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Rootalky Challenge 2022

@Rootalky_Challenge

Powered by Rootalky_Challenge

Remember last year’s 21 day challenge? 

Remember all the new words you acquired?

Remember all the various topics you dove into? 

This year, we’ve got a new challenge for you. 

Same principle, new and improved concept. 

We call it PROJECT 21.

@Rootalky_Challenge 21

Project 21 is still based on the sense of urgency we get from the 01/01 on our screens on new year’s day. The list of resolutions we write down for the upcoming months, weeks or days … We want you to join us for the challenge of the year to get one step closer to achieving your language goals. 

Instead of limiting the challenge to a fit schedule, this year we’re focusing on the tasks themselves, giving you the freedom to check them off your list whenever you see fit but don’t forget the main rule

you miss a day, you restart your countdown 

So what is project 21 you say? 

Step 1 Step 2Step 3 
Select an article of choice and read it allHighlight three new words and add them to your list Summarize the article in ONE sentence

By the end of the 21 days, you would have read 21 articles, written 21 new sentences and learned 3X21 NEW words! That’s right, 63 new words! 

Just one more thing: you need to document all this, mention us and tag #project_21 to be featured for a chance to win a prize!

Keep an eye out for the announcement on IG: @hi_rootalky

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21 day challenge: Join the Rootalky language challenge for 2021

Like every end of year, most people prepare a list of resolutions for the new one. New year’s resolutions have been a long standing tradition that different cultures share to find the motivation in achieving their future goals. These resolutions vary from personal to professional. Be it losing weight, finding a job or mastering a skill. It is the primacy effect, that 01/01 on the screen board, that notion that you are on the first page of the first chapter of yet another book. 

This year, Rootalky decided to hop on the resolution train and help its followers with a new year challenge, a 21 day challenge:the 21-day Rootalky language challenge. No matter your level, your schedule or your resources, this challenge is for you!

Are you excited to know what it is?

  1. Every morning for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Listen to French radio

The task:

Listen to French radio for 5-10 minutes. You have the choice of the channel as long as it is not just music. Pick a channel with a program, any program as long as there are people talking

The exercise:

While you’re listening, look for a sentence that you like: Whether it is the sound of it, the meaning of it, the difficulty of it. Any sentence that captures your attention and record yourself saying it!

  1. Every afternoon for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Listen to a French song.

The task: 

Listen to a French song. Only 1. While I would recommend old 80’s and 90’s songs for their accurate grammar and slow rhythm, the choice remains yours. 

The exercise:

For this task, I am asking you to simply write down the title of the song you listened to. You can add the name of the singer if you’d like. But let’s focus on the title for now. 

  1. Every night for 21 CONSECUTIVE days: Pick a book.

The task:

Pick a book. Any book. It can be a children’s book, a recipe book, a novel, a personal development book etc. The only important thing is that the language is French. Now take that book every night for 21 consecutive days and read 1 page. 1 page ONLY. Of course you can add more if you think the story is interesting but remember, we’re looking at the long term here. So if you want to read more than 1 page, you can’t skip the next day!

The exercise:

Depending on where you’re reading your book, I want you to choose 3 words, preferably new or maybe even difficult, and note them down somewhere. Don’t just highlight them on the book. I want you to physically write these words, whether on your notepad, your notebook, your phone or even a post-it note that you stick on the cover. 

Then what? 

Before we discuss the results, I want you all to (virtually) promise me one thing. That if you skip one day, you start all over! But we don’t want to do that do we? This is a challenge for the Rootalky family. We’re going to take part together, all of us. Posting daily steps, discussing results, embracing the challenge and seeing the progress.

21 days, that’s over 3 and a half hours of spoken French, 21 new songs to your playlist and 63 new spelled words added to your vocabulary. In just three weeks! So let’s start 2021 improving together, learning together and French-talking together! Just one more thing, keep a daily log so we celebrate the success of each day together and see how far we’ve come at the end of the 21 days.

