felicitations à moi!

on peut le faire.jpg

Today I had my very first job interview in French. I stumbled in places, and trailed off in others, but it didn’t seem to matter. I think I did just fine overall.

Whether I get the job or not, making it through my first interview in a foreign language feels like an accomplishment in itself. When I talked to my dad a couple of years ago about his own experiences learning a second and third language, he revealed that he had gone on job interviews in English before he really knew how to speak it. I was in awe. At the time, I couldn’t imagine ever being capable of putting myself on the line like that.

And yet, I just did. And now I’m really proud of myself, and I’m eating a big pot de crème to celebrate.*

* Though let’s be honest, I would have eaten it anyway.

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bon week-end

I just exported the close-to-final cut of a 5-minute video I shot and edited almost entirely in French (aside from a small amount of a béninois dialect that was translated for me into French), and I’m feeling very proud of myself.

Going to the field and, in very challenging conditions, “one-man-banding” – directing, producing, shooting, recording sound, and then coming back and writing and editing a video singlehandedly – takes every ounce of everything I have. And yet I somehow found a way to do that all in French, which also requires copious amounts of my brain-space and emotional mettle. (I found a way by sacrificing some technical quality to instead concentrate on solving logistical problems in my non-native language. I’m okay with that.)

I’ve still got a lot of work to do on this particular project, which calls for a 3-minute and 1-minute version as well as the longer one. So maybe I should beware the evil eye and shut up about it…

But before I do, here’s a virtual toast to a weekend well-deserved. (Even if you didn’t work your butt off this week, I bet you made a superhuman effort not to implode emotionally while reading the news, and that is also worthy of acknowledgement.)

And here’s some news that will make you feel neither disrespected, degraded, disgusted, depressed, nor disappointed! (At least I sincerely hope not.)

How do you say “butt dial” in Yiddish? Updating a thousand year-old language’s words.

“The concept of authenticity is much over-hyped these days, and it seems to me a sad state of affairs that it’s something we need to cultivate — as if being authentic is just another act. A few weeks ago, I came across a term online that stopped me in my tracks: identity fatigue. We are getting tired, it seems, of creating and fashioning our personas in a world filled with personas. We’re confusing persona with personal life.” – Dani Shapiro on authenticity.

‘Th’ sound to vanish from English language by 2066 because of multiculturalism, say linguists

How to plan your trip using Google

What happens to languages that you understood as a kid but then forgot? Are they truly lost?

Passez un bon week-end!