Storytime: I said I was born in 1900.

So i’ve been studying French for many many years but it has to be said.. as someone that hates maths, I still have a unique dislike for the way numbers are formed in French. I saw the picture below and had to share it because the struggle is so real. ūüėď

French numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storytime:

So I spent 9 months in Quebec and the moment arrived where I had to go to the bank. It was all going soo nicely until I got asked for my date of birth. I proceeded to say the date..then the month and I am sure everyone around me started tuning into the interaction as I started saying the year and trailed off. I got as far as 1900 (which would make me a grand total of 118 – ageing super well apparently) and then my mind went totally blank and I just could not figure out where to go from there. I literally said “1995” in English, thank God the guy understood.

I thought I would share one of those classic language learning experiences.. nothing like a sweaty bank interaction but I survived! I can confirm that I can now reel off my date of birth with complete ease (having rehearsed it to ensure that never ever happens again!).

It’s all part of the fun and games of learning a foreign language. However, life is made easier by patient and understanding people like the bank cashier.

 

Have you had any awkward language interactions? Leave me a comment if so.

 

Until next time !

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Stress Management

So as I am slowly approaching the end of my degree, I felt it was time to share a little bit about how I am trying to remain sane through all the chaos that is assessments, grades, feedback and hours of revision.

     1. Chocolate

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A little bit of comfort eating never killed anyone !

      2. Talk about it

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A good way to de-stress is to talk about your concerns, whether that be a family member, a friend or even your local shop keeper.

     3. Nobody has it figured out.

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The older you get the more you realise that even adults don’t have it all figured out. Life doesn’t come with instructions, so breathe and take it day by day.

¬† ¬† ¬†4. If things aren’t going to plan, it doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong thing.

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If life was stream line and you got everything you wanted, when you wanted .. what genuinely would be the point? There are hardships even in the greatest aspects and experiences in life, that’s just how it goes.

¬† ¬† ¬†5. You’ve got this, even if you don’t right now.

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I know that from time to time it can feel like you literally can’t do anything right.. but you are wrong about that. It will fall into place, it always does.. it always has .. and it always will.

      6. Talk about it.

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Once again.. don’t bottle it up, nobody has time for high blood pressure and headaches, not worth it.

       7. Breathe

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You’ll be surprised by how much a few deep breathes can help you to feel more at ease. Yoga is also a great way of de-stress as it forces you to concentrate

       8. Smile..laugh..

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Find a reason to get out and hang out with family or friends. Taking a break from your studies will help you to be more focused when you get back to it. Everyone needs a break.

 

How do you manage stress in your life? Let me know !

 

Until next time!

 

 

3 Tips for Solo Travel

 1. Plan.. Plan.. Plan.

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– Research the area you are going to.

– Figure out a budget. Know how much money you have and write down every individual cost, from checking in a suitcase at the airport to the amount of money you are setting aside for meals.

– Research your travel options and figure out which one suits you best such as: travelling by air, by bus/coach, by train etc.

– Decide what kind of accommodation suits you best – Hotel, Hostel, Airbnb etc. AND whether you want to be in a more central area or if you intend to travel into said area.

– You can even go as far as checking out what food is in the area surrounding your accommodation. #foodislife

– Figure out what you want to do, see and visit whilst you are there.

– If you are feeling super organised you could go as far as making day plans like the one below. Yes, I put together a pdf file outlining my plans, I then saved it on my phone so that I could access it with ease. It’s handy in two senses, firstly it acts as a reminder of what you have planned so that you aren’t late and secondly, you can also send it to family members, so if you are in a different time zone for example, they have a rough idea of where you are and what you are up to.

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2. Find the balance.

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Fill your time with cool and exciting things but schedule time to rest. It is important to find the balance between seeing, doing, visiting and taking the time to chill. For example, if you go somewhere for 6 days, you may want to fill 4 or 5 of those days but on your final day you could consider having zero plans and just take it easy. It also acts as a good time to reflect on all you have done on your trip.

3. Tours.

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– Consider a tour. Tours can be really helpful if you visit somewhere that is near impossible to navigate without a vehicle and you don’t intend to drive.. let a tour company do the driving for you whilst you soak up the sights ! Also, it’s a great way to¬†meet new people who are often solo travellers.

