news/blog: 2006
July: Studying French in Montpellier

Place de la Comedie

This was my best vacation in my life. I have spoken more French in one month than in all my life. I’ve met more friends than in the previous year. I still feel very enthusiastic and happy about this stay in Montpellier.

I made a little animation to greet my new friends and contacts.

 
 

Montpellier for me is not only a collection of roads and buildings. It is a living and breathing community, what makes the whole thing work.
Students are not just visitors here. They form an integral part of everyday life, they also make this city what it is.
I met many of them in this one month and I hope, that I can keep in touch with them.
Background in scroller is from bit101.com.

 
 
 
 
 

The city where the sun never goes down.
I’ve spent one month in this beautiful city. I’m still smiling thinking about the „Place de la Comedie”, the main square of Montpellier. I would sum up my experience here in one word: „unforgettable”.

Pictures: Place de la Comedie(left),
Botanic Garden, Antigone(up)

 
 

There is a music festival in each July,  organized by the French radio ( Festival de la Radio France ) These are mainly classical concerts spotted by a few jazz concerts and world music from around the globe ( African, Near-East, South-America, …)

 
 

I would call this bull running, not bull fighting, what one sees in Pérols. Four bulls were let out onto a few closed streets reachable to young adults as well. One would think the bulls were chasing them, but as I saw it was more the young guys chasing the bulls.  Nevertheless the animals were dangereous, proven by a child who was taken by ambulance.
It is said, that the hospitals are full with „taureau casualties”  all the summer.

 
 

Pont du Gare is a huge aqueduct and bridge buildt in Roman times to carry water to Nimes. I was impressed by the size and quailty of this bridge. Only after the 17th-18th were mankind capable to create bridges better and higher than this one.

 

Sète is one of the biggest fishing ports in France. We went down there to see the the „joute du marin”, marine games. For this event they use special boats with a high stern. A player stands on this stern facing another player on a smimilar boat. As the rower starts to row the combatants have the chance to push the other into the water. The funniest thing I find is when both of them fall into the water. This usually ends both of them laughing and hugging eachother.

 
 

Pascale brought us down to a little town named Fos de Mer. Each year there is a big happending there called "Festival of color" This year happened to be blue, what is one of my favorite colors. Check out the pictures around.

 
 
 
 

Avignon was for about one hundred year the home of the pope. However something else is more interesting for me:
In July Avigonon becomes the place to see theatre productions. Each day at least 10 different theatre companies try to keep you from boredom. It is amusing to sit around the restaurants midday and see all the theaters doing a „mini roadshow” trying to pull in to the newest events.

 
 

Tartuffe in Pézenas
I was really astonished of this little theatre and production. Seats were small and unconfortable, scenery was basic (one scene), but the dinamic and enthusiasm of the actors/actresses compensated for everything. For me it was a unique experience, I felt it was an interesting piece.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Carcassone
This is the most real medieval stronghold I’ve seen. It is really BIG, massive and impenetrable. In the middle ages I would have love to live here, because safety is the basis of everything. I would have been a decent catholic, otherwise I would have found myself in the „Inquisition tower”, what would have really damaged my health. A must to see.

 
 
 
This is a small school museum we've found in the middle of Carcassone. You find amazing collections of posters and instructional material here. In this room you can take ink feather and solve graduation exercises around.
As I sat into the bench I did loose at least ten years immediately. :)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The biggest buddhist temple in Europe you find only 60 kms from Montpellier: in Roqueredonde.
As I’m fond of this religion I visited this beautiful site. There were about 2000 students listening to a lama, so I couldn’t go into the temple. But it was already a special feeling walking down the road and observing this wonderful temple. I even like the unusual colours, I find them someway calming. You can take courses here in English, but of course there is a French translation.

 
 
 

I had a wonderful stay in the house of Pascale. Thank you for all your patience and care. I loved the simple but very fine food you made for us.
I will try to come back to you in November, I hope I will find accomodation by her.

 

 

 
This is Claudine, my favorite teacher in Montpellier. She is very experienced and dynamic and someway she succeeded to keep her enthusiasm. And that I find the most important.
She is also using simple words to teach the concepts, what works much better than using all the technical grammar terms.
She is working - I did study by - Ecole Klesse. The best french school I know in France.
 

There are not so many proverb, that exists in the same form in multiple languages. I have found one:
Strike the iron while it is hot.
Battre le fer tant il est chaud. (French)
Schmiede das Eisen, weil es noch warm ist. (German)
Addig üsd a vasat, amíg meleg! (Hungarian)
I will use this principle to finish my French studies. Because I either learn French in the following six months or I never do that.  To reach my goal I introduced Project Saint-Exupery, what will take me to DALF-DELF B1 or B2.
I use the books Grammaire/Vocabulaire Progressif (Débutant/Intermédiaire), what I can very well recommend to you.

Published on zbalai.com in 2004.