UEFA EURO 2016 – A trip to France


UEFA_Euro_2016_Logo.svgOne of my long term goal was to be fluent in French (I want to utilize the language and communication part of my brain, I read somewhere, people live longer and have better cognitive functions when their brain waves are more active). Due to high concentration of math and science, and having already master a second language, I only took a year of French high school. It wasn’t enough. I forgot everything. So this year, I had set out to spend 15 minutes a day to learn French. It is midway through October, and I am still very bad at it.

To fix this problem, I’ve decided to take more time to learn it – the immersion method. I’m not in France, how can I get the maximum exposure?

  1.  I’ve been stuck to Netflix watching the show “Spiral“. It’s a French crime show. Trying to listening to the words and phrases that I’ve already learnt. Sometimes, if they keep repeating something and I couldn’t pick it out, I’d use google translation.
  2. Duolingo.com and app – This app is surprisingly good because it also makes you practice talking.
  3. Practice with co-workers. I have a few co-workers that are fluent in French. I’ve been bugging them to speak French to me. Hah!
  4. Youtube tutorial – Seriously, my French teacher in high school has a strong American accent, and I found YouTube people speak French more eloquently than my high school teacher could ever speak it.
  5. I’m upping my game from 15 minutes to 4 hours a day. For the next 3 months. Hopefully, this plan will work by New Year I should be able to say simple stuff. C’est tout! 😛
  6. Play words game in French at http://jeudeloie.free.fr/plateau.htm
  7. Some native participate in helping you with words or phrases: http://www.francaisfacile.com/index.php
  8. More online course on bbc.com http://lexiquefle.free.fr/learn-french.htm

Ah, back to the France trip, Mr. only knows some Spanish, so it’ll be up to me trying to coordinate this trip to France. The matches will be played in ten stadiums in ten cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, St-Etienne, and Toulouse.

  • 2016 is probably a good year to travel to Europe country because hopefully the FED would raise interests and the Dollars will be worth at least equal to the Euro, so my dollars can stretch further.
  • I can practice my French.
  • Broaden my horizon 🙂
  • 10 June to 10 July 2016 is the competition. I want to take 2 weeks. As I still have the rental business to tend after.

I want to hit at least 4 cities to see 4 matches. I also want to sight-seeing. Anyone have good tips traveling to France? Route? Should I travel to another country beside France for this trip? (Belgium is on my mind as they also speak French?) Might as well see Rome, Athens, and Budapest? I have a lot to plan.


Update on buys: No buys. The market has been up so I haven’t bought anything. I want it to stay low for a bit longer so I can buy more stock on my list, but most of the deal just *proof* and *gone! Oh well!


Update on soccer: The weather has been bad, so we haven’t had any game, last weekend it was nice, but the other team didn’t show up, we won the game by default. To make the kids less disappointed, I called for a game of Parents vs Children. We had a blast!


  1. Vivianne,
    We went to Paris last year. We could get by with basic French. For sure, you need to beef up your french if you visit the other cities. Belgium is nice. The food is excellent. If you have time, Netherlands is a good choice to see the flowers and biking. If you get fed out with another language, visit England 🙂
    One point though… We are a bit spoilt in the US – so certain things we take for granted, which is not the case for Europe or the rest of the world.

    • In Paris, we will probably get by with English. Or they get frustrated with your broken French with American accent.

      But I have heard, in other city, even though people are fluent in English, because of national pride, they would only speak French to you.

      America is the best place to travel, people are genuinely nice here in small town or big town. The amenities are readily available even in small town. We are spoiled here for sure. Traveling will make me a better person having to “put up” with not having the basic stuff.

      I am still in the early stage of planning. My goal is to get most of hotel expense paid by points. I will just figure out plane tickets and train/bus ticket from city to city. Mr.wri is probably be frighten if we’d rent a car to travel, it would be hard to figure out the map?

  2. Hi Vivianne

    Bonjour 🙂

    Will you be visiting France to watch the Euro 2016? It really looks cool to go to a country where they are holding the entire tournament. I really wanted to watch back then for brazil world cup but guess I must wait till it comes nearer to Asia.

    • Bonjour! Ça va?

      Japan and Korea has been requesting to duo-host. I’d probably go if they host summer Olympic. It’s too cold here in the East Coast, I’d go somewhere warm to shorten my winter here. But Japan and Korea would be great, cross it off from my list. Singapore was making bid to duo-host with Philippine or Indonesia?

      On the side note, I’ve just learnt that we only say “bonjour” one time to one to another, the second time would be considered as rude. Here, we say “hi” multiple times during the day. Exploring a new country … Dreaming! 🙂

  3. I’m guessing the parents team won against the children? lol. I wish I had paid more attention to French in high school. I took 3 years but forgot most of it lol. Not what you’d expect from a Canadian. I think you should be okay to travel in France as long as you know, où sont les toilettes? 😉

    • It was a tie game. The children would have won by a lot if I honor the aggressive goals they scored.

      I was learning French, and Mr. was sitting right next to me, the person shouted out a lot of phrases. and Mr. only remembers “ou sont les toilettes?”. You made me laugh. Are all guys the same? ha!

      Three years? you should be writing your blog in French. I read the stats, there are about 12,000 words that have the same meaning in French and English, just change the endings. So, I think we, English speakers, have a lot of advantage learning French.

      Some challenges I’m facing now is trying to get the pronunciation of the “r”, it gets me every time. I think when I can get their “r” that’s when I know how to speak French. I’m watching a bunch of podcast in French trying to see how they move their mouth muscles.

      This is my second time learning French, so I finally understand the concept of linking words together to make it flow. One of the girl says “you have no choice, you have to link them!” LOL 🙂

  4. Thats pretty cool, Vivianne. I speak French, although Ive lost my fluency since I moved out of Montreal…but I still understand it pretty well. Sometimes I tune into French radio to brush up on my french…but as the years pass by, I feel that I am losing more of the language skills. I recently gave duolingo a try and really like it too…great way to brush up for sure.

    Very cool that you are planning on traveling to France for the Euro. I wish I could go….Ive only been to Paris in France, so cant recommend other cities. Im sure you will have a blast in France.


    • Man, you’re so talented. I speak another language that borrowed a lot words from French. I have a lot of “déjà vu” moments where I run across a word that I’ve used very often, but didn’t know the spellings. 🙂 it’s kind of cool.

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