Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I accompanied my manager to a meeting at a location near the Concorde. Before we commenced, our colleague invited us to step out onto the little office balcony to see the view. You can even see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Work has been wonderful these first few days. I really like the culture of BPI Group. I am told it is really unlike other organizations in France. I have to admit that the French language continues to be quite an obstacle. But, I take it as a challenge to have to rely more on non-verbal communication than I usually do. Every day I learn several new words. Today, I learned ampoule, which means blister. That's because I got one on my ankle from the copious amount of walking I had been doing.

Have you ever heard of the French word 'truc' (pronounced trook, like troop with a 'k'). I heard it quite a lot last week and wondered what it meant. Google Translations gave the English equivalent of 'trick' when I checked. The next time someone used it, it just didn't add up. They're talking about innovation in an organization and then they seem to say 'trick'.. And too often as well! I had to ask my colleagues. It turns out, it's equivalent to 'stuff' or 'thing'. It's a word that really doesn't help a person who is trying to understand a comment in French. Why? Well, because it does not give any hints to the point of the sentence said if it is the only word I understand in that sentence.  It's not a helpful word and quite an annoying one. Inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and my own past endeavours to find my favourite sounding word in each language, I hope to soon discover my favourite sounding French word. I know I can at least cross off 'truc' from the list!

On my way home today, I noticed something very interesting and very relevant to my taste.. All the shops were putting 'SOLDE' signs up in preparation for tomorrow. Last week, I had been told by several colleagues and friends that sales are coming up on the 12th. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the employees hastily working inside to prepare for the busy day tomorrow.


Till the next truc,



  1. I think that you will find over time that the French language in Paris is quite watered down with coloquialisms and even English words that replace the correct French word.
    An example is 'pull' for a 'pullover style sweater' or 'un weekend' instead of 'fin de semaine.' (my French spelling might be rather bad). I wish you bon courage...

  2. Seeing the pictures and reading the good narative, it's like visiting Paris all over again. Thanks for the revival of good memories.

  3. Thank you for your wonderful support, David! I am so glad you are enjoying my blog and commenting. :-)