Just Enjoy !

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Make the most of your solo trip. Yes it can be a bit daunting but there is a point where you’ll realise how capable you truly are. I would 100% recommend solo travel to everyone, even if you start with a place that isn’t all that far from home.

 

Bon Voyage ! 

How Travel Makes & Breaks You

Makes:

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– You are happier: honestly I am my happiest when I am travelling. It gets me every time and literally turns me into a child. So not only are you happy whilst travelling but you stay on this travel high for a while. I would go as far as saying that you are naturally more happy after the experience because you have learnt and gained so much and it makes you feel content with where you are in life.
– You tend to be more sociable. You know people from different parts of the globe, all of whom play a role in shaping your perspective of things. These links also come in pretty handy when visiting the places where your friends live or places that they have visited.
– You are more optimistic. “Everything will work out in the end !”.

– You gain more confidence, as throughout your travels, you are bound to find yourself having to solve something. With that, you become more confident in your abilities.

Breaks:

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– Confidence can turn into cockiness: there is a true balance to find and even the most humble people can find themselves getting a little too carried away after their time abroad. A simple way to avoid this is by simply reminding yourself, everyone has different experiences.. different stories, we all go down different paths so stay humble & be nice !
– Reverse cultural shock : When you return home you can end up viewing your homeland in a different light. I felt like I was trying to find my feet when I came back to London after spending 9 months in Canada.. it was so bizarre to be home but feel almost like an outsider.
– The travel bug takes over. This requires no explanation.. let’s just say my new hobby is looking up flights.
– Reminiscing becomes depressing.
– Money Money Money Money: it can literally sometimes break your account. So once you finish travelling, building up that travel fund starts.. all over again !
Until next time !

New Years Resolu- PLANS.

Firstly.. Happy New Year to you all ! (.. I know it’s verging on the end of month). I hope you are doing well and I wish you the best in 2019 !

Here are some things I would like to do in 2019.. if I don’t complete these things, then that is not an issue. There is really no need to put excess pressure on yourself.. if it doesn’t happen this year, maybe next year.

Find an excuse to travel travel-1523169

I miss travelling, I don’t mind if I go somewhere nearby, such as Scotland or Ireland. I don’t need to go far in order to be content but I just need an excuse to travel and explore somewhere new!

 Learn a new skill
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I feel like it’s time to learn a new skill, I have been looking into book binding as I am obsessed with stationery so I figure I will start there and see where it takes me.¬†

Make progress

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I have a real issue with “standing still”. I like to almost always be in the process of doing something that I believe will in someway shape or inform my future. Time is of the essence.. and I don’t want to waste it.

Read more
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I have soo many books that I haven’t “got round to” reading yet and if I could read at least 5 books that would be great. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but last year I read a grand total of 2! *clears throat*. It’s weird because I do enjoy reading and I used to read way more than I do now, but I find it difficult to read at home and much prefer reading whilst commuting.

 

Let’s see how ticking these off goes !

Until next time !

 

Learn French – YouTube

Language learning can be quite a tiring, continuous thing and let’s be honest, nobody wants to have to spend hours and hours with their head stuck in a grammar book.

I like to use YouTube as a way to learn French, from watching more academic videos to enjoying a good vlog. For me it’s important to find entertaining ways to be educated.

Here are 4 YouTube channels that I am subscribed to:

Petite Douceur

Petite Douceur aka Laurie posts videos about food, make-up and she also shares recipes with her viewers. From time to time you’ll find a vlog style video on her page also. Definitely worth a watch if you want to become more comfortable with the Quebecois accent.

I contacted Laurie to ask her precisely how she would describe her channel and she said the following: Je d√©crirais ma cha√ģne comme une cha√ģne lifestyle sur le bien √™tre. J’y partage mes coups de coeur du moment et des parcelles de ma vie // In English: I would describe my channel as being a lifestyle channel that focuses on well-being. I share my current favourites and parts of my daily life.

Laurie also has a blog which you can check out here.

