A Video That Will Make You Want to Study and Talking About Reality TV and Dating In French

… Or maybe just want to watch every other video Babbel posted of Matthew Youlden. He also has a twin brother and they both speak 10 different languages fluently. So amazing.

In this video the twins share their tips for learning new languages.

As for me? I had my second informal tutoring session on iTalki this morning. I was running on about 2 hours of sleep after going out with a friend visiting from out of town the night before and I like to think that can explain why I was so bad at stammering out opinions today. But again, I left this session feeling really good because it was so much fun. My tutor had a list of topics to talk about and while I didn’t have much to say about young people being overly concerned with their looks or the incredible access to information we have on the internet, when she asked about my opinion on reality television I lit up and could not spewing incoherent French about how much I love watching bad tv.

Here are a few easy vocabulary terms I picked up in my lesson today while discussing my favorite guilty pleasure:

les émissions de télé réalité – reality tv shows
crier – to yell
se battre – to fight (both good for describing the premise of Jersey Shore)
tomber amoureux/amoureuse – to fall in love
très rapidement – very quickly (both useful for describing the premise of The Bachelor)
un rendez-vous – a date
sortir avec quelqu’un – to go out with someone, to date someone

One thing I asked about is whether dating has it’s own verb in French. In English you would say that you are dating someone, but I think we also talk about the act of dating in and of itself, without relation to a specific person. For example, if you say a date, or many dates, or dating someone specific, is terrible, that’s different from saying the act of dating is in itself terrible — (which yes, is exactly what I most frequently have to convey on the subject.)

I’d be very interested to hear from anyone who has spent time living in France and knows if whether this imperfect translation of dating reflects a difference in the cultural practice of it. In my experience, it’s easy to become frantic about finding relationships in the US, especially with the rise of online dating and the rise of reality shows surrounding the subject (The Bachelor, Married at First Sight and First Love, Second Chance all come to mind). I always find myself comparing going on dates to going on job interviews because frankly, it feels like robotic unpaid work most of the time. Is dating in France a more casual practice? Or even a more personal one?

Next week, I’m signing up for two half hour sessions with my tutor as opposed to the one forty-five minute session we did today. I’m hoping that less of a gap between sessions will keep me on my toes and improving faster.

Until then, joyeux apprentissage à vous!

À bientôt,
Zena