#Rootalky_Challenge

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Juggling Excitement and Uncertainty in Learning a New Language

We always hear the expression balance is key. Whether it is a balance between professional life and personal life. Balance between your healthy diet and your cheat meals. Just like any process in life, learning a new language also has a balance. The balance between excitement and uncertainty. So how do we find that balance? How do we juggle between feeling excited with our new endeavor and having doubts on our abilities to reach our goals?

When you decide to learn a new language, you are excited and determined: If you are old school, you rush to buy that motivating notebook and your favorite pencil. If you are more tech savvy, you download the latest app to take notes, create that inspired folder and get ready to start learning. These preparations come natural to us as we embark on a new chapter. But then soon enough we encounter our first obstacle and that’s where uncertainty kicks in and the challenge to stay as motivated as day one arises. If that’s where you’re at in this moment in time, here are a few tips that could help.

French language exchange
  1. 1. New techniques:

If you feel that what you are doing is not working out for you, change it! There is not one single method for learning a language, there are plenty. So pick one, for each day or maybe each week. Change when you feel tired of one or alternate to feel fresh. Whichever pattern you follow, there’s always another one waiting. As they say: If plan A doesn’t work, there are 25 other letters in the alphabet”. You can check the various techniques available in the other articles but just remember that there will always be more: some french radio in the morning, a french playlist for the workout session, a french production for movie night. How about language exchange? Polyglot chats or even good old repetition? The list goes on …

French learning – French bedtime reading
  1. Discipline 

No pain, no gain. As they say in the fitness world. In the language world, I want to say that practice makes perfect. Repeat after me, practice makes perfect. But remember that perfect is personal. I mean, it’s your own kind of perfect. Set up a morning routine with a french program, choose french for your bedtime reading, chat with your french coworker at lunch or get some grammar done on the commute. See? The list still goes on …

Ask for help to French language teacher !
  1. Ask for help

There is always a way. And if you can’t find one yourself, ask for help. Try your friends, or a language learning group on social media. Why not even get a tutor or a french teacher. 1-1 or in a group if you feel shy and in need of classmates to motivate you. Whatever you choose, know that every language learner juggles excitement and uncertainty. On most days, you find excitement in a correct answer to a game show or a line in a movie, on others you make a grammar mistake or a spelling error and you start to doubt again. It’s natural, all you have to do is look ahead at your objectives, keep going with discipline, change it up with new techniques and when in need ask a fellow language learner or a professional language teacher.

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Read to Write, Listen to Speak

Read to Write, Listen to Speak

Skill order for better learning

Keywords < language skills – reading – writing – speaking – listening >

Learn French – Skill order for better learning

Learning a language can be seen as a challenge from the outside. Have you ever asked yourself: Why are there so many words? What about this grammatical rule? Do I have to learn this tense? The answer is simple: it depends on your goal.

When you decide to learn a language, you generally have a goal in mind. Your why if you may. So how do you determine your why? Simple, ask yourself why am I learning this language? How much time do I have? And what is the ultimate result I am looking for at this end of this time period? Is it purely a grammatical test or is “une production orale/écrite”

If you have a grammar test to enter a certain course, then you can focus on your grammatical skills. The way to do this is a clear schedule of the grammar lessons you may encounter in the test and as many practice exercises you can find: these can be online, from a language learning book, ask a native friend or better yet, get yourself a teacher to help you out. 

Your language goals need to be reasonable to your time frame.

Now remember that these goals need to be realistic! While high expectations can be a good fuel for your motivation, you need to keep it grounded which means your language goals need to be reasonable to your time frame. You cannot just say “I want to be a native in French in a week”! Remember that EVEN native speakers have been studying that language since the first day of school and they STILL are. Language learning is a work in progress. You always learn, you continue to grow, to improve and enlarge your knowledge skills, be it in vocabulary, culture or other domains. 

So what’s the main rule? How do I approach my language goals? 

Answer: Step by step. To make it easier, there is a rule of thumb in terms of the language skills you want to work on and that is: If you want to improve your writing, read more and if your focus is speaking then listen more. You have “une production écrite” coming soon? Read everything and anything that comes in your way. Choosing topics similar to your theme is preferable and beneficial as you will learn more vocabulary. You also get to familiarize yourself with the structure of the writing, the spelling of the words and much more etc.

