Paris

French Lessons: Talk Like a Computer

by Jackie D on March 31, 2017

We can’t figure out how to change the language of my work computer from French into English. We went into the control panel and updated the language settings there… but nothing happened. The computer decided to stay in French even though we’ve switched it to English.

Perhaps it’s my computer’s attitude that I need to change, rather than the language?

In any case, I think it’s actually a good thing. I’ve been learning important computer terms like copier (copy), coller (paste), supprimer (delete), brouillon (draft), rogner (crop), Powerpoint (Powerpoint with a French accent), raccourci (shortcut), and so on.

One week during my French lesson, I told my teacher that I was trying to take a raccourci on my way home the other day. She looked at me like, “You know the word for shortcut and yet you can’t tell someone that the year is currently 2017?” 

I’ve tried to use some of these other words in real life and have continued to receive some bewildering looks. I imagine that I must sound somewhat like a robot when I speak. I wonder if this is more or less offensive than sounding like an American?

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Glacier3000Someone recently asked me why I didn’t decide to call these job-related posts Work Perks instead of Job Perks. The answer? Of all the terrible dad-jokes and unnecessary rhymes that have ever crossed my mind, somehow this one never did. Also, never a good idea to encourage me to propagate dad jokes — this could easily spiral out of hand.

Anyway, my most recent job perk is the weekend trip I took to Switzerland to film some social media content. Here are a few brief glimpses — I’m saving my longer recaps for the videos/posts I have to put together for work because, you know, that’s the part I’m getting paid for.

IMG_9107Glacier3000Despite the fact that mountains and heights tend to scare me, the whole Glacier3000 experience was my favorite part of the trip. We took a cable car up to the Glacier3000 area, where there is skiing, a peak walk on a suspension bridge, dog sledding, Europe’s highest bobsled coaster (in the summer), two restaurants, and, because it’s Switzerland, a watch shop. I rode a ski lift for the first time (!) and walked across that suspension bridge even though every part of me was screaming NOPE the entire time.

GstaadGstaad was basically a fairytale town. And yes, you are correct: the driver of this horse-drawn carriage ride is, in fact, a dog.

Mount Rigi hotelOn Mount Rigi, which is just outside of Lucerne, we stayed in a hotel on top of the mountain. The hotel is known for its wellness activities and spa, and since the weather was so bad, we got to enjoy the spa for ourselves! (The good weather option for this day had been a hike, so needless to say, I embraced the bad weather wholeheartedly).

GoldenPass Line GoldenPass LineI rode a few trains on this trip, my favorite being the scenic GoldenPass Line. I’ve ridden it twice before, and it never gets old.

Next work trip: Amsterdam to see Keukenhof Garden!

More Job Perks:
A Week in France
15 Trains & 22 Cities in 10 Days

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French Lessons: Funny Words

by Jackie D on March 17, 2017

Today’s lesson is brief: I keep a note in my phone of all the little funny French words I’ve come across so far. I see them on signs or hear them in passing, or discover them while Google-translating a coworker’s e-mail. They all make me smile.

La poubelle: trash (I still think it’s so funny that the word for trash is straight-up gorgeous)

Pourboire: a tip (literally translates to: “for drinking,” because I guess in France people are honest about what tips are used for)

Trombone: paperclip (because paperclips look like little trombones)

Avocat: lawyer/avocado (these are the same word! what!)

Coucou: this is a greeting/term of endearment that my coworkers often use in e-mails, and I find it absolutely adorable

Cauchemars: nightmares (I learned this word during a conversation with a coworker, and it came up during an exercise in French class and I was like, “oh! Nightmares!” and my teacher looked at me like, you have the reading level of a six year old but you know what the French word for nightmares is?)

Etoile de mer: starfish (literally: star of the sea)

Guimauve: marshmallow 

Depaysement: describes the feeling of being in another country (full disclosure: I saw this one on Instagram when I was having a bad day and straight up cried on the metro)

Bague (a ring) and vague (a wave): because I always mix them up. Constantly telling girls I like their waves

Rire: to laugh (my favorite word in any language)

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