March 24, 2011 | French

A Second Day of French Homeschool

In which my husband and I keep speaking French, or a version of it anyway.

So, Brandt and I made it through a second day of speaking French together. And we spoke a lot. Mexican Raspberries with French Subtext? French even showed up in my food. For breakfast, I ate raspberries with yoghurt. I was…

March 29, 2011 | French

The French Alphabet and Food Gender

Amid great progress, basic things stymie me.

I am using some new tools to help advance my French skills. First, I have begun listening to French radio stations via the Web, focusing on news and cultural programs from Paris. In addition, last night I came home…

March 31, 2011 | French


I look for Haitian French in this Brooklyn neighborhood.

At a local coffee shop yesterday, I found myself studying French between a French-speaking Haitian woman at the table to my left, and a Japanese woman at the table to my right. Sitting with the Haitian woman was another Japanese…

April 3, 2011 | French

Party French

Speaking French in a quiet room is easier than speaking French at a loud gathering.

I have been noticing how many store and restaurant names have French in them. This seems to be especially true on the Upper East Side. House of Chocolate! Upper East Side, Manhattan At a party last night I spoke some…

April 5, 2011 | French

I Fell off the Wagon

But I'm getting right back on!

My French Verb Tenses book by Trudie Maria Booth has a very exalted view of the knowledge of the average foreign-language student. This is the kind of true-false question I am encountering: Night Falls on the Upper West Side

April 6, 2011 | French

I Hate the New Burlington Coat Factory Ad

Do we really need to disparage multilingualism to sell clothes?

Here I was just now, minding my own business, studying French vocabulary for weights and measures (i.e., “ton,” “millimeter,” “mouthful,” etc.) with the television on in the background, when all of a sudden an ad caught my attention.  …

April 8, 2011 | French

From Le Petit Sénégal to the Upper East Side

I speak French in two very different New York neighborhoods.

Yesterday morning I went to Harlem, exiting the subway at 110th and Lenox and walking north to 116th. I had a particular destination in mind, one that I thought would produce some opportunities to talk about and speak French as…

April 10, 2011 | French

German, Step Off!

My French efforts are foiled by another European language.

This morning while drinking coffee at a local café, I thought I heard French. Looking up, I spied what I thought was a French couple in line waiting to order. The woman half of the couple came over to the…

April 13, 2011 | French

A Goldfish Dies in Harlem

Some New York City kindergarteners cope with early loss, in French.

Yesterday I visited the first public French-American charter school in New York City, called—appropriately—the New York French-American Charter School. 116th Street Subway Station Art Heading East on 118th Street Headed by Katrine Watkins, it is located on 120th…

April 14, 2011 | French

Does French Matter?

At a Columbia University event, people from different walks of life conclude that yes, it does.

This morning at Café Margot, there were to my delight two tables full of French-speaking women, unfortunately separated from me by one table, at which there was another foreign language being spoken: Hebrew. If I had been studying Hebrew, I…