PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:24 am

rlnv wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:2017 starts here


I'm not sure about down under, but here in the US, 2017 starts on January 1st. 8-)


No, not here- depends on what state you're in as to what year it is. Feel free to interpret "state" however you so please ;)
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:03 pm

2017 started off with a bang. The first week or so was FULL of French, as I intended. Then it changed. It became too hard to keep up that level of study, not because the level of study was too much/hard, but because my wife and I needed to house-sit for her parents. Beautiful location, but added chores and substantially more travel time to and from, well almost anywhere. So I threw my study plan out the window and took it easy. Watched some stuff, read a little, listened on commutes. Now I'm back home, so soon, back to it. Life is full of surprises, changes and interruptions, so I don't think there's any logic in being upset by such things- best to just accept it and get on with it.
------------------------------------------------------

In other news...
(The French legal dilemma)

I'm questioning my country of choice again (France). I seem to get nothing but road blocks. I know, I know, work your way through them, around them, over them, under them- ie deal with it! Any country will have it's unique and common issues if you want to go and live there or pass a lot of time there.

But, this is different. For "political" reasons, it's looking very hard for me and my family to fully integrate into French society, due to a certain law there. I don't want to go into details, if anyone wants to discuss this PM me, I'm not looking for a solution to that law as such, as it appears extremely difficult to avoid, I'd prefer just to post about what this could mean for my family's linguistic plans.

Belgium has the same law too, but it's 'softer'. Still a problem though. Although the law officially states one thing (vs French law states 3 requirements), the expectations to integrate fully extend beyond the bare minimum one legal requirement. I would have to compromise my values and "join the matrix" to accept such expectations/legalities. Not something I"m ultimately willing to do.

Luxembourg and Switzerland offer alternatives with regards to French speaking European nations. Luxembourg doesn't appeal to me or my wife much, but the linguistic situation is curiously interesting. Switzerland is hit and miss- some areas have these requirements, others do not, but how far the expectations extend in society as they do in Belgium is an unknown, and putting all of one's eggs in one basket only to find out I was incorrect could be a big risk. Neither Luxembourg nor the 'safe zone' interest me that much, nor my wife for that matter.

There actually is a way around it in Belgium and France I believe, despite me having kind alluded to the fact there isn't, which would probably suit us as a family, as we don't want to be based there all year (wherever we choose). Still, we were aiming to 12 months or so as a solid stretch which would help all of us to varying degrees improve our French language skills by being fully integrated into the society- that's where the problem is- fully integrating. Even on shorter visits, further integration would certainly be beneficial.

I'm sorry if I'm being vague, or secretive, or rediculous or whatever. It is what it is. Again, PM me if you want to. It seems like it's yet another road block I'm creating in a way, but it is of major importance to me. I don't believe I can compromise. At least that is my current stance. I should've looked into this earlier, but I assumed that all would be fine. I was wrong.

This won't change my goals with the French language, and in wanting to live in France, but it may need I need to take an even longer way around to finally setting foot in the region we'd like to be (not sure of where that is yet, but we will know in due time). Belgium was already a work-around as I cannot legally work in France as a nurse with Australian qualifications without first being able to work in another EU country. We chose Belgium due to familiarity with both languages, and the country itself to some extent.

I really wanted to return to studying Dutch next, and currently I have my doubts, since Beligum is not ideal now- need to explore this matter further.

Ironically, the majority of Europe would not pose a problem for us, but hey, you know me- I've got to make life difficult with regards to my goals right? ;) Certainly seems that way.

Spanish and German are now looking more inviting. They speak German in Luxembourg and Swiss German in Switzerland, were we to choose one of these 2. Not to mention Germany bordering France. I need to find out about bilingual services along the French borders in neighbouring countries (mainly Germany and Spain- Italy is not an option). Spanish and even Catalan offer a slim possibility of living right on France's doorstep, yet still being involved with the language- either across the border in Spain (or Germany for that matter) and coming back into France frequently, or on the French side and doing more across the border to avoid the legal issue.

I still really want to pick up Dutch next (or get back to it)! But the other languages are pulling out their trump cards at the moment. Pesky little devils!