Damon and Jo

Damon and Jo speak many languages between them, they travel all around the world and the best part about it is that they make the effort to speak in the language of the country that they are visiting. You will find videos in Italian, Portuguese, French and so on. This is the sort of channel for those of you that enjoy travel videos.¬† Their motto is to “Shut up and Go”, the idea is to stop making excuses, if you want to travel, learn a language.. get on with it. They are just two young people, living the travel and language dream all without breaking the bank!

For those of you who are wanting to talk/meet with other language lovers, Damon and Jo have set up a Facebook page called: Shut up and Go.

Francais Authentique

I had to include at least one “academic” based channel because although it’s great to find fun ways to learn French, sometimes you need to make sense of some of the terms you hear and this is where Francais Authentique comes in. There are soo many videos on this channel that explain in very brief but comprehensive videos, the terms and expressions that can often cause confusion.

Marie Anne

Marie Anne’s videos are always interesting, I love this channel ! Long story short, she is from France, she spent many years living and studying in Korea and now she currently lives in LA. All of her videos are in French and they vary from discussing the cost of living in LA to testing out different flavoured oreos. There are also many vlogs to choose from.

 

I hope you enjoy their videos, there are plenty more youtubers out there that can be of use throughout your language learning journey ! I picked the ones that I find the most entertaining and easy on the ear.

 

What other channels do you watch to help you with your language learning?

 

Until next time !

My Travel Destination Wishlist

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From my adventures in Chicago.

A few months ago a friend asked me the following,¬†‚ÄúName 3 places that you want to travel to‚ÄĚ.

My automatic response was: “Oh.. can I choose 30?”.

I ended up saying..

Barbados, Japan & Switzerland.

My thought process was literally: somewhere sunny, somewhere with unique stationery and somewhere with beautiful architecture.

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From my trip this summer to Banff.

Here is my actual Travel Wishlist (In no particular order):

  • Switzerland.
  • Scotland ‚Äď specifically: Edinburgh and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
  • Japan.
  • The States ‚Äď specifically: Alaska, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
  • China.
  • Barbados.
  • France ‚Äď specifically: Bordeaux.

Having said that.. I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to visit most countries in this world. Any excuse to travel !

 

Until next time !

Life as an MA Translation & Interpreting Student

So in September I started my MA in Translation & Interpreting and it’s safe to say it has been intense.

What have I been up to?

1. Public Service Interpreting.

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Every week we do role plays that will prepare us for interpreting within the public service field. The topics we have covered so far range anywhere from pregnancy to eye care. I am learning so many new words about so many different areas. One of the things I love most about this course is that I am being taught by people who are currently working as Translators and/or Interpreters. It’s not uncommon to have a class where the lecturer heads straight off afterwards to an interpreting job. The other great thing that comes of being taught by industry professionals is that you can learn about how a typical job would go, how to respond in difficult situations and so on.

2. Conference Interpreting – consecutive & simultaneous.

Every week we work on developing our consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills. Simultaneous happens at the same time. Consecutive takes place after the speech has finished. It’s safe to say these two modes are fairly different to PSI. The main difference being the use of booths:

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As we are still in the early stages, we have been interpreting small speeches that have been made up by either a member of the group or a lecturer. As time goes on, the speeches will grow in complexity but for now.. we’ll stick to interpreting a speech about what someone did over the weekend. Don’t try and run before you can walk! In this class we have also been working on how to make notes in a quick and concise manner, through using symbols and abbreviations that will allow us to follow a speech with ease.

3. Translation –¬† Institutional & Technical.

So far I have done about 10 translations, we get 2 a week.. one French to English translation and one English to French translation. Here are a few of the text types I have touched on so far: Pharmaceutical, An Estate Agent Website, A document about an X-Ray machine and Terms and Conditions.. yes, Terms and Conditions. I felt as though the universe just came around like “ha ! Remember all those times you pressed I agree and paid no attention to the small print? Well.. now is your time” (not to mention it was an English to French translation). So far I am finding the technical translations more interesting which is somewhat of a surprise, given I don’t have any background in this field but I am just learning so many new and interesting things.

