Category Archives: French

Economic Patriotism


~ A blog post for my French class:

Read

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/29/monsieur-made-in-france-foreign-goods

about a Parisian attempting, with mixed results, to live for nine months buying only French made products.  Have you ever had a similar experience?  How is Carle’s experience like and unlike an American who might try to do the same thing with US made products? ~

Economic Patriotism

If you were to go through your house and look for ‘Made In’ stickers and tags, how many items would you find in your home that are made in your very own country? There may be a few people out there that choose to buy products made in their own country, which is where the term ‘economic patriotism’ comes from. As you may find, it is actually harder to do as everything may not be made in your own country, or maybe it is not sold in stores. It could also get expensive as you would have to buy it directly from a factory that makes the items you are looking for.

I have seen a few shows on television where a couple wanted to clear their house of everything that was not made in the United States. A team came into their home and removed all but two items.

Do you think that if people were more economically patriotic, it would be more beneficial to their country’s economy? It would probably see an increase in jobs. Do you think the trading industry will see a decrease in numbers? It is quite possible, but there is always something that someone wants that the other person has. Could you be economically patriotic?

Child Pageants banned in France, What about the US?


Another blog post for my French class about child pageantry and how it has been banned in France.

~Last week , the French Sénat adopted a bill that would ban beauty pageants for participants under 16.  Given the popularity of shows like Toddlers and Tiaras in the US, what contrasts can you draw between US and French culture? What does the decision say about French attitudes RE: childhood, the role of government, and gender?~

I think it is sad to have young girls entered in pageants. Let me reiterate that further, I think it is sad that female minors, girls under the age of sixteen, are subjected to all manners surrounded by child pageantry. I do not find it glamorous at all. They endure so much stress during competition. Not to mention, having to don so much makeup and hairspray and inappropriate clothing not suited for their age. Girls before the age of fifteen should not even wear makeup; they are beautiful enough without it. Actually, all females are beautiful without makeup.

Pageantry and the stress behind it only show the little girls that this is the only way they will ever be truly beautiful. Some parents are harsh to their daughter’s when competing, especially when they do not win. Restricted diets, and routine of show, dance, and performance are not something a child should endure when they are growing up. It can all add up to harm their mental psyche. A child should enjoy their childhood, or at least have one.

The BBC news reports that France has put a ban on beauty pageants for girls under the age of sixteen. France also put a ban on child size adult clothing, such as padded bras and high heeled shoes.

According to USA Today, “beauty pageants promote the hyper-sexualization of minors.” USA Today goes on to say that it is not just the pageants that are to be blamed, but the parents as well, as they support and encourage the sexualization of their child. Makeup and inappropriate clothing, such as padded bras and tight fitting clothing should not be worn by minors. It can even explicit them to child predators. It can even go as far as what happened to Jon Benet Ramsey.

Will child pageantry be banned here in the United States?  Should it? What are your thoughts?

Obesity in France and America


Recently I wrote a paper for my French class on the difference between obesity in France and America. How America was the most obese country until a few months ago when Mexico toppled our numbers. It’s a growing concern for today’s youth and it seems to be a problem for military recruitment. It’s even a huge issue where health is a concern. Have a read and see what you think.

Obesity in France and America

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article for the Atlantic, There Are No Fat People In Paris, can easily be seen as false. Granted there are a lot of thin, healthy looking people in Paris, but you will find a small handful of obese people there as well and a larger number of obese people all around France.

Only seven million of France’s population is obese, making France one of the few countries in the world with obesity issues (telegraph). One hundred and four million of American’s are obese, making up one third of America’s population (cdc). America use to hold the record for the most obese country in the world, until recently.

How does France continue to be one of the healthiest countries in the world when butter is served in all of the dishes and bread is served with every meal (the atlantic). You would think a meal full of fat and carbs would be an issue, but in France it is not. There are stairs everywhere; they are more noticeable than the elevators (the atlantic). With the elevators nearly hidden, it only makes the stairs look mandatory to take. The French in Paris walk everywhere, making it seem as if it is part of their culture (the atlantic).

A few things that you will have to look hard to find are gyms and junk food (the atlantic). There is no need to go to the gym if you are walking everywhere or always taking the stairs. According to USA Today, “the French eat three meals a day and do not snack in between meals.”  What better way is there to burn off all of those carbs, fat, and calories then walking everywhere you go or taking the stairs instead of the elevator?

Maybe it has to do with the fact that the French do not over indulge their plates in one sitting as the American’s do. The French have smaller servings on their plates, including their deserts. They even chew smaller bites, and eat fresher food (Girls Guide To Paris). The Girls Guide To Paris also states, that the French are taught proper eating habits at an early age, and that they are very structured. They also sip alcoholic beverages with their meals, rather than taking huge gulps. The French also take their time when eating, which could lead to a two hour lunch break.

Eating in France almost sounds like eating is an art of leisure. While here in America the stress of trying to find the time to eat during our thirty minute lunch break, results in forcing ourselves to eat unhealthy, fast food. Overindulging in fast food results in heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which is relatively high in the United States, but not in France.

Stores located in most of the cities here in America are stretched far from one another that it makes walking from one place to another seem nearly impossible. Everyone drives to their destinations. There are quite a few promenade’s here and there, but in order to walk around to window shop or sight see you have to drive there.