French listening – Setting Calm app in French. calm.com
French listening – Setting Calm app in French. calm.com

“I have to speak!” then listen in the language you’re learning. TV, radio, music, conversations etc. You name it and it’s there. It’s 2020 which means that technology has left us no room for excuses. My favorite trick is listen to the radio in the language you want to improve for 20 minutes first thing in the morning. Be creative, you can choose the channel, the country, the accent but keep the time and your routine. Having the language on the background as you wake up, brush your teeth, make your coffee and dress up HELPS A LOT!

I don’t understand what they’re saying ! : Tips on improving listening comprehension

Have you ever been around native speakers and they suddenly address a question to you but you were lost in their nativeness you did not know? 

Awkward silence, then move to another person. 

We’re all guilty of this move! But what can we do to not relive it again?

There are a few things you can do in this case. And they are divided into 3 steps: before, during and after. 

Use several methods of learning French ! @Canva
  1. Before 

Well, you might have read from previous blog posts the importance of practicing in language learning. If you have been following these learning tips, you would also be able to recall a major keypoint in the practicing process (drumroll please …)

MULTIMEDIA

That’s right! Forget what people say about TV not teaching you anything. That is wrong! You learn a lot from consuming motion pictures ESPECIALLY as a language learner. That’s like hitting the jackpot! Radio, TV, Cinema, songs, you name it… Even more so now with the social networks, content at your service with all languages possible! So the practice goes like this: 

play, listen and read, pause, speak, repeat!

Content words are important during a group conversation @Canva
  1. During 

During a group conversation, try to focus on the content words. Listen carefully but don’t overfocus. Meaning, don’t do a grammatical analysis of the sentences the speaker is making. Just take what’s important enough to understand the time, place and people aka the topic. And then you can use that and give your point of view on the subject matter!

  1. After

After all is said and done, you can go home proud and happy that you held a conversation in a language you’ve been learning for a while. And for extra credit, you can look up vocabulary words and expressions on the topic you discussed that day so you’ll have more to say next time!

Extra tip: Celebrate your success and then get back to work! 

Don’t hit snooze : Why breaking your language learning pattern is the enemy of progress

There’s a theory behind the snooze button: Contrary to popular belief, it does not add to your sleeping timer but instead makes you feel foggy and tired the entire day. Dozing off your regular language habits will have the same effect on your progress. It might not be on your physical health and energy but will sure affect your progress and maybe even your mood. 

Language requires regular practice. Just like eating well and going to the gym. You will only see results if you keep moving forward. Language learning is just the same. Even if you feel comfortable, don’t stop; you need to continue the learning. Even when you see progress; especially when you see progress.

Learning language requires regular practice. Don’t break the pattern ! @Canva

Don’t break the pattern!

How? you ask. 

Well let’s start with the basics.

  1. Schedule your sessions

Prioritize your language learning. Consider it as important as a meeting you put in your calendar or an event you’ve been waiting for. Scheduling makes it hard to pass on a session especially when you have done step 2…

  1. Plan your work

Yes, you’re reading right. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur who needs to plan their month, week and days. Know what you will be working on. This will help you alot in monitoring your progress and feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of every session.

Find an accountability partner of language @Canva
  1. Find an accountability partner 

This has become a major trend with the switch to work from home mode due to the current circumstances. There are plenty of websites that help you connect with fellow co-workers. Most of them work like this: Greet your partner and tell them what you’ll be working on, write it down, work on it for a specific amount of time (timer on the app) and when the bell rings be truthful and say how much of your tasks you have really achieved. Accountability is a good method to track your productivity, especially when you are doing individual tasks like learning a language on your own…

Think outside the box : Adaptability in language learning

We’ve all heard the phrase: change is the only constant in life. And the reason is simple. Whatever we do in life, we are bound to grow out of it. High school, college, your first job. You know it’s not going to be forever, so you enjoy the process and learn from it. 