4. Presentation about Québec.

Life has gone full circle. I am doing a module that covers Translation theory, the role of the translator and how the translators work directly impacts cultures, sub/nation identities and so on.

Recently I had to do a group presentation, I love group presentations ..

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So as I was saying, totally love group presentations and I had to do one recently. We had a list of about 10 topics/questions to choose from and after giving them a read through.. I settled on either doing the week 4 question or the week 7 question. We were advised to do the presentation with people in our language group so I passed the responsibility over to the other girl in my group to decide. She picked week 4, which was: With reference to Brisset, explore translation‚Äôs role in creating a sense of national/ sub-national culture. Anderson‚Äôs concept of imagined communities will be useful here.¬†¬†I had absolutely no idea who Brisset was or what Brisset discussed but as I started the research I discovered something quite freaky. Annie Brisset is a Professor in Canada, in the text she spoke about Quebec French/ the qu√©b√©cois dialect and the attempts that have been made to elevate it to “language status”. One of the main discussions is centered around Michel Garneau’s (a translator) choice of putting “traduit en qu√©b√©cois” (Translated into Qu√©b√©cois) on the front cover of his translation of Macbeth.

So.. given I not so long ago spent 9 months in Québec this was a major coincidence and not only that but the examples used throughout were all plays, one of which I performed an extract of whilst doing my undergraduate studies. As I continued to read into the text, there was the mention of the Gaspésie area (precisely where I lived whilst in Canada!). To say the least it was the strangest coincidence but I really enjoyed researching and adding to my existing knowledge. Despite that a group member decided to still question my knowledge..

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*clears throat*

5. Reading.

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I have done more reading than I can fathom .. the amount of reading I am doing on a weekly basis is like.. hold up, am I an English lit student?

Please someone make them stop setting about 25 pages worth of text to read for one module (per week).. please. Or at the very least.. if we could get away from font size 8, the world would seem brighter.

And on that wonderful note..I must get back to the reading for next week.

 

Until next time !

French Book Haul

Hello All !

Here is a list of the books I purchased whilst in Quebec. I have included the information from the back cover/blurb firstly in French and then it’s followed by an English translation. This is so that if you wish to purchase any of the books, you have a good understanding of what they are about.

 

Jaloux (Envy)- Sandra Brown

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Back cover/Blurb:

Lorsque Maris, √©ditrice new-yorkaise, re√ßoit un all√©chant manuscrit d’un certain P.M.E, elle comprend que le roman a le potentiel¬† d’un best-seller et cherche √† entrer en contact avec l’auteur. Men√©e par ses investigations jusqu’√† une √éle perdue en G√©orgie, elle d√©couvre Parker Evans, un homme dissimulant son identit√© et son pass√©, reclus dans une ancienne et inqui√©tante demeure coloniale. Quelque chose, dans son roman, fait froid dans le dos..

//

Maris, a New York book editor receives a manuscript submission by a writer identified only as P.M.E., that captivates her. P.M.E.’s blockbuster potential compels Maris to search for him. But Maris has just received a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. On said island, Maris¬†finds Parker Evans, a man determined to conceal his identity as well as his past. Something about this novel sends a chill down the spine..

This book has been translated from English into French (The English edition is called ‘Envy’) so you could always read it in English first or the two simultaneously or.. just the French. You have options !

 

Les Sensations Fortes (Thrills)- Nancy Huston

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Back cover/Blurb:

L’amour¬†√©tant capable d’accomplir certains miracles, le jeune couple arrive sain et sauf¬†√† la cabane, la bonne cabane, au bord du bon lac, et, quand ils sortent une clef, c’est la bonne clef. Encombr√©s de b√Ľches, de sacs de couchage et de couvertures, ils s’engouffrent dans la petite maison en bois (c’est-√†-dire, soyons clairs, en planches nues), et referment vite vite la porte pour que la neige ne s’y engouffre pas¬†√† son tour.

Ils se regardent.

Ils ne voient rien.

//

Love being capable of performing certain miracles. The young couple arrive safe and sound at the cabin. The good cabin by the lake and when they take out a key, it’s the right key. Cluttered logs, sleeping bags and blankets, they dive into the little wooden house (that’s to say, let’s be clear, bare boards) and quickly close the door so that the snow doesn’t get into it too.

