ve “become French”? (Or not?)

HAVE NOT BECOME...

Shari Leslie Segall: They say that one’s “formative years” end at the age of two--that after merely twenty-four short months on this earthly orb, you already are who you’re gonna be. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that, since my father …

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Are You Becoming French?

Are You Becoming French?The French say that foreigners can never truly “become” French - no matter what legal status is inscribed upon what identity papers they carry around in their France-based wallets (1). Nor might newly minted citizens or official residents wish to swap their own cultural markers, manners and mentalities for those of the local waiter who serves them their morning café au lait et croissant (to say nothing of totally being able to). But if you’re here long enough, your adaptation mirrors those Escher drawings where columns of black geese or fish on the left fly or swim straight across the page, migrating and mutating by imperceptible degrees, melting into and finally becoming their white counterparts on the right. To a greater or lesser degree, whether you expected to or not, one day you realize that you’re crossing to the other side. How do you know that you’ve arrived? When you (a very incomplete list): 1. sound as brilliantly amusing-funny-sarcastic-sn…
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France Expat memoirs

Thinking of moving to France or just want a laugh? France Expat memoirs are good for both. Learn from those who have gone before you and have lived through the trials and jubilations of expat life in France. You can learn from their mistakes and enjoy their anecdotes "right from the horse's mouth". Or just commiserate! There are a lot of  English-speaking expats living in France, and many have written memoirs. Doing this is easier than ever now with self-publishing options. The currently trending France Expat memoirs have been around for a long time beginning its upward climb as a genre with the still wonderful A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle published in 1989. French License by Joe Start Another book about adapting to life in France, but this time from the perspective of the Paris suburbs and through the trial of getting a driver's license. In fact the whole book is one long road trip. We are so relieved when after 262 pages, 10 years or mille bornes Joe finally gets his F…
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Hogtied in the Hexagon? Understanding France part 3 of 3

Hogtied in the Hexagon? Understanding France Part 3 Our choice of 15 Books to help better understand France. Part 1 of this article Part 2 of this article First of all what is "hogtied"? To hogtie is an Americanism that goes back to about 1890 literally meaning to tie an animal, in particular a hog, with all four feet together. Figuratively the phrase mean to thwart or hamper. So here is part 3 of our list of 15 books that'll help you feel less bewildered and understand France. What is the Hexagon? The Hexagon is a nickname for France! (due to the mainland's nearly hexagonal shape) La puce à l’oreille: anthologie des expressions populaires avec leur origine Claude Duneton Fistfuls of everyday expressions are analyzed in their social and historical contexts. A marvel of curiosity, this book will teach you a great number of things about popular expressions. Tomber en quenouille, avoir la poisse, la veuve poignet, être un pigeon, rouler une pelle, pas piqué des…
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ABCs of life in France – Q to Z

The ABCs of life in France

In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Queen: Or, if you will, king, prin…
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John Vanden Bos de FUSAC, le Boulonnais du mois!

John Vanden Bos de FUSAC, le Boulonnais du mois! (Paru dans Boulogne Magazine mars-avril 2018) John Vanden Bos, l'éditeur qui rendait service au Tout-Paris anglophone Qui ne se souvient pas de FUSAC? Dans les années 90 et 2000, ce magazine de petites annonces était disponible un peu partout dans la capitale, comme feu Paris Paname. La particularité de FUSAC, c'est qu'il s'adressait à tous les anglophones de la capitale, principalement des expats et des étudiants, mais aussi à des francophones désireux d'améliorer leur maîtrise de la langue de Shakespeare. C'est la Génération FUSAC. Aujourd'hui, FUSAC n'existe plus qu'en ligne. Son papa étant voisin, nous l' avons rencontré. Retour sur une formidable aventure et les nombreux défis qu'a dû affronter John Vanden Bos, le Boulonnais du mois. John Vanden Bos, vous êtes le Boulonnais (d'adoption, nos lecteurs l'auront compris) qui a fondé FUSAC, le magazine des petites annonces pour anglophones de Paris et sa région. Les hab…
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ABCs of life in France – I to P

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is two-for-the-price-of-one  Intellectuals/Ideas: They really do still ex…
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ABCs of life in France – A to H

The ABCs of life in France In my 33rd year in Paris, here is an ABCs of life in France (the French call that an abécédaire, from the Latin abecedarium, which gave us the English rarely-used-outside-of-academia “abecedary,” which is sometimes employed to denote not only the document containing the alphabetic list but also the teacher or learner of the contents of the document, who can likewise be referred to as an “abecedarian”) of random fascinating facts and figures about France and Paris that for the most part are inhaled, absorbed, stumbled upon during decades of presence as opposed to learned in lectures, browsed in books, witnessed on websites. In other words, to know this stuff, ya gotta be here: ABCs of life in France Part 1 Letters A to H - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 2 Letters I to P - Here's the link ABCs of life in France Part 3 Letters Q to Z - Here's the link is for Army: Not only are the French not patriotic, they find patriotism …
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Hogtied in the Hexagon? understand France part 2 of 3

Hogtied in the Hexagon? understand France Part 2 Our choice of 15 Books to help you better understand France. Part 1 of this article Part 3 of this article First of all what is "hogtied"? To hogtie is an Americanism that goes back to about 1890 literally meaning to tie an animal, in particular a hog, with all four feet together. Figuratively the phrase mean to thwart or hamper. So here is part 2 of our list of 15 books that'll help you feel less bewildered and understand France. What is the Hexagon? The Hexagon is a nickname for France! (due to the mainland's nearly hexagonal shape) Memoirs of Hadrian Marguerite Yourcenar Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the Belgian-born French writer Marguerite Yourcenar, the first woman ever elected to the Académie française (1980). It is about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book takes the form of a letter to Hadrian’s cousin and eventual successor «Mark» (Marcus Aurelius). The emperor meditates on militar…
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