Now, with that said, even your day-to-day basis is different, right? I mean aside from the disciplines and routines you schedule daily or weekly, you are not going to live the same day twice. So why should language learning be any different?

Adapt, improvise, and overcome.

Adapt, improvise, and overcome. @Canva

This quote might be taken from a movie, but the actor was portraying a marine corps and we all learn a lot from them. So what does adapt mean? Well, in simple terms, it is your ability to keep an open mind in any situation. You need to be able to adapt to any given situation, especially when it comes to language learning. Why? Because the path is not all sunshine and rainbows. But the end is very much worth it!

So think of this scenario for a second:

You have been consistent with your learning for over a month, you planned your week ahead and made a habit of note taking. But then found yourself outside of the house when it was time to study or what if this is not your usual Monday morning? Or maybe you were away for the weekend? Then what? 

Well we know that taking a few days off is not an option. Remember, a huge part of mastering the language is consistency and discipline. So what is left? Adaptability. You need to find a way to adapt to your current situation and still fulfil your language tasks of the day. No need to panic, here is a few ideas: 

French program or a podcast online, French Newspapers, a call with a French speaking friend will help you ! @Canva
If you have your phone, tablet, or computer with you:
  1. You can log into a French program or a podcast online. Get your 30mn in and feel great about it. 
  2. Check out the latest news in French Newspapers and read an article or two out loud.
  3. Jump on a call with a French speaking friend or acquaintance: you can find plenty of community members keen to exchange languages. 
  • “What if I don’t have any devices with me?”, you ask.

Well, talk to yourself! I know it may sound silly, but it is one of the most common practices that leaves you feeling great about your progress. Try out your new words, appreciate your current knowledge and experiment with pronunciation.  

Remember, you don’t have to use the same method, just a way to check those tasks off your daily must do’s.

A quick tour in the famous tours of France

  1.  The Eiffel Tower :
  • The Eiffel Tower is the highest tower in France (324 meters), located in Paris.
  • Its construction started in 1887 and finished in 1889
  • It’s one of the most tourist-attracting monuments in France

(For more information about its history, you can check the article “Cultural Stop: La Tour Eiffel” on our blog)

  1. The Montparnasse Tower :
Montparnasse Tower in 15th arrondissement @Canva
  • The Montparnasse Tower offers a panoramic and magical view over Paris at its summit. 
  • It was constructed in 1969.
  • It is a 201-meter-high building including 60 floors. 
  1.  La Tour Saint-Jacques : 
La Tour Saint-Jacques in 4th arrondissement @Canva
  • This tower was built in the 16th century.
  • In fact, it was the steeple of a church destroyed at the Revolution Saint-Jacques la Boucherie.
  • It’s a 60-meter-high tower.
  1.  La Tour Fenestrelle: 
La Tour Fenestrelle in Uzès @Pixabay guy_dugas
  • We are not in Pisa, but in one of the prettiest cities in France: Uzès. 
  • At first, this tower was a pre-Romanesque church. Then it became a cathedral undergoing several destruction during the religious wars. Over the years, the Fenestrelle tower has lost two floors but this does not diminish its present splendor.
  • This 46-metre-high bell tower serves as a bell tower for Saint-Théodorit Cathedral. 
  1.  Le Beffroi de Lille : 
Le Beffroi de Lille @Canva
  • After two years of construction, the Belfry opened its doors in 1932.
  • It was and still is the highest Belfry (104 meters) in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
  • The belfry was made of red brick and concrete «like carved stone» making it the perfect combination of  Art Deco and neo-flemish architecture. 
  • It is both a symbol of communal freedoms and a landmark for the entire Lille metropolis. 

Holidays in France : La joie des vacances !

We cannot deny that holidays remain a necessity for human beings. In fact holidays are a joyful moment that allows us to celebrate an important fact in our lives whether it’s with friends, family or even with strangers.

As we have already mentioned in earlier articles, French people have the joy of living, and for sure this doesn’t go without holidaying. In fact, holidays in France are very diverse and we can classify them into three types.

