Thursday, September 6, 2012

Conversation Exchange in Nice

“In English, FRANGLAIS (pronounced franglay) means a mangled combination of English and French, produced either by poor knowledge of one or the other language or for humorous effect. Franglais usually consists of either filling in gaps in one’s knowledge of French with English words. An example would be “Je suis tired.

In French, franglais refers to the use of English words sometimes regarded as unwelcome imports or as bad slang.” Examples would be “le parking,” “le weekend,” and “le hotdog.” (Definitions: Wikipedia)

And so it was that, when I saw an ad for “FRANGLISH,” which is a different twist on the meshing of these two words and languages, I decided to go and check out this weekly conversation meetup group.

I signed in and paid my 13€ fee, which included one drink. There were 2 facilitators and about 26 participants at 13 tables; it was held in the back area of a local restaurant, separate from diners.

Here’s my personal opinion of this one experience:


  • a chance to meet people of all ages, especially if you are new in town
  • a way to gain confidence in speaking a foreign language
  • provides regular practice sessions, with corrections to learn and improve
  • a chance to practice talking with, and listening to, native speakers

  • CON’s:

  • a little pricey for a simple glass of house wine, plus the bartender served it to me in a rinsed, wet glass
  • it was very noisy with bad acoustics, so very difficult to hear the person seated just three feet across from you
  • it was extremely hot in this restaurant, with no air conditioning, and just one fan (many were using the flyers to fan themselves and one guy was flapping his shirt to get air flow)
  • with a new practice partner every 15 minutes, you tend to repeat the same conversation of where you live, where you’re from, how did you end up in Nice, etc, etc.
     As I thought more about it on my way home, it seemed to me that you could end up repeating the same basic Q&A conversations, not just throughout any evening session, but every week!

    It was well attended, but I left during the 10-minute break, between the two 45-minute sessions — Il faisait vraiment trop chaud dans le restaurant (It was really too hot in the restaurant)!

    The organizers

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