We are a family of six, myself, a semi-dormant architect, and my husband a construction project manager and our four children aged 6,8,10 and 12.
We made the move from the East Midlands in the UK after a work transfer from the London office to Rouen, and have thrown ourselves into a total culture and language exchange. The kids are in a totally French school, and my husband started in a totally French office. During the day we can only communicate in French which we are learning fast.
Three years on, we have only met a handful of other English speaking families. All friends, acquaintances and strangers in our daily lives are French speaking. My husband has been reposted to Nigeria and we have made the decision to continue to educate our now bilingual children in France.
This is our story of how it all started, how we ended up here and how we are getting on.
Salut! Nous sommes une famille de six personnes. Moi, architecte, mon Mari, chef de projet, et nos quatre enfants qui ont 12, 10, 8 et 6 ans.
Nous avons demenagé d’Angleterre à Rouen quand mon mari etait muté par son enterprise en France. Les enfants sont scolarisé dans une institute (collège/ècole) privée catholique Française. Quand nous sommes arrivés ils n’ont pas parlé un mot de la langue française. Mon mari travaille dans un bureau entirement français.
Pendant la journée nous parlons en français avec toute la monde. Tous nos amis sont français.
Trois années plus tard mon mari est encore un fois muté à Nigeria. Nous avons pris la decision de continuer scolariser nos enfants en France.
C’est l’histoire de nos vies, comment elles ont commencé, comment elles continuent et comment nous voyons l’avenir.
I just get a short abstract of your write-up from http://www.scoop.it/t/rouen/p/476216191/total-immersion-french-style?_tmc=2MH55Ahntb2dK2wCYlaxJNCmExQLgpDmFfi9M93qnrQ, so I cannot describe yet my feelings but a snippet jumped to my eyes : ” All friends, acquaintences and strangers in our daily lives are french speaking. ” and I wanted to react about it.
Indeed, I ‘m not that surprised as Frenchmen are know for their awkwardness in dealing with foreign languages.
Ooops… I nearly missed to specify that I am born in Rouen and live in St-Martin-du-Vivier, a 1,800-inhabitant-village at 7 kms at NE of Rouen.
With a little luck, maybe we could meet !
There are many french people around who are superb at speaking English, however, since i’m in France it is only right that I make the effort to become fluent! Often I find myself responding in French despite being asked a question in English! I think English people who move here stick to the coast and not Rouen. It was hard at the begining not having any english speakers around but not so important now that i’m mastering the language!
I’m a journalist working for the local newspaper Liberté Dimanche, and I would like to get in touch with you so that you can tell me more about your life in Rouen.
If you could be ok for an interview, I thank you for contacting me.
Société Normande de Presse, d’Edition et d’Impression
33, rue des Grosses Pierres
BP 40 047
76 250 Déville-lès-Rouen
33 (0)2 32 08 37 45
Sounds like a great journey! I’m not sure how to say “good luck” in French, but I can say it in Chinese and Spanish: 祝你们好运！ Buena suerte!
Thanks jacqueline – and its “bon chance” – though people also say “bon courage” which I think is lovely!
My name is Malte Zeeck, and I am with InterNations.org. I really enjoyed reading your fantastic blog! I think expats in France and around the world could really gain some great insights [and have a few good laughs] on this page. The quality of the blog in general is very convincing, which is why I would love to feature you and your writing on the Recommended Blog on France section on InterNations.org
Not only do we feature and link to your blog prominently; we also would like to hear from you directly in our questionnaire! We have also designed a link badge for your blog.
If you are interested, please feel free to contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just to let you know I’m organising another blog hop for 12.12.12. Sign up is at http://www.bloginfrance.com/2012/christmas-blog-hop-2/
Do hope you’ll join in!
I’m passing along the Liebster award to your blog! You can check out what to do and stuff over here at http://withyourcoffee.wordpress.com/
Thanks so much. It is wonderful to be chosen! I will pop over to your blog.
Can’t believe I have only just discovered this! Am addicted! Fantastic read – keep writing x
Thanks so much Jan, I’m not writing much at the moment as I have my ‘cconferencier’ exam in two weeks. Will get back to it, once i’ve finished the course!
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Hi, We’ll be in Rouen in Aug. and I was interested in a tour of Joan d’Arc sites by an English speaker and I came across your blog. I also blog on wordpress. Might you be available to guide my husband and me around mid-day on Sunday, Aug. 17? Thanks so much. Joyce and Ted Eisenberg, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Je n’avais pas fait attention avant… I think I just got your blog title pun 🙂
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Citron..Citroen – the joys of a bad french accent!
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Hello! I have mentioned your blog in my last post, and challenged my favorite blog authors to a random portrait! – no obligation of course 🙂
Hello–Rouen was the very first place we stayed in France, just behind St. Vivien on Eau de Robec in an apartment we rented. What a great first taste of France! We spent 8 days there and were sad to leave, but had further travel plans in Amboise and Paris. We will never forget the fabulous cheeses,baguettes, and the Place St. Marc flea market. More people should visit Rouen and not worry so much about seeing Paris! We would prefer Rouen any day over Paris. Penny from Ohio
Hi Penny, thanks so much for cmmenting. I love Rouen, it has everything from historical monuments to good chocolates, and is easy to get around. I am so glad you had the opportunity to stay here and to go home with good memories.
We (my husband, three children and I) had lived in France for several years before making it to Paris. In the end we went in the holiday month of August and loved the free parking and the fewer (though still well -evident) crowds. Yes, we loved Paris, too, but up until then we had explored so much of the rest of France that was just as beautiful and captivating – notably where we were living in the Alps!
wonderful website hope I can visit october 3 2016