Blog Writing: English vs Français

Anyone who has read the few entries in this blog will have gathered that I am French and have lived in the UK for over 13 years. My relatives still live in France and I have been asked, quite understandably, why my blog isn’t in French. Surely, it would be more interesting to the French to know what it’s like to live in England, than for me to blather on to an already informed community of fellow English-speaking people.

I did think about this when I first started the blog. I had thought I might do some posts in French and some in English depending on the subject matter, however the more I think about it, the less I think this would actually work in the long-term, it is convoluted and makes the blog too much of a mish-mash and ultimately less appealing.

The main reason is calculated; writing in English brings a wider audience and I hope to attract a variety of readers other than my immediate family and the French community living in the British Isles.

These days, I also feel more comfortable expressing my thoughts in English. After so many years, I think and dream in English; my working life has in its entirety been spent on UK soil, in fact I do not know the language of the workplace in French at all. Although I identify myself as French and am not currently considering taking UK citizenship, I also feel that I have lived in England too long to feel ‘fully French’. I have embraced the British way of life and have very few French friends in the UK (just one in fact). I am not one of those expats who hops on the train every month for a quick trip back. I know nothing of the trends, fashions and interests of my countrymen, I have not kept a close eye on political and cultural matters in France, other than what I have read in the media here and discussions with my family.

I am currently investigating whether it is possible to put a Translate button on these pages to allow translation into French, however there are complications in WordPress.com and I am not as ‘techy’ as I would like to think, so it may take a while.

All this to say that this blog is going to continue to be in English because it’s easier and I’m lazy.

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Ceux qui ont lu les quelques entrées de ce blog se seront rendus compte que je suis française et que je vis en Angleterre depuis plus de 13 ans. Ma famille est toujours en France et on m’a demandé pourquoi mon blog n’est pas en français. La question ne me surprend pas; cela parait logique puisqu’il serait plus intéressant pour les français d’en savoir plus sur la vie en Angleterre, plutôt que d’infliger mes histoires au monde anglophone.

J’ai considéré tout ceci quand j’ai décidé de commencer ce blog. J’avais pensé avoir certaines entrées en français et d’autres en anglais selon les thèmes, mais plus j’y réfléchis, moins cela me parait faisable dans le long terme;  cela complique le format et transforme le blog en méli-mélo moins intéressant.

En réalité, la raison principale est calculée; écrire en anglais apporte une audience plus large et j’espère attirer une variété de lecteurs autre que ma famille immédiate et la communauté française qui vit dans les îles britanniques.

De nos jours, je me sens plus comfortable à exprimer mes pensées en anglais. Après autant d’années ici, je pense et rêve en anglais ; ma vie active a été passée en sa totalité sur le sol britannique, en fait je ne connais pas du tout le vocabulaire du monde du travail en français. Bien que je m’identifie comme française et que je n’ai pas le projet de prendre la citoyenneté britannique, j’habite en Angleterre depuis trop longtemps pour me sentir entièrement française. J’ai embrassé le mode de vie britannique et j’ai très peu d’amis français au Royaume-Uni (juste une en fait). Je ne suis pas de ces personnes qui sautent dans un train tous les mois pour passer un petit weekend sur le sol français. Je ne sais rien des tendances, des modes et des intérêts de mes compatriotes, Je ne suis pas restée informée sur les sujets politiques et culturels de la France, autre que ce que je lis dans les médias ici et les discussions avec ma famille.

Je suis en train de voir s’il est possible de mettre un bouton sur ces pages de blog pour permettre la traduction en français, toutefois il y a des complications dans WordPress.com et comme mes connaissances techniques ne sont pas aussi bonnes que je le pensais ça pourrait prendre un moment.

Tout cela pour dire qu’écrire en anglais, c’est plus facile, c’est plus pour moi que pour autre chose et que donc, ce blog est en anglais et va le rester.

 

UPDATE: if you want to translate the blog into another language, click on the Translate tab in the top header and select the language of your choice. If your preferred language isn’t there, let me know!

MISE A JOUR: Pour traduire ce blog dans une autre langue, cliquez sur le mot ‘Translate‘ sous le titre principal du blog et choisissez votre langue.

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An Award of Awesomeness

Would you believe it but I have been nominated for the Tell Me About Yourself Award by the inspired author of pint-sized rants. It’s all very exciting, because she has such flawless taste, she even gets hate mail from Daily Mail journalists. So this is a momentous occasion for this frog blogger, as you will see below, I don’t usually win much.

Of course, I do need to earn the right to display this cool badge, and so I have to tell you seven secrets about myself, and pass it on to 15 other bloggers. 15? You have got to be kidding me. The pressure is on.

1. I have never won anything in any competition I have ever participated in (I told you, this award business is a Big Deal!). I occasionally enter online competitions, especially if there is food or gadgets involved, but all I get for my efforts is regular spam emails about their wondrous products. It is all very disheartening. My ultimate win has got to be the Gadget Show Competition, as it would solve all my Christmas shopping conundrums for the next 10 years.

2. I kill plants. Whatever I do, I cannot keep a plant alive. I have a blind spot when it comes to green things, they don’t register in my line of vision at all. I once had a cactus that died. I left it to its own devices, which is what you’re supposed to do with cacti. Every so often, I’d give it a few drops of water, as you do, to stop it shrivelling. What can I say, it rotted.