They look at each other.

They don’t see anything.

Les Cigales* – Antonin Marquis

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Back Cover/Blurb:

En pleine gr√®ve √©tudiante, Dave et J-P parcourent pendant quelques jours les routes de la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Entre un feu de camp et une promenade dans le centre historique de Boston, les deux amis r√©alisent comme ils ont chang√© depuis leurs ann√©es de c√©gep. La blonde de J-P, Caro, est rest√©e √† Montr√©al pour enseigner le fran√ßais dans une classe de troisi√®me secondaire. Tiraill√©e entre le confort de sa vie de couple et sa peur ¬ę¬†d’√™tre devenue plate¬†¬Ľ, elle profite de ses dix jours de solitude pour r√©fl√©chir. Les cigales met en sc√®ne les angoisses de la g√©n√©ration Y o√Ļ chacun peine √† assumer sa libert√© et vit une remise en question presque constante de ses choix, de ses aspirations, de ses relations amoureuses…

Avec ce premier roman divertissant, Antonin Marquis brosse le portrait de trois jeunes qui ¬ę¬†se cherchent¬†¬Ľ, avec en toile de fond les questions de soci√©t√© soulev√©es par le Printemps √©rable.

//

In the midst of student protests, Dave and J-P wander the streets of New-England for several days. Between a bonfire and a stroll through the historic center of Boston, the two friends notice that they have changed since their time at cégep. J-P’s girlfriend Caro lives in Montreal where she teaches French to a Secondary 3 class.

Torn between the comfort of life as a couple and the fear of ‚Äúhaving become dull‚ÄĚ, she makes the most of the 10 days she has alone to reflect. Les Cigales holds the mirror up to the anxiety of generation Y, where everyone struggles to assume their freedom and experiences an almost constant questioning of their choices, their aspirations, their romantic relationships‚Ķ

With this first entertaining novel, Antonin Marquis paints the portraits of three young people that are ‚Äúlooking for themselves‚ÄĚ, against a backdrop of societal issues raised by the Maple Spring.

* I wasn’t completely sure of how to translate this one, les cigales literally means: grasshoppers but “√™tre cigales = to be a butterfly” so.. the author is trying to get along the idea of growth/change.

La femme qui ne vieillissait pas (The woman who never aged) РGrégoire Delacourt

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Back cover/Blurb:

Ce qui est arrivé à Betty est le rêve de toutes les femmes. Et pourtant.

//

What happened to Betty is what all women dream of. And yet.

 

 

Please leave any book suggestions down below, i’m always looking for new books to add to my collection ūüôā¬†

 

Until next time !

3 Benefits Of Solo Travel

1. Plans.

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Something you will notice immediately is the fact that you have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. You don’t have to factor in another person’s interests so you can literally move at your own pace. At points this may mean that you spend more time in bed relaxing because .. there are no rules to solo travel !

2. Conversations.

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Solo travel can equal some valuable conversations AND some useful recommendations.

Now this is something I noticed whilst I was in Chicago in March. I’m not sure if this was solely because I was travelling solo or if my accent also played a role in causing intrigue but whilst I was there, I got involved in a couple of workshops. During these workshops I found that people really wanted to find out my thoughts on Chicago, why I was visiting Chicago (in the winter haha) and so on. Days later I went to the theatre alone and found myself having a full blown conversation about travel and¬†work¬†with the lady next to me.

The point I am trying to make is that I am almost certain that these conversations would not have happened if I had travelled with a friend and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have found myself at multiple workshops.

3. Confidence.

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There is something about being alone and not having anyone else to lean/rely on that really pushes someone out of their comfort zone BUT in doing so, you realise it’s not so difficult after all. My grandma always says “You can’t get lost if you can read” and I would like to add the following to that, “If you are not sure, just ask”. This can be applied to soo many areas of life. Fear is not tangible, we create it and by pushing ourselves and taking the leap to get out of our comfort zones from time to time, the cycle of fear can be broken¬†AND¬†it is an amazing confidence booster.

 

Until next time !