Ultimately I do not believe we will steer away from France, particularly with my wife's attitude towards the situation- I speak French with my daughter, my wife likes France and the language, I have been forever studying it and passionate about the country (which hasn't changed), thus we are ultimately still aiming for France. How we get there, via which route, involving which other languages if any, remains to be seen, indeed.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Xenops » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:56 am

I've talked to folk on other message boards about the health-care system in Germany (and Cavesa, too), and my impression was that Germany is desperate for health-care workers, but the working environment isn't the greatest. I haven't heard much of anything about Spain. Could you consider Ireland? Or the Netherlands?
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:02 am

Xenops wrote:I've talked to folk on other message boards about the health-care system in Germany (and Cavesa, too), and my impression was that Germany is desperate for health-care workers, but the working environment isn't the greatest. I haven't heard much of anything about Spain. Could you consider Ireland? Or the Netherlands?


Ultimately I need to really find a way to enter France eventually. The goal is part-time living anyway (some of the time in Australia, some in France). But the road to get to France is the tricky part (oh- and the legal thing once we're there!), but part time living might see us working around the issue. Still on the road to being recognised as a nurse in France I must work in another EU country first. I would much much much prefer that to be a French speaking area. I'm sure this issue will work itself out in due time, and I'm not terribly stressed really. I will research and we will find a solution I"m sure. Working in Germany doesn't interest me so much. We already tried the Netherlands in 2011 and the 'adventure' was nice-ish for me but not as good for my wife. She's not overly keen on returning and again, the objective is French language exposure. We may be either 1. Boxed in to Luxembourg or Switzerland, or 2. Attempt to find another solution. Sorry for any Irish ppl out there, or fans of Ireland, but the problem is- they speak English, so Ireland does not interest me at all. Of course, if it meant getting into France I might consider it, but I don't think that avenue needs to be looked at yet.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby iguanamon » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:36 am

I don't know what legal barriers you face, but maybe there's a loophole... the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean. The island is shared between France and the Netherlands. You have an EU/Dutch passport. St Maarten is the Dutch half of the island where they speak English, Dutch, Papiamento, Spanish, Creole and French. The French side of the island, St Martin, is officially French-speaking and you will hear all the other languages too. I've noticed in my visits that the French half of the island speaks more French than the Dutch side speaks Dutch. I've met plenty of French-speakers there.

It's a beautiful tropical island with a high standard of living. It's still very Caribbean, yet European at the same time. I love the French capital, Marigot. You could live on the French side and work on the Dutch side. Your daughter could go to a French school. Perhaps it might be something to consider. Nurses are always in demand. It might be worth looking into and considering. It could be a stepping stone to Metropolitan France. The weather is pretty nice, too. Might not be a bad place to spend a year or two... :)

Saint-Martin (Antilles françaises)
Sint Maarten (land)
Saint Martin (English)
St Maarten Medical Center
sxm-medical
Official Sint Maarten Government Website
Last edited by iguanamon on Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby smallwhite » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:47 am

PM, does your wife speak French or is she learning it? I don't remember you mentioning.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:20 am

smallwhite wrote:PM, does your wife speak French or is she learning it? I don't remember you mentioning.


Non, elle ne parle pas le français. Au moins, pas beaucoup. Mais dès qu'elle sera "là-bas" (ie France, Suisse., Belgique etc) elle aura beaucoup d'envie de l'apprendre, j'imagine. C'étais le cas en Hollande avec le hollandais. Et elle le dit souvent aussi. Je la crois aussi, c'est évident. Elle n'aime pas bcp d'étudier les langues loin des pays dans lequels on les parle, mais on visitant ces pays, elle a bcp d'envie d'apprendre. Aussi, puisque je parle beaucoup de français avec ma fille, ma femme l'entend un peu aussi. Alors, elle le comprend comme elle a un niveau peut-être équivalent à A2, je crois.

Translation.
No, she doesn't speak French. At least, not a lot. But once she is there (ie France, Switzerland, Belgium etc) she will have a strong desire to learn it, I imagine. That was the case in Holland with Dutch. And she says it often. I believe her too, it's clear. She doesn't really like studying languages a long way from the countries they are spoken in, but visiting these countries, she has a strong desire to learn. Furthermore, since I speak a lot of French with my daughter (can u believe i just had to check 'daughter' up in an English dictionairy- after writing French it looked completely weird), my wife understands some as well. Thus, she understands it like she possibly has an A2 level, I believe.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:30 am

iguanamon wrote:I don't know what legal barriers you face, but maybe there's a loophole... the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean. The island is shared between France and the Netherlands. You have an EU/Dutch passport. St Maarten is the Dutch half of the island where they speak English, Dutch, Papiamento, Spanish, Creole and French. The French side of the island, St Martin, is officially French-speaking and you will hear all the other languages too. I've noticed in my visits that the French half of the island speaks more French than the Dutch side speaks Dutch. I've met plenty of French-speakers there.

