A French perspective: Surviving my first couple of months in the USA

Written by Diane. Posted in on everything else

my first couple of months in the USA

Most of the time on Oui In France, you get my perspective on what it’s like for a foreigner in France, but today I’m sharing a different point of view. For my final guest post this winter, I have a piece written by a French woman who now lives in the USA. Catherine Rochereul-Portier was born and raised in France and then moved to Germany. Over 20 years later, in 2013, she gave up her consulting business and moved with her family to the United States. After settling in, she started a cross-border blog named HowToGuide.org where she shares her knowledge about cultural differences between France or Germany and the US.

Here, Catherine is sharing what the early months in the USA were like.

Read on!

Let me impress you with my holiday soup (just kidding)

Written by Diane. Posted in France, on life in France

Let me impress you with my holiday soup in France

No one wants to embarrass themselves at a multicultural Christmas dinner (or ever)…. but if you’re not careful, that’s exactly what you might do. Let me take you back in time to Christmas 2013 when my parents joined Tom and me, along with his parents, for a fun week up in the Brittany region of France. My dad enjoys cooking and wanted to make one of his traditional Christmas specialties from the US to impress my French in-laws. Except if Tom hadn’t stopped him, his star dish in the US would have left my French in-laws scratching their heads and the exact opposite of impressed.

Luckily, I went over the menu with Tom beforehand and we made the necessary changes before we even went shopping for the ingredients. We had a lovely lobster bisque instead.

What was the soup my dad was going to make and why is it a faux pas? Here’s the quick story for you.

Read on!

Gourmet food map of France

Written by Diane. Posted in France, on life in France

Gourmet food map of France

Have you ever fallen in love with a place because of its food? Maybe it was a special restaurant that had you falling head over heels for a particular city or just the overall food scene. Food can make or break one’s experience. In France, the general food culture and quality have charmed me. You can get fresh, crusty baguettes anywhere in the country along with cheap Brie and wine to go with it. When it comes to specific regions, there’s a whole world of food to be discovered.

Is any one region of France a food paradise for you?

Come take a closer look via a fun interactive food map…

How to use context when speaking French

Written by Diane. Posted in French language, on life in France

How to use context to reduce anxiety when speaking French-001

Learning a new language is no joke. There’s always something new to learn and your comprehension and speaking abilities may not advance at the same speed. When you’re in France and need to converse face-to-face with French people, all your classroom learning gets very real.

For all the times you understand and reply without a hitch, you’ll have other times where you’re going to stumble, not understand and sometimes want to run and hide. Even the most confident person gets butterflies in their stomach when speaking French in a new situation. Having to speak up in a crowded boulangerie, with someone you’ve never met, or in front of a large group can create all kinds of anxiety.

But you have one extremely helpful tool at your disposal and all you need to do is to open your eyes: context.

Here’s how to use context when speaking French. Read on!

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