National holidays in France @Canva
  1. National holidays: commemorate an event related to the homeland. 
  1. L’Armistice*: November 11

An armistice is the first step toward peace. It is an agreement between two enemy countries or more to stop fighting in the hope of signing a peace treaty.

The armistice of 11 November 1918 put an end to the battle between France and Belgium. 

  1. Republic day*: Le 14 Juillet :


Celebrated since 1880, the French national holiday commemorates both the capture of the Bastille in 1789 and the “Fête de la Fédération” in 1790, in other words it celebrates the victory of the French people over their king. 

Every year a parade is organized in the capital, Paris, with the presence of the president, prime minister and other members of the government. And in other cities it is celebrated with fireworks.

The Christmas is religious holiday @Canva
  1. Religious holidays: commemorate an event that is in close relationship with religion, Christianism for France.
  1. Christmas:  December 25 :


It commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. On this holiday, families are gathered together and gifts are exchanged. It is celebrated in a warm and nice atmosphere with the Christmas tree “Sapin ”, a beautiful decoration without forgetting  the crib, the dinner and  the typical Christmas desert. “La Buche de Noel”.  The main character of the holiday is Santa Claus with his sleigh and his reindeer. 

You can feel that Christmas joy in France way before the night of the 25th of september with the beautiful christmas markets

  1. Easter:  April 4 :


This feast commemorates the resurrection of Christ. For pasque* you eat the Easter egg, an egg made entirely of chocolate with a gift inside.

As they say: “ Easter with whom you want and christmas with your folks”

  1. Epiphany:  January 6 :

The tradition goes, on this holiday, with making “la galette des rois” (a traditional french meal) with one bean inside. And in gatherings, whoever gets the bean gets to be the king or queen for that one day.

What are popular holidays in France? @Canva
  1. Popular holidays: these are very spectacular and colourful parties where concerts, theatre performances, dances and music are organized.
  1. New Year: December 31 & January 1st : 

They celebrate with fireworks and toast with sparkling wine or champagne to   greet the new year at midnight. And gifts are exchanged while wishing for a year full of happiness, health and prosperity.

  1. Mardi Gras*: 47 days before Easter*: 

Mardi Gras is a festive period. It is a pagan Roman holiday celebrating the end of winter. On this occasion, they dress up, party and eat very rich dishes.

In some villages, the festivities can last a few weeks.

  1. Other Holidays:
  1. Mother’s Day: last sunday of May
  1. Valentine’s Day: February 14 
  1. Labor Day: May 1 

Where’s my pen? : Noteworthy advice from a fellow learner

Today I’m talking to you as a language learner. Not as a native speaker or a linguist. As a fellow language learner seeking mastery and fluency in a foreign language. These are tips I’ve read in books, heard on podcasts and from native speakers…

Oops, have I said too much already?

I think one of the most important notions we need to understand as knowledge seekers is that we need to put in the work! Day in, Day out! I mean you can take a day off on the weekends and move away from this language you’re learning for a quick break and a refresh. But know this: it will affect the progress. It will show. You know why? 

Native language is a go-to language @Canva

Ask yourself this: Do native speakers take a break from speaking their language?

I don’t think so! 

It’s the language in which they express themselves, communicate and even dream! They speak it daily, with everyone and anyone and when they are not speaking it, they are either listening to it, reading it or writing it. What does that mean? Well, that, first and foremost, when it’s your native language, it is your go-to language. To research a word, to watch a movie, to hop on the new music hits or to buy your favorite meal. So why would we take a break from it as we are learning it? 

Use the language at least 20minutes a day @Canva

What’s next? 

Well, I would say make sure to use, in this case French, at least 20mn a day for starters. It all depends on the level and the objectives of course but 20mn a day is much better than 5h on Monday and then nothing for the rest of the week! 

The verdict? 

It’s simple, you want to keep fit, you go to the gym regularly.

You want to master a language, you also use it regularly.

So make it your priority to have exposure EVERY day without a break and you will see the difference it will make in your learning journey!