It's a beautiful tropical island with a high standard of living. It's still very Caribbean, yet European at the same time. I love the French capital, Marigot. You could live on the French side and work on the Dutch side. Your daughter could go to a French school. Perhaps it might be something to consider. Nurses are always in demand. It might be worth looking into and considering. It could be a stepping stone to Metropolitan France. The weather is pretty nice, too. Might not be a bad place to spend a year or two... :)

Saint-Martin (Antilles françaises)
Sint Maarten (land)
Saint Martin (English)
St Maarten Medical Center
sxm-medical
Official Sint Maarten Government Website


As you don't know what legal issue is the problem I totally understand your suggestion. However St Martin is still part of France. Thus same deal. I'm sure I'll work this out in due time, but any part of greater France still has the same issue. According to the first link you provided it states:
La langue officielle de Saint-Martin est le français. Cependant, l'anglais est la langue la plus pratiquée sur l'île devant le créole, l'espagnol et le néerlandais.
(French is the official language. However, English is the language most spoken on the island followed by creole, Spanish and Dutch). I gather that means English (yuck) is most prevalent follow by (French based?) creole then the others. Not much room for standard French it seems. I would really enjoy the mixture, even if English is common, but it's not the right time for it. Of course the legal issue still exists there. Now if I worked on the Dutch side and my daughter went to school on the French side, the problem still remains. It would have to be the other way around- me working on the French side, her schooling on the Dutch side. But then, where does she get her French exposure? All in all the Carribean is way way away from my intended location (Europe - preferably France or as close as possible). Québec is also far but there the legal issue apparently from what I can tell doesn't exist. And even still I really don't want to go to Québec. I am willing to consider it, but it really is geting off track, I need to find a European workaround that is preferably French. I sincerely appreciate your suggestion iguanomon, I hope you understand.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Elenia » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:44 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
iguanamon wrote:I don't know what legal barriers you face, but maybe there's a loophole... the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean. The island is shared between France and the Netherlands. You have an EU/Dutch passport. St Maarten is the Dutch half of the island where they speak English, Dutch, Papiamento, Spanish, Creole and French. The French side of the island, St Martin, is officially French-speaking and you will hear all the other languages too. I've noticed in my visits that the French half of the island speaks more French than the Dutch side speaks Dutch. I've met plenty of French-speakers there.

It's a beautiful tropical island with a high standard of living. It's still very Caribbean, yet European at the same time. I love the French capital, Marigot. You could live on the French side and work on the Dutch side. Your daughter could go to a French school. Perhaps it might be something to consider. Nurses are always in demand. It might be worth looking into and considering. It could be a stepping stone to Metropolitan France. The weather is pretty nice, too. Might not be a bad place to spend a year or two... :)

Saint-Martin (Antilles françaises)
Sint Maarten (land)
Saint Martin (English)
St Maarten Medical Center
sxm-medical
Official Sint Maarten Government Website


As you don't know what legal issue is the problem I totally understand your suggestion. However St Martin is still part of France. Thus same deal. I'm sure I'll work this out in due time, but any part of greater France still has the same issue. According to the first link you provided it states:
La langue officielle de Saint-Martin est le français. Cependant, l'anglais est la langue la plus pratiquée sur l'île devant le créole, l'espagnol et le néerlandais.
(French is the official language. However, English is the language most spoken on the island followed by creole, Spanish and Dutch). I gather that means English (yuck) is most prevalent follow by (French based?) creole then the others. Not much room for standard French it seems. I would really enjoy the mixture, even if English is common, but it's not the right time for it. Of course the legal issue still exists there. Now if I worked on the Dutch side and my daughter went to school on the French side, the problem still remains. It would have to be the other way around- me working on the French side, her schooling on the Dutch side. But then, where does she get her French exposure? All in all the Carribean is way way away from my intended location (Europe - preferably France or as close as possible). Québec is also far but there the legal issue apparently from what I can tell doesn't exist. And even still I really don't want to go to Québec. I am willing to consider it, but it really is geting off track, I need to find a European workaround that is preferably French. I sincerely appreciate your suggestion iguanomon, I hope you understand.