The culture between the French and the American’s are each different. It would be interesting to see how the percentages of obese people will look twenty years from now in France, as well as in America. Will the French catch up to us? Will the numbers of obesity in America start to dwindle? However the numbers, obesity is a health concern. It not only affects adults, but our youth as well.

Links for my cited work:

http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9612225/Number-of-obese-people-in-France-doubles-to-seven-million.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/category/paris

http://traveltips.usatoday.com/food-eating-habits-france-12279.html

http://girlsguidetoparis.com/archives/how-french-women-eat-rich-and-stay-slim/

How Shall I Address You?


A blog post for my online French class:

“Last year, the French government stopped using mademoiselle on official documents. Now, all women are referred to with madame. In the English speaking world, Ms. was created as an alternative without government action.  In your post address what you think these different approaches indicate about French and American cultures.”

Miss, Ms., and Mrs. are all titles for women to define one marital status. Miss is simply for a single, unmarried woman. Ms. is for a woman who is divorced, widowed, or perhaps doesn’t wish to disclose her marital status. And Mrs. is for a married woman. I myself have never used Miss. Even though I’ve never married, I use Ms. I am a mother and think it is only fitting to use Ms. But at what age do you start using Ms., rather than Miss?

In France women of adult age won’t have to worry about figuring that out anymore. According to BBC News, France Prime Minister Francois Fillion says, “Women will no longer be forced to describe themselves.” France has done away with calling women Mademoiselle and will begin calling all women Madame, married or not.

I remember watching one of my favorite French films, Apres Vous, where Daniel Auteuil’s character asks a woman, “Madame o Mademoiselle?” He was sent by a friend to find his friend’s ex-girlfriend. When he finds his friend’s ex-girlfriend he simply asks her, Madame or Mademoiselle to see if she has since married. Her reply is, “Mademoiselle.”

I guess it would’ve been simpler to ask if she was married, but that may be considered rude since they’ve never met before. Here in America I can assume it’s easier just to ask if the woman is married or not, instead of asking how she should be called, Ms. or Mrs.

Women’s personal titles have been used for years, not just in America, but all over the world. To me it’s a use of respect. Women this day and age are more independent. Not a lot of women are married. I’ve been on my own since I was eighteen and majority of that time I’ve been single. Maybe it’s a good thing what France is doing, allowing all women to be on an equal level instead of defining their marital status.  

Oui, oui, I’ll be learning French in a classroom


I’m having to take a online French class while I’m here in college. It’s required to get my Bachelor’s. I’m not crazy about learning a foreign language online, but I have to have it and online is the only way it’s offered.

In this online French class we’ll be asked to make a journal/blog entry. I didn’t really want to start a new blog just for one class, so why not just add it to the blog I currently have, it’s up and running, and it’s active.

So, sit back and learn the French culture and language along with me.

Journal question:

“If you’ve studied a foreign language before, What was the most difficult part of the experience? Be specific. What made that as difficult as it was?

If you haven’t studied foreign language before, what specifically do you expect will be the most difficult for you? If you have no idea, take a few minutes skimming over the course content, and base your answer about what seems trickiest. Don’t forget to include why you think it will be difficult.

Finally tell how you plan to approach this learning experience differently because of your experiences or expectations. ”

I grew up learning many languages verbally. I couldn’t read nor write them. It was good enough that I was learning a different language other than English. What is even better is that I was able to speak and understand it. I didn’t have a problem until I had to learn a foreign language in a classroom. The worst part was conjugation; changing the ending of the word, the using the appropriate he, she, they and make sure the word has a similar ending. That sentence sounds just as confusing as learning a foreign language in a classroom. It was also awkward seeing how the word was spelled different than how it sounded. I was lost in translation, literally. I honestly didn’t learn anything from taking two courses of Spanish in high school. We really didn’t speak Spanish to one another, we spoke English. Then I had to move again and I didn’t have anyone to speak another language with, other than English.

When I decided to go back to college I found out that I had to have three years of a foreign language just to get my degree. I just knew I wasn’t going to do well and I didn’t, but yet I passed the class with a B. I still didn’t learn anything that I hadn’t known before taking the class.

My third attempt was taking Spanish 2 in the classroom was beyond ridiculous. I had a hard time with the teacher, as did everyone else. Not to mention she always showed up twenty minutes late. She then tried to rush the assigned work because we only had twenty to thirty minutes left of class, what should’ve been a fifty minute class. She refused to help anyone…seriously! It was beyond sad and so I ended up dropping the class. I couldn’t have one class ruin my GPA on the sad fact the teacher didn’t want to help her students out when they were having trouble. I was one of those students that needed help. I did ask for a tutor, but I would have to drive to the North campus, to which is way out of my way.

I find French much different than Spanish, though I am familiar with both. I was trying to learn Spanish because of the many Spanish speaking people that live here in the United States that I may work with in my chosen profession. Though I have never learned French from a classroom, I have learned it from being around people who speak it and also from watching many French movies. I’m hoping it’ll be a different challenge, but a good challenge. I’m not crazy about taking online classes, as it’s much harder to learn that way, especially a foreign language. But alas, I have to have it to get my degree, plus I want to be able to learn more about the language and culture.