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bilingual french and english

Being bilingual is not just about speaking a language. It's really about understanding cultural differences

I have lived in the UK, Germany, the US and Zimbabwe for over 15 years. It has been quite a challenge for me to leave France at the age of 18  for a city (London) of which I knew nothing.   I worked and studied there and without really realising it, I was learning the British way and one day I found myself watching eastenders and laughing at Rowan Atkinson interpretation of Mr Bean. I realised then that humour was the key. Understand a people’s sense of humour is the most difficult but yet the most rewarding part of language acquisition.  That’s when I defined myself as bilingual.  Beyond the written and spoken language (which I would say is probably the easiest part to learn), getting the sense of sarcasm, satire, self-depreciation that caracterise British humour requires years of living in the culture to learn to appreciate it. British humour as in all cultures is highly cultural.  Enjoy!

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Dieneba N'DIAYE

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