Taking French courses in Paris and adjusting to a new life in France: a busy program for Eda

Eda A is a young illustrator newly arrived from New York to live and work in the City of Lights. After a few weeks, she decided to take French courses in Paris. Here, she shares with us her experience about how she learns French in Paris and adjusts to her new life here.

You have been in Paris for a few months now. Was it difficult to adjust to your new life in Paris after living in New York ?

It has been 5 months now and I slowly got used to being back in Europe again. New York is very fast paced and very social, and sometimes you don’t have any time to yourself because of the rush of the city and the way everyone lives. It is addictive and can get a little tiring. Paris still has the feeling of a big city but people take more time for themselves here. I found it odd at first but then I gave in and I’m enjoying it! :)

Why and when did you decide to take  French courses in Paris?

When I first arrived here I felt a little alienated as it’s the first time in my life I was living somewhere without speaking the language. It makes it difficult to get out of the mindset of being a ‘tourist’ in the city you live in. This the reason why I decided to take French courses in Paris.

What has been the hardest thing for you about learning French in Paris? Also, what has been the most surprising and/or wonderful thing about it?

The hardest thing is memorising and keeping up with lessons and homework when you are also working. Learning a new language takes a lot of time and practise, and I believe even more so as an adult. It gets frustrating at times when I feel like I’m not getting any better, but what has been wonderful is that you almost get a new character when you know and speak a new language. It opens new doors to different people, a different culture and different literature and films. Plus, you really feel your brain muscles working and I enjoy pushing myself.

The most surprising thing about learning French has been realising how many words in common it has with my mother tongue Turkish. I knew some of the words but didn’t realise the scope of it at all. I only wish the grammar had a bit more in common!

What is the most challenging thing about learning French?

Having enough time to practice and confidence to speak. I think I’m getting a little better thanks to sharing a studio space with lots of French people!

What are your goals in French: being fluent in the future or just reaching a comfort zone, enough to feel at ease in your daily life in Paris ?

I would like to be fluent one day and be able to have as engaged conversations as I can in English and Turkish. I also love French films and it would be lovely to watch them without subtitles.

What is for you the most difficult word to pronounce in French?

Haha :) Most words with rolling r’s and silent h’s are difficult! I can’t think of a certain one - maybe ‘horreur’ or ‘en haut’?

What is your favorite word in French?

Not a word but a sentence! “Tu me manques” - I love how to say I miss you in French, it’s very poetic! I also love “chou-chou”, cheesy but nice :)

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