“Pardon, I don’t speak english veRy well”

“But… if you are French, how’ come that you speak english so well ?” said the old Finnish man that I met under a snow storm.

Mmh, many words could be explained in this sentence, like “snow storm”, haha, but let’s focus on the punchline. Today, I will pecularly adress to my foreigner fellows.

It’s funny to live in another country, because we can see how people perceive your national stereotype. For example, mine is a kind of emblematic French who would walk with a baguette under his arm, with a berret on his head, and smelling like cheese. He seems arrogant and sexy at the same time – don’t ask me  why, I have no idea.

The point here is not to defend a vision, or to say ‘”you’re wrong/you’re right” because this vision applies to every country. However, I think the question about the language is very interesting.

Think about it : why should we learn another language ? Futhermore, I read sometimes that for english speakers, some of them probably don’t see the point to learn another language because English is everywhere. But is there not a certain curiosity ? Is a language only practicale ?

 I would like to learn russian because of their romantic literary masterpieces ( I like to think that any traduction can give as much as an original text); I would like to learn Italian because it’s the most wonderful language that I know, I would like to practice my spanish because it’s very close from French, I would like to learn japanese because this language is poetic…

Language is the prism of subtility. I never appreciated more some books or movies since I had the opportunity to practise my english. Almodovar’s movie have this tasty spanish which could be missed.

Moreover, speaking the language of the other – even some basic words – is integrating. I will never laugh at someone who tries to say one sentence in french… I mean, I don’t know, I feel flattered when someone tells me why he likes french language.

My spanish best friend learns my language, and I learn hers. It’s a beautiful exchange between two cultures – even if it sounds cheesy, haha.

The fact is, as fluent as it can be, a language remains fragile. I am still wondering how I will maintain my english when I will be back in France. I would like to speak another language as good as I do with my mothertongue.

This is one of the reason why this blog is in english. With english, new kind of readers come from everywhere and can read my words. It’s good sometimes to go out from an natural ethnocentric frame.

Roots, what’s that ?

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Roots” seems to be a basic word, but I took time before realizing how meaningfull it could be. I could reduce this interest to my origins, but we can having roots in many ways. For example, I travelled a lot in different countries and this year, I lived during 9 months in Finland (I am still living there but it comes to an end in few weeks)… These experiences fed an open-mindness that I consider as essential as breathing.

I need to know more about the world in order to find my place somewhere, to know my cultural and spacial limits. I need to understand the diversity to know who I am.

So, my roots are not only in my blood, they are growing inside the world and try to find a way to extend. By and by. More and more. It’s something which brings a lot of amazing meetings, or persons, or activities. It’s something not easy, and it forces to be “opened”.

Be opened all the time is hard, because it means that you have to wonder about yourself, about your prejudices, your beliefs… Sometimes, it feels good to just be sure, just close itself, locking it and saying ” it’s enough for me”. But then, there is often a narrow-mindness which follows.