Saturday, December 11, 2010

New French Categories

New complementary vocabulary categories have been added to the French guide. I recorded Fabien, Marie-Hélène Rulence, and Claire Alexandre - three friends and volunteers - during my last days in Paris.



Old Guides still Available

I'm hoping that the new versions of the pictorial vocabulary guides which are being developed through the wiki can be published early next year. You can find the previous versions of the guides here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Add Your Language

Last week's hard drive crashed. I happened to be traveling in central France and when I returned to my apartment in Paris the router was dead. As a result getting the site up again has been a challenge. I've been working from coffee houses, libraries, and "la mairie du 10e".

Unfortunately, I don't have a backup of the sounds files for most of the languages at my current location. They're on a DVD back in the US. Rather than get those old guides running again, I would prefer that we make a push to get the new versions of those guides translated and published. These new versions are in the mode of the French and English guides with additional enhancements coming soon and you can participate in the creation of these guides on the add your language page.

P.S. I'm implementing a better backup and recovery strategy to prevent this from occurring again.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In Paris

I'm going to be Paris for the next three months. In addition to finishing the recordings for the French pictorial guide, I'm going to be recording a series of interactive readings on French history with a focus on the revolution. Whenever someone asks me why I'm in Paris, in addition to talking about enjoying life in France, I give them this 'carte de visite'.

Later this fall I'll be traveling to Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, Madrid, and London. If someone in those cities would like to contribute their voice, I'll have my recording equipment.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Parisian in Texas

This week I recorded Patrick Rech, a volunteer from France. You can hear his voice here. Patrick is a former Parisian who now lives in the United States. As an American who came close to settling in France, and who has a great appreciation for life in France (the 35 hour work week, long vacations, affordable health-care, shared bicycles, good public transportation, markets in the city square) it was really interesting to talk to someone who chose life in the US. Patrick appreciates the entrepreneurial friendly climate, the can-do attitude, and enjoys the more expansive personal space that the more spread out American cities allow. (Part of this decision to stay might have been influenced by that American women love his french accent) In the end I think that both societies have something to offer.

Cette semaine, j'ai enregistré Patrick Rech, un bénévole français. Vous pouvez entendre sa voix ici. Patrick est un ancien parisien qui habite maintenant aux États-Unis. En tant qu’Américain qui s'est presque installé en France, et qui a une grande appréciation pour la vie en France (la semaine de travail de 35 heures, les longues vacances, les prix de soins médicales abordables, les vélos partagés, les bons réseaux de transports publics, les marchés au centre ville), c'était vraiment intéressant de parler à quelqu'un qui a choisi la vie aux États-Unis. Patrick apprécie le climat favorable a l’entrepreneuriat, l'attitude dynamique, et aime bien l'espace personnel plus expansif que les villes américaines plus étendues permettent. (Une partie de sa décision de rester pourrait avoir été influencée par le fait que les femmes américaines adorent son accent français.) En fin de compte je pense que les deux sociétés ont quelque chose à offrir.