Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Learning French


Summer break French

The university semester is getting to an end, and my French teacher, who is also a professor at a college in Raleigh, is leaving for France for the summer.

In the last lesson we had a great conversation about baking bread, so I learned some delicious vocabulary.

I may pick up French in a few weeks ago (there is a replacement teacher) but for now a break works well. Sasha's parents are arriving this weekend and I'll be concentrating on Bulgarian for a month.


Vivez la Francophonie

Today, March 20th, is the international day of the Francophonie. I didn't know this either but my teacher told me this in the afternoon.

"It's an opportunity, for French-speaking people of the entire world, to affirm their solidarity and to live together, with their differences and their diversity."

This afternoon I tried an on-line class for the first time, and it worked well. I really like my Tuesday classes, but want to practice more than once a week. I've looked for a teacher in Durham or near my work, but that turned out to be hard. So I went on-line and today I had a 1 hour lesson through Skype from a teacher in Lyon, France.


Back to work

Today was my first day back in the office. I drank the French Roast coffee, but it's not the same as a freshly brewed espresso in a Parisian café.

In the evening I went to Chicle to my French class where we practiced more on the subjonctif. It's not difficult, but you really have to get in the habit of using it.

The time difference, even though it's only 5 hours now, made it hard to stay awake. I'm going to bed soon.


Gaston Lagaffe

I'm looking forward to my French class tomorrow evening; I'm really enjoying the course. It's a nice group of people, the teacher is very good and the place has a very pleasant atmosphere. Most importantly, I feel my French is improving.

The homework assignment for tomorrow is to describe a couple of situations from a comic book, to practice describing emotions and the passe composé versus the imparfait. The comic book is Gaston Lagaffe, one of my all-time favorite comics.

In Dutch of course, Gaston is known as Guust Flater, with a name very similar to mine. I believe my parents own all books of Guust Flater -- and I read them all a thousand times.


French lessons

I went to my French class again tonight. I skipped twice, once because I was in Holland and last week I had too much of a jet lag, but I was happy that I could go again tonight. It's really fun.

We're working on the subjunctive, and also practiced object pronouns, direct and indirect.

On my way to French I heard about Elizabeth Edward's passing, a sad thing. It's bitter cold here now -- tonight it will be 19 degrees Fahrenheit.



I've bought a French version of Astérix, one of my favorite comics. The Dutch translations are of very high quality, but I'm looking forward to read Astérix in its original French.

My favorite character is Obélix, and I bought a brand-new copy of "La Galère D'Obélix" from a store in Carrboro, NC; very close to Chicle where I have my language lessons. I look forward to reading it -- a nice early start of my birthday.

"Ils sont fous, ces Romains !"



L'étranger de Albert Camus.

La texte n'était pas très facile, naturallement, mais je suis très content que j'ai le compris.

Albert Camus

Le Passe-Muraille

Statue in honor Le Passe-Muraille at Montmartre, Paris.Today I was at a French literature group in Chapel Hill. I found the group through, and a few weeks ago we received "Le Passe-Muraille" as a homework assignment. It's a short story by Parisian author Marcel Aymé about a man who can walk through walls.

We met at a coffee shop this afternoon and sat outside in a garden with beautiful weather and great coffee. There were 7 people and we spoke French for a full hour. It was great exercise and a lot of fun.

We walked the Al Buehler trail and had gyuveche for dinner.


First lesson at Chicle

I had my first French lesson at the CHICLE language institute tonight. I signed up for conversation lessons, and it went very well.

Chicle is located in Carrboro, near Chapel Hill, and I drove there straight from work and had dinner at a café in downtown Carrboro.

There are two other students in my class, so we're a wonderfully small group and the teacher was very good. It was fun to talk French with other people, after almost 15 years. It went pretty well -- this is a great way of learning conversation.


Salut et Liberté

"Salut et liberté" est le deuxième livre que j'ai lu en français.

Ce livre de Fred Vargas a deux nouvelles policiers, "Salut et liberté" et "La nuit des brutes".

Je ne lis pas souvent des policiers en anglais, mais ces nouvelles m'ont beaucoup plu. On veut lire encore et encore, pour savoir qui est le meurtrier! C'est très bon pour la motivation.

Il y a des personages intéressants. Les personnages principaux sont le commissaire Adamsberg et lieutenant Danglard. Madame Vargas a écrit plusieurs nouvelles dans lesquelles ils figuraient. Il y a aussi des personnages anormaux, comme l'homme qui veut un citre dans la prison, ou l'homme qui s'assoit toute la journée sur un banc devant le commissariat avec un porte-manteau...

Un très agréable livre; je voudrais lire encore de Madame Vargas.

(Cette critique de livre a était corrigée avec Lang-8).

Fred Vargas


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