Franglish: a Parisian Concept Worth Discovering

Who isn’t familiar with the concept of speed dating, these sessions where singles meet for just a few minutes? You may or may not like the concept, but these types of meetings are growing in popularity around the world. Today I discovered the concept of Franglish, a Parisian languages speed dating activity worth discovering! Maybe the idea could promote dialogue between French and English-speaking Canadians.

A Linguistic Event

Although the concept excludes the notion of seduction, Franglish is much like the concept of speed dating. The linguistic event allows participants to meet in a public place in Paris, more often than not in a cafe or bar, to share their language and learn from one another.

Thus, a French-speaking participant can sit for 15 minutes in front of an English-speaking participant, and they can discuss together. Each their turn, they speak in their own language and then allow their guest to respond in the same language, therefore, practicing their foreign language skills. They both learn a little more about the other’s culture and at the end of the conversation participants change tables and start again with a new partner.

A Social Event

These face-to-face micro-conversations are social events and don’t claim to be educational. Instead of staying home to learn a second language through the Internet or DVDs, participants of Franglish can get together and, in addition to practicing a new language, they can learn about other cultures. The idea is appealing! The human contact angle of the concept paves the way for dialogue between cultures. Interesting!

A Concept Worth Importing?

In a bilingual country like ours, this concept could certainly work among French and English-speaking communities. Instead of staying in each our own corners, we could take the time to share our respective cultures face-to-face.

So come on everyone, singles and couples alike, it’s time to meet up in the bars and cafes of the country to discuss, share our culture and join our passions!

Why not alter the concept and take the time (more than 15 minutes) to do things properly? We’re not in a hurry. After all, understanding builds a better future!

Philippe Daoust