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Pittsburgh, PA
Hometown: Peru, IL

Member since:

August 13, 2013

What most interests you about the the various French-speaking cultures? Their cuisine, their cinema, their music? Or simply the French language?

All of the above, but particularly the cinema.

If you speak French, what is your proficiency level? False beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced, native?

Probably low advanced. I have a solid understanding of the grammar because I am a Spanish teacher. My weak area is my somewhat limited vocabulary. Attending the conversation meetups helps me to increase that because we read articles that we base our discussions on.

What types of activities are you likely to participate in? Weekly conversation groups, movie nights at a movie theatre or a member's home, brunch or dinner, potlucks at a member's home, French-lang book club, symphony/opera of France, suggestions?

I participate in the Saturday morning conversation group and have attended 3 movie meetups. I am interested in all of the activities listed above as well as cooking lessons in French if they are offered, and lectures on topics related to any of the French-speaking cultures.

If you have spent time in a French-speaking country, where was it and what was your reason for being there?

My first experience in a French-speaking environment was when I went to the 1976 Olympics in Montréal. My friends and I stayed with a couple that rented out their basement. Serge and Yvette spoke no English, so we had to use our very rudimentary French. I have spent two summers studying French in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. I also spent a week in Spa, Belgium, where I did a one-on-one intensive French course. And as a tourist, while living in Europe, I visited Brussels, Bruge, Luxembourg, and, of course, Paris.

Would you care to share an anecdote as to what first inspired your interest in French, or perhaps an interesting story from your travels abroad?

My interest in the French language and in foreign languages in general started at age seven. I had a play house in my backyard, and each summer my neighborhood friends and I would turn the house into any number of places: a hospital, a schoolhouse, a police station, and, one summer, a library. Our parents gave us books to stock the shelves. That's when my dad gave me the Army language manuals for French and German which he was given during WWII. I still have them, and soon they will be 70 years old.


I look forward to getting involved once again in local activities that involve French culture and the French-speaking community of Pittsburgh.

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