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17 June 2022

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Same story here. Born and raised in California, 40-plus years in France.
I tell people that I’m a transnational; a Frenchwoman in an American body😁

As Sting sings , “Be yourself no matter what they say. Oh I am an alien, I am a legal alien.”
….I’m an English man in New York!

Lived the same experience when I was 17 and moved from Milan to London! After 13 years living there I had a beautiful Cockney accent and people couldn’t tell where I was from…Having returned to Milan 34 years ago my English it’s still very good (also because I have an English daughter in law of Jamaican origins, to speak too and 2 grandchildren), but my accent it’s Italian now (unfortunately) so people can tell where I’am from; never mind, I can still write, talk, sing etc. etc. in it!

Oh i have an accent. Nasal Texas!!!!! I was born in Austin, Texas raised in Venezuela and Libya and have lived in Dallas all of my married life. Kept my Spanish up as i learned it first along with English. I was 6 mos old when we moved to Venezuela. Arabic not so much. A few greetings etc. had to learn the national anthem which i sang in school. My Daddy was in the oil bidness as they say in Texas. I studied French in school and loved it, however you have to speak it daily to retain it.

Beautiful sentiments, Corey and lovely photos. All of us are amalgamations of nationalities from our ancestors, experiences, travels and loves. How much richer the world and our communities are for this!Let us Americans never forget that we are all immigrants (accept Native Americans) and welcome others as such. Of course, it was a WOMAN who wrote: "Give us your tired, your poor.."~Emma Lazarus

Wish my fellow Americans would realize how hard it is to become fluent in a second language. Maybe we would be kinder to immigrants and visitors. We would also be richer getting to know more about other people, their foods, history, culture.

Beautifully written, Corey. Thank you.💕

Oh Corey,

Thank you, thank you, thank you (you'll notice my post in American rather than my usual français) for reminding me that I'm on the right path when it comes to this pénible langue. Thank you to your readers too for their enlightening comments.

Despite my mother being half French, she only spoke southern (as one does being raised in Memphis, Tennessee) and American. Thus, learning another language in my late 50's was not easy but well worth the effort.

Up until just a few years ago, when the French would hear me speak, they would immediately respond in English. Determined to progress, I eventually wore them down until they had no choice but to speak French to me in hopes that I would eventually shut up. Today I am fluent (albeit not perfect) and thanks to you, I will also remind the French of my charming accent.

To those learning French, bonne continuation et bon courage. I have never felt more accomplished than being able to navigate voice mail or be understood on the phone; if I can do it anyone can, and to quote a friend "embrace your inner six-year-old".

Here's to we immigrants (the real meaning of expat) enriching our experience in France by learning one of the most beautiful languages in the world!

Bon dimanche,
Ella

I know EXACTLY what you mean about being a "curiosity," because I experience the same thing in the Portuguese-American and Azorean communities -- having grown up not knowing of my father's Luso ancestry until after his death. I've been fortunate in that my new-found compadres have all been welcoming to me and my interest in discovering what my family stole from me (I suspect it flatters them!).

Corey, I'd like to discuss the concept in this blog post with you off-line sometime, as it touches on a paper I'm hoping to write on the topic of ethnic identities. Will email you when the time comes, OK?

I am certainly a curiosity having moved from sunny Los Angeles to a small town in upstate NY. With a shocked look on their faces, the next word out of everyone's mouth is "why?". I'm working on curating my answer into a funny, short and memorable tale. I still dream of being even more of a foreigner in another country. Maybe someday.
Congratulations on your official French status. Btw, I stopped receiving your daily blog updates and will sign up again. I immediately went to your website to make sure everything was okay and hoped that you were simply busy brocanting with guests. xoxo

Now that you got the flag in the end just makes me smile.
How I have often wished I had grown up speaking more that English. I love when I travel, especially in France, because I love learning a few works in other languages. I can just imagine how difficult it must be for immigrants. My church is sponsoring a family from Afghanistan and I am amazed how good their English is.

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