Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | October 21, 2014

The French experience

Hi,

This blog post is about imitating. To what extent do you imitate when you learn a new language ? Actually, quite a lot. As shown by this guy from Argentina.

Actually, the same guy in one of his videos was talking about how, in Argentina, there was a kind of eye-movement that Argentinians would make.

I was playing pétanque with a few French guys the other night. To what extent do you imitate their movements ? I would say, at the end of the day, not at all. Just be yourself. We are not parrots. Although to an extent when you’re learning the language you’re a little bit like a parrot. You use the same expressions.

But the question is not to what extent do you speak like a French person, but to what do you do like a French person. Totally different, right ? I mean, I was invited to a machon the other day. To know what a machon is, you have to know what a bouchon lyonnais is ? A bouchon is a restaurant in Lyon with a lot of charcuterie and red wine. A machon is the same, but with white wine, and in the morning. 7 o’clock. For me, people who drink white wine at 7 o’clock in the morning are alcoholics. It’s not something I particularly want to do. So, to what extent do I act like a French person ? In this case, not all. Another example would be driving. A lot of French drivers intimidate other drivers on the road. By driving really close behind them, (and then overtaking on the left because they fed up). Do I choose to do this ? No. I think there’s a braking distance and I keep to it. I obviously still have to drive on the right, but the interesting thing is to what extent to I have to adapt to the French way of driving.

Just some thoughts.

Paul


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