Ready, set, speak : How to go past the fear of speaking

If you imagine you are six years old scaring of monsters @Canva

Imagine this. You are six years old. You read a book about monsters and you are scared. You close the book and try to go to bed. But the thought of a monster jumping from under your bed is hunting you. What do you do? 

Well, the usual response is either call an adult to check under the bed or defy these fears and sneak under the bed yourself. Once you see that there is nothing but your souvenir shoe box or maybe a couple of socks, you go back to your sleep feeling safe and sound. 

Fear of speaking French? @Canva
What does this have to do with speaking French?

Short answer: Everything!

Your fear of speaking French comes from within. There is no actual monster out there ready to get you the moment you say “Bonjour” or “J’apprends le Francais”. It is all coming from within. You may be predicting that the other person would make fun of your accent. Maybe the time you took to find the word you were looking for. Even the grammar, “I used past instead of present, OMG”. 

Well guess what?

It does not matter!

What matters is that if you don’t practice you will never be able to use all the learning you have been doing for the past weeks, months and even years. Think about all the work you’ve been doing. Now it’s time to put it in practice and just speak

If you are in France: try to greet your postman, discuss the weather with the florist next door, or ask about the cashier’s day when you are doing groceries. Just like Emily in Paris, the opportunities are endless as you already have the exposure. All that’s left is to take the plunge. Ready, Set, Speak!

Create your exposure yourself ! @Canva

“Well, what if I am not in France? Or any French-speaking country!”

Then you have to create the exposure yourself. Find people who speak French. There are a lot of communities out there. Search for groups with French or Francophone expats in your country and reach out. For an online chat, a coffee meetup or even voice messages. You can offer to show them around the city in return or even explain a few native concepts that they still have not figured out yet. 

What about my fear of mistakes? 

You have to remember that mistakes mean you are getting closer to achieving your potential. They are only proving that you are trying and that is the most important thing. Be open to corrections, open to repetition and be present in the moment. Don’t think about what ifs. Think about the endless conversations you will have once you cross that line! 

So, try this, take a deep breath, Ready, Set, Speak!

What to expect when you are not expecting ! French language edition

What to expect for language? @Canva

You pick a language and you get excited and you buy your pen and notepad and register for the class and then Boom! You don’t know what is happening, you can’t tell if you can make it, which class is better, which exam is harder and then you start to feel lost and then you quit. 

This is a very common spiral of the language learning process. We are here today to tell you not to worry for many reasons: one, you are not alone. Two, it is totally natural and three we are going to give you a sneak peak of what to expect so you don’t struggle moving forward. 

Start with the basics, but the speed is important @Canva
  1. Start with the basics but fast forward a little bit

What does that mean you ask? 

Well, starting with the basics is easy. As a first time learner you begin with the alphabet. Even if that alphabet is the same as your target language, the pronunciation is different so please start with the basics! Now what does fast forward mean? 

It is natural to be excited about learning a new language and fantasizing about discussing big topics and describing objects and places. Don’t kill that dream, give yourself a sneak peak of what’s to come by learning a few colors for example. Choose from your favorite vocabulary list and give yourself three to five words. That sense of accomplishment will help you cross the line even faster. 

  1. Translating is not a good idea 

You might think that you became a professional translator by knowing the color yellow in English and French, or counting till 10 in Spanish and French, but the reality is that translation slows you down. You’re making your brain work twice. It is much easier to switch it to the target language and focus on connecting the dots that will help you remember the term of reference directly, not through an intermediary. Don’t translate the sentence structure from your source language to the target language, make the effort to create the sentence in its original target language. Trust the process, it might feel harder at first but it will only get easier. 

  1. Talk to people

Now some of you might say, I need to actually know the language before I speak to strangers in their native language. That is only 50% true. Remember when we discussed immersion? And the power of exposure to your language learning process? Well putting yourself through that pressure early on gives you a taste of what you’ll be doing in the future. How near or far that future will be, will depend on how much you work for it but also how much you’ve enjoyed listening to the speakers and how much you’ve imagined yourself speak as fluently!