Pretty much everyone I've met from Saint Martin has spoken both French and English. I met most of them in France, so there is an obvious bias. Some preferred French, some preferred English, but none would have a problem if you addressed them in French. Still, if the problem (or part of the problem) is to do with schooling then there is no work around. Still, it might be a nice place to visit, slightly closer to home. (I don't know what it would cost to get there for you, though, I'm imagining it would be cheaper then bringing the family over to France for a weekend).
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:03 am

Elenia wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
iguanamon wrote:I don't know what legal barriers you face, but maybe there's a loophole... the island of St Martin/St Maarten in the Caribbean. The island is shared between France and the Netherlands. You have an EU/Dutch passport. St Maarten is the Dutch half of the island where they speak English, Dutch, Papiamento, Spanish, Creole and French. The French side of the island, St Martin, is officially French-speaking and you will hear all the other languages too. I've noticed in my visits that the French half of the island speaks more French than the Dutch side speaks Dutch. I've met plenty of French-speakers there.

It's a beautiful tropical island with a high standard of living. It's still very Caribbean, yet European at the same time. I love the French capital, Marigot. You could live on the French side and work on the Dutch side. Your daughter could go to a French school. Perhaps it might be something to consider. Nurses are always in demand. It might be worth looking into and considering. It could be a stepping stone to Metropolitan France. The weather is pretty nice, too. Might not be a bad place to spend a year or two... :)

Saint-Martin (Antilles françaises)
Sint Maarten (land)
Saint Martin (English)
St Maarten Medical Center
sxm-medical
Official Sint Maarten Government Website


As you don't know what legal issue is the problem I totally understand your suggestion. However St Martin is still part of France. Thus same deal. I'm sure I'll work this out in due time, but any part of greater France still has the same issue. According to the first link you provided it states:
La langue officielle de Saint-Martin est le français. Cependant, l'anglais est la langue la plus pratiquée sur l'île devant le créole, l'espagnol et le néerlandais.
(French is the official language. However, English is the language most spoken on the island followed by creole, Spanish and Dutch). I gather that means English (yuck) is most prevalent follow by (French based?) creole then the others. Not much room for standard French it seems. I would really enjoy the mixture, even if English is common, but it's not the right time for it. Of course the legal issue still exists there. Now if I worked on the Dutch side and my daughter went to school on the French side, the problem still remains. It would have to be the other way around- me working on the French side, her schooling on the Dutch side. But then, where does she get her French exposure? All in all the Carribean is way way away from my intended location (Europe - preferably France or as close as possible). Québec is also far but there the legal issue apparently from what I can tell doesn't exist. And even still I really don't want to go to Québec. I am willing to consider it, but it really is geting off track, I need to find a European workaround that is preferably French. I sincerely appreciate your suggestion iguanomon, I hope you understand.


Pretty much everyone I've met from Saint Martin has spoken both French and English. I met most of them in France, so there is an obvious bias. Some preferred French, some preferred English, but none would have a problem if you addressed them in French. Still, if the problem (or part of the problem) is to do with schooling then there is no work around. Still, it might be a nice place to visit, slightly closer to home. (I don't know what it would cost to get there for you, though, I'm imagining it would be cheaper then bringing the family over to France for a weekend).


Cool, good to know that English is not the only default language. Yep I'm certain anywhere in the Carribean would be very nice to visit, even those where no French or Dutch is spoken ;) Saint Martin would definitely be harder to get to than France. I'd never go to Europe (i should never say 'never') for a weekend only, although I'm sure I wasn't meant to take that entirely literally. Europe is around 24hrs including stopovers/layovers from Australia. We flew to Costa Rica once and that took around 40 hours, which also included stop/lay-overs. I would imagine Saint Martin, although prob a few hours less than Costa Rica would still be very pricey for Australians and harder to get to- we either have to fly via North America or South America, meaning the journey is extended considerably. For French locations close to Australia, New Caledonia cannot be denied for it's proximity. Still, France itself is the goal or as close to France as we can get where French is hopefully spoken. One day I will visit New Caledonia, but for a few reasons it's not high on my priority list right now.
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