5 questions with French student Danny


Tell us about yourself and what you do

My name is Danny, I’m 27 years old, and I’m from the United States. To be more specific I grew up in a town called Flora, Illinois and have lived the past few years in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I used to work as a chemist in Champaign, but decided to take a break from work for awhile and work on my French in Montreal.

Favorite song, movie, or book

I’m gonna go ahead and answer all three of these questions: first of all my favorite song is “Modern Jesus” by Portugal the man. I’ve loved this band for about 7 years now, and have seen them in concert about that many times as well. To me the song has this great guitar melody that repeats through-out the whole song, and to me the lyrics just reaffirm that you’re ultimately the person in control of your life.

I feel obligated to pick a movie on the IMDB top 250 so I’m going to go with Inglorious Bastards. The first time I saw the movie in the theater I loved everything about it: the director, the actors, the story, the French/German/English/Italian language mixing, and I was absolutely captivated by Christoph Waltz’s language and acting skills.

Finally, my favorite book is called “Paddle your own canoe” by Nick Offerman. I found many similarities in Mr. Offerman’s book to my own life, and he also explains the joy that comes from making yourself skillful in a trade.

What inspires you to reach your goals?

I realize that staying concentrated on anything for an extended amount of time can be difficult, however, I think at the end of the day if you have a skill set that you can proud of, then finding happiness in your own life is simple. I also think with immersion language learning it’s quite easy to stay inspired; there’s a certain type of inspiration that comes when someone asks you for directions and you know the answer but can’t explain it to them, or when you overhear a child speaking and you can only understand half the words because your language skills aren’t quite good enough yet. It’s all in good fun though, and Montreal has got to be one of the most understanding bilingual cities in the world.

What makes you laugh?

Pretty much everything makes me laugh, and for that reason I try to twist and turn every situation into something funny or happy. Ultimately though, my friends and family can make me laugh so hard my body aches.

Any words of wisdom for readers?

The best advice I can give to those taking classes is to accept that your teachers, especially those at CLC ;), are actually quite skillful in their trade and have quite a large amount of experience. If you listen to what they say, actively practice through-out the day, and trust their guidance then you’re going to learn.

I also would recommend only speaking the desired language you wish to learn as much as you can. Sure, you’re going to sound silly in the beginning, but learning small little connecting words like “thing/truc” and being able to clearly outline an object or an idea is way more satisfying then giving in and asking in your given language. Be strong, try to stay positive, and remember every exposure to the language is positive to your learning experience.


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