Sing your way to French : the story behind “La Bohème”

The signification of song “La Bohème” @Canva

To start, “La Bohème” is a way of living day to day in poverty but also in carelessness. It is both a lifestyle that rejects bourgeois domination and its rationality within the framework of industrial society, and the search for an artistic ideal.

As for the song “La Bohème”, It was written by Jacques Plante, composed and sung by Charles Aznavour in 1966. It is, actually, a well-known French song on the theme of bohemian life.

In fact, this tells the story of a painter who remembers with nostalgia his years on the Butte Montmartre (french quarter), in Paris, the parallels with the life of Charles Aznavour are numerous, making it almost reminiscent of an autobiographical song.

Montmartre Paris. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus @Canva

Behind this nostalgic evocation of an almost utopian Montmartre, Charles Aznavour takes stock of the life of an artist at a time “que les moins de vingt ans ne peuvent pas connaître” and where these artists lived literally day by day: “Nous ne mangions qu’un jour sur deux – Dans les cafés voisins – Nous étions quelques uns qui attendions la gloire – Et bien que miséreux – Avec le ventre creux – Nous ne cessions d’y croire”. At the end of the song, Aznavour signs his return to the places that have changed since: “Quand au hasard des jours – Je m’en vais faire un tour – À mon ancienne adresse – Je ne reconnais plus – Ni les murs, ni les rues (…) Montmartre semble triste – Et les lilas sont mortes.”

We know living a bohemian life might be appealing to you so here are a few steps you can take to enjoy that life:

  1. Have the courage to follow your own ideals and live your life to the fullest. 
  2. Free your artistic side and surprise yourself by living your bohemian life to the fullest! 
  3. Speak up about what you believe in.
  4. Dare to live a more unconventional life.
  5. Be proud to be different.
  6. Embrace your body now.
Lyrics of “La Bohème” : bohemian life @Canva

Here are the full lyrics: 

Je vous parle d’un temps
Que les moins de vingt ans
Ne peuvent pas connaître
Montmartre en ce temps-là 
Accrochait ses lilas
Jusque sous nos fenêtres
Et si l’humble garni
Qui nous servait de nid
Ne payait pas de mine
C’est là qu’on s’est connus
Moi qui criait famine
Et toi qui posais nue.
La bohème, la bohème.
Ça voulait dire on est heureux
La bohème, la bohème.
Nous ne mangions qu’un jour sur deux
Dans les cafés voisins
Nous étions quelques-uns
Qui attendions la gloire 
Et bien que miséreux
Avec le ventre creux
Nous ne cessions d’y croire 
Et quand quelque bistro
Contre un bon repas chaud
Nous prenait une toile 
Nous récitions des vers
Groupés autour du poêle 
En oubliant l’hiver
La bohème, la bohème,
Ça voulait dire tu es jolie.
La bohème, la bohème,
Et nous avions tous du génie.
Souvent il m’arrivait
Devant mon chevalet
De passer des nuits blanches
Retouchant le dessin
De la ligne d’un sein
Du galbe d’une hanche
Et ce n’est qu’au matin
Qu’on s’asseyait enfin
Devant un café-crème
Épuisés mais ravis
Fallait-il que l’on s’aime 
Et qu’on aime la vie.
La bohème, la bohème,
Ça voulait dire on a 20 ans
La bohème, la bohème,
Et nous vivions de l’air du temps.
Quand au hasard des jours
Je m’en vais faire un tour
À mon ancienne adresse
Je ne reconnais plus
Ni les murs, ni les rues
Qui ont vu ma jeunesse
En haut d’un escalier
Je cherche l’atelier
Dont plus rien ne subsiste
Dans son nouveau décor
Montmartre semble triste 
Et les lilas sont morts.
La bohème, la bohème,
On était jeunes, on était fous.
La bohème, la bohème,
Ça ne veut plus rien dire du tout. 
I speak of a time
That less than twenty years
Can not know
Montmartre that time
Hung his lilac
Just below our windows
And so the humble garni
That was our nest
Do not pay for mine
It is there that we knew
Me crying famine
And you who posