Hola, Bonjour and Hello, both to 2018 and a new project of mine that you could say is a resolution (well I at least want it to last the whole of 2018). For a while I’ve been going back and forth over the idea of doing a book club, then the idea hit me of doing a bilingual book club, bilingual being French because I cannot speak another language fluently enough. If you don’t speak any languages other than English, you don’t need to click off of this post just yet. The books I’ve chosen for the book club (yes I have already chosen all 12 in attempt to prevent me going off and deciding not to carry on with it half way through the year) can be read in both English and French, and some, like this first book, can be watched as a film.
The whole point of a bilingual book club? I want largely put forward the idea that French literature can be accessible whether you speak the language or not, I think there can be a huge stereotype of languages building barriers and I would like to bash those alongside putting forward some great literature. Naturally, reading the books in their original language is great but I know a lot of people that read this and may want to join in can’t read French therefore I want to make it as easy as possible to join in.
I also want to improve my written French. It’s probably my favourite subject at college and I feel like I’ve improved so much in one term along compared to the level I was at GCSE. I’m by no means fluent but the thing with languages is you have to be open to learning and trying and the more I read the first book that is in the book club, the more I stopped having to google translate the words or look them up in a dictionary. I learnt phrases such as ‘je me sens coupable’ which translates to ‘I feel guilty’, a phrase that I can readily use in class work and topical discussions. As to why it will improve my written French, it was suggested to me on Twitter by Dalal that I should write the post in French as it will improve my knowledge of the language and further aid my college work. It’s a brilliant idea but I don’t want to shun you away from reading my reviews of the books, if that is what you’re coming for if you don’t want to read them during the month, so I’ve decided I’ll do a paragraph in French and then its English translation underneath.
I’m super excited about starting the project and the first book of the book club will be ‘Oscar et La Dame Rose’ (Oscar and the lady in pink) by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt). You can buy it:
On Amazon in French
On Amazon in English
Watch the film
(you can actually read the book in English for free on Wattpad if you don’t want to buy a copy)
The book is about a boy called Oscar who is sick with Cancer and lives in the hospital where he is treated, there he meets one of the nurses, Mamie-Rose, who becomes his companion and friend throughout the book. It’s a short story of about 80 pages in the structure of letters to God and read in French it took me about half a month to read. I would say how I felt about it but I don’t want to give the story away, but it’s such a good read if you didn’t know where to start with reading French books and I didn’t feel frustrated at all by not being able to understand every word because I could work it out.
If you do join in with the book club, tweet me or send me a photo on Instagram! But if you don’t then I hope you like the book reviews, if there are any French books you’d like me to read and review because you don’t necessarily want or have the time to read them yourself then leave me a comment below and I’ll add it to my list of book club reads. I’m really not sure what will come of this book club but I’m excited to see my French improve and hopefully inspire you to delve into something new this year.
Happy New Year and I hope you have an incredible 2018, I promise I am going to be more up to date with my blog this year as I totally let it slip towards the end of the year so sorry about that 🙁
lots of love, eleanor 🙂