Daily Devotions

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.


(Enjoying a pause-santé in the café at the Musée d’Orsay)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

A typical Monday-Friday includes waking up at about 6:45 am to be out the door by 8:00 and at school by 8:30 for the start of phonetics class. No sleeping in for me. If the weather is bad, I take the métro to school. Other days I bike. The phonetics class has proven invaluable. I am learning about French intonation, enchaînement vocalique (flow from one vowel sound to the next), and liaisons. Surprisingly, I have never had a course like this in all my years of French studies in Canada. I find it very beneficial as an anglophone who has never had the opportunity to study in immersion classes. Part of the phonetics course has us in a lab where we listen to set phrases and repeat them until we have them correct. The teacher has also created a link to the lab work on the school website so that we can continue reviewing at home. After phonetics, I head off to my French language class where I work on my  listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. For part of the speaking component, we have to do a 20 minute presentation around a subject that we find interesting (politics excluded). My classmate this week, did her presentation on the  courtesies and formalities of French culture. It was interesting to note the amount of “rules” around so many daily activities. For example, just going out for dinner to a friend’s in France has so many more required conventions than in Canada. The type of gift you should bring the host, where you should sit, and the type of small talk all require their own specific attention. The French publisher Larousse has even developed a book to help foreigners adapt to the culture. In addition, you can find etiquette schools available if you really want to become perfect at politeness in France. Here’s one such example:  Etiquette School  No doubt foreigners are able to build their inter-cultural competencies with offerings such as these.

After French language class, I head off  to one of my 2 hour lectures on either Poetry/Song, Art History or Literature. From there, I sometimes go out with classmates for a bite to eat. This last week a few of us went to a quaint Japanese restaurant, Ippudo, specializing in ramen noodles. It was great to speak French over lunch with students from a variety of countries: Japan, The United States, Mexico, and Britain.

If I don’t have too much daily homework, I will often head out on an excursion once school is over at 2:00. This can be walking or running in Luxembourg Park, wandering around different neighbourhoods or visiting sites that profs have made reference to in the French lectures that I attend. One such site, Le Bon Marché, is the oldest department store in the world (opened in 1838). We read about this store in a literary work called, Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola (1883) and discussed how this store has influenced the way people shop today. The Musée D’Orsay, housing many of the works from artists of the Impressionist era and playing classical music from Chopin and others, was another site I went to visit this past week. I got up early to avoid the line up that occurs on the first Sunday of each month when the museums offer free admission. After 4 hours I had only seen 2 of the 5 floors. I will definitely return.

Evenings usually find me doing homework, practising yoga and preparing dinner. I find that I have more time here to cook fancy meals than when I am at home in Canada. It has been enjoyable to go to outdoor markets, various types of grocery stores and specialty shops to purchase different types of ingredients for a variety of meals such as prawn kebabs with pineapple and veggies, and salads with the freshest vegetables and herbs. When cooking, it takes a bit of getting used to the appliances. For instance, the oven is in the same unit as the dishwasher. You of course can only use one of them at a time. On Fridays, I try to get to the French film event that has English subtitles. This week’s film was by a Canadian film maker, Mathew Lancit, who lives in Paris.  His documentary, Flâneurs, illustrated interesting perspectives of “roaming the streets” as a way of life.

In the next couple of weeks, I have a couple of friends coming to visit from Canada as part of their Spring Break. I look forward to some new daily explorations with them.


(My view in the morning as I wake up)


(Dining and living room with a view of the inner courtyard)


(Oven and dishwasher all in one- a handy concept for small spaces)


(Entrance doors to the apartment building)

street view.png

(View from the front entrance with the Centre Pompidou off in the background)


(One of the many metro stations within a block from me)


(Working in the phonetics lab)


(The view from my classroom with other students from the United States, Taiwan and China)


(Catherine, a classmate, presenting her exposé on French customs)


(The rules for proper etiquette in France)

japn. rest. .JPG

(Enjoying lunch with classmates at a Japanese ramen restaurant)

Français  French  フランスご

Je me lève lundi à vendredi à sept heures moins quart pour me préparer avant de l’école. C’est dommage que je n’aie pas le temps pour une grasse matinée. Le cours de phonétique commence à 8 heures et demie. Pour aller à l’école, je prends le métro, mais quelquefois j’y vais à la bicyclette. Je trouve utile que mon prof de phonétique m’aide à améliorer mon français en pratiquant l’intonation, l’enchaînement, et les liaisons. Ce serait bien que j’aie eu des cours comme ceux-çi pendant mes études de français au Canada. C’est bon pour une anglophone comme moi d’avoir des pratiques de phonétique. Après le cours de phonétique, je vais à ma classe de français niveau B2. Dans cette classe je pratique l’écriture et le compréhension d’aural et de lecture. Chaque étudiant doit faire une exposé sur un sujet courant (sauf politique). Cette semaine, Cathérine des États Unis a fait une présentation des coutumes et de la politesse en France. Je trouve intéressant que les Français aient plus de protocole que les Canadiens. Par exemple, quand on va au dîner chez un ami, le type de cadeau qu’on donne, l’ endroit où on s’assied et les banalités qu’on dit doit suivre des certaines protocoles. Les usages sont stricts dans la bonne société. Pour les raisons d’être considéré comme une personne polie en France, des livres et des écoles existent où on peut apprendre le meilleur comportement.

Après mes cours, je vais quelquefois au restaurant avec mes camarades de la classe. Nous sommes allés au restuarant japonais pour manger du ramen. Je suis contente d’avoir parler en français avec eux. Ils sont étudiants des États Unis, du Japon, du Méxique et d’Angleterre.

Si je n’ai pas beaucoup de devoirs, j’irai faire des excursions aux endroits dont mes prof ont parlé. Les endroits où je suis allée cette semaine étaient Le Bon Marché et le Musée d’Orsay. J’ai lu du Bon Marché dans une texte dans mon cours et nous avons discuté comment ce marché entamait le magasinage contemporain. Le Musée d”Orsay a de beaux tableaux et de belle musique. J’y ai passé 4 heures et je pouvais voir 2 étages. J’ai besoin de revenir encore pour voir les autres étages.

Le soir, d’habitude je fais du yoga, des promenades, et de la cuisine. Ça me plairait que j’aie le temps pour faire de la cuisine délicieuse avec les ingrédients frais d’ici. En faisant de la cuisine, je m’habitue aux appareils en France. Par exemple, le four et la lave-vaisselle sont tous partie de la même appareil. C’est différent par comparaison avec Canada, mais il est très utile dans les petits appartements qui existent à Paris. Le vendredi soir, j’essaie d’aller au cinéma pour regarder un film français avec les sous-titres en anglais. Cette semaine le film, Les Flâneurs, a été crée par un Canadien.

La semaine prochaine, j’ai des amis qui viendront du Canada pour me rendre une visite. Je suis enthousiaste de les voir et de faire des excursions avec eux.


(The walking/running trails at Luxembourg Park)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais




(Le Bon Marché)


‘Yugwux̱. Hexdan leda humu’wilas. ‘Na̱xwała̱n gukw lax̱a humu’wilas. Dux̱watłala̱n ga̱t̓inux. Watłalam̱an tłax̱a Chopin.


(The line up to get into the Musée D’Orsay on the first Sunday of the month when free entrance is offered)

3 thoughts on “Daily Devotions

    1. Yes, it has been grey and rainy most of the time, but today it was finally gorgeous- didn’t even need a coat. How about the weather in Coal Harbour? Still snow?


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