3. I am also not very good at car maintenance. I become extremely self-conscious if I have to stand outside my car with oil and water, poking the wheels or whatever. It doesn’t feel right, although I cannot explain why I should feel this way, as I am by no means a hopeless woman. I can build wardrobes and set up TVs. I know how to work out the remote control. I am a self-taught WordPress user for goodness sake! But I will do anything, anything, to avoid this awkward feeling that I should not be going anywhere near the working parts of an engine. So I do nothing, I just leave it be. What happens eventually if you continue in that vein is that the poor neglected car literally blows a gasket.

4. I hated maths at school; I wasn’t bad at it, I just couldn’t see the point beyond the basics needed for everyday life. I count with my fingers. I also used to have a t-shirt that said ‘I Hate Maths’. Then I married a maths teacher, who thinks there is nothing funnier than to ask me how much Panettone I want to eat for breakfast by handing me a protractor so I can tell him how big an angle I want.

5. When I was a teenager, I went to a summer camp in deepest darkest France. Someone told me the lights we could see flashing in the countryside were made by an alien ship, and for a few minutes, I actually believed him. Until I remembered that it was most likely laser lights from a nearby club.

6. I love potatoes so much I could eat them every day. I love them chipped, fried, dauphinoises, roasted, boiled, in Spanish omelette, rosti, jacket, mashed (especially with cheese and fried onions), ad infinitum. Hubby told me he can never look forward to them and that they’re a bit boring. What is WRONG with the man?

7. I used to bite my nails, and had to put nasty-tasting nail polish on to stop myself. I got so used to the taste I stopped noticing it (I have since stopped).

Phew, that wasn’t so bad! Apart from the bit when the computer crashed and I had to re-write everything, but let’s not linger on that detail Die Firefox, die!

And the lovely bloggers I nominate for this award because they are brilliant and you should check them out are (and yes, there aren’t 15 of them, but what can I say, I hate maths):

Loved

Mummy In Provence

Multilingual Mum

Girl On The Contrary

Tee’s blog

Blogging The Tiredness

Piglet in France

A French Frye in Paris

7 things about myself and a blog award

Would you believe it but I have been nominated for the Tell Me About Yourself Award by the inspired author of pint-sized rants. It’s all very exciting, because she has such flawless taste, she even gets hate mail from Daily Mail journalists. So this is a momentous occasion for this frog blogger, as you will see below, I don’t usually win much.

Of course, I do need to earn the right to display this cool badge, and so I have to tell you seven secrets about myself, and pass it on to 15 other bloggers. 15? You have got to be kidding me. The pressure is on.

1. I have never won anything in any competition I have ever participated in (I told you, this award business is a Big Deal!). I occasionally enter online competitions, especially if there is food or gadgets involved, but all I get for my efforts is regular spam emails about their wondrous products. It is all very disheartening. My ultimate win has got to be the Gadget Show Competition, as it would solve all my Christmas shopping conundrums for the next 10 years.

2. I kill plants. Whatever I do, I cannot keep a plant alive. I have a blind spot when it comes to green things, they don’t register in my line of vision at all. I once had a cactus that died. I left it to its own devices, which is what you’re supposed to do with cacti. Every so often, I’d give it a few drops of water, as you do, to stop it shrivelling. What can I say, it rotted.

3. I am also not very good at car maintenance. I become extremely self-conscious if I have to stand outside my car with oil and water, poking the wheels or whatever. It doesn’t feel right, although I cannot explain why I should feel this way, as I am by no means a hopeless woman. I can build wardrobes and set up TVs. I know how to work out the remote control. I am a self-taught WordPress user for goodness sake! But I will do anything, anything, to avoid this awkward feeling that I should not be going anywhere near the working parts of an engine. So I do nothing, I just leave it be. What happens eventually if you continue in that vein is that the poor neglected car literally blows a gasket.

4. I hated maths at school; I wasn’t bad at it, I just couldn’t see the point beyond the basics needed for everyday life. I count with my fingers. I also used to have a t-shirt that said ‘I Hate Maths’. Then I married a maths teacher, who thinks there is nothing funnier than to ask me how much Panettone I want to eat for breakfast by handing me a protractor so I can tell him how big an angle I want.

5. When I was a teenager, I went to a summer camp in deepest darkest France. Someone told me the lights we could see flashing in the countryside were made by an alien ship, and for a few minutes, I actually believed him. Until I remembered that it was most likely laser lights from a nearby club.

6. I love potatoes so much I could eat them every day. I love them chipped, fried, dauphinoises, roasted, boiled, in Spanish omelette, rosti, jacket, mashed (especially with cheese and fried onions), ad infinitum. Hubby told me he can never look forward to them and that they’re a bit boring. What is WRONG with the man?

7. I used to bite my nails, and had to put nasty-tasting nail polish on to stop myself. I got so used to the taste I stopped noticing it (I have since stopped).

Phew, that wasn’t so bad! Apart from the bit when the computer crashed and I had to re-write everything, but let’s not linger on that detail Die Firefox, die!

And the lovely bloggers I nominate for this award because they are brilliant and you should check them out are (and yes, there aren’t 15 of them, but what can I say, I hate maths):

Loved

Mummy In Provence

Multilingual Mum

Girl On The Contrary

Tee’s blog

Blogging The Tiredness

Piglet in France

A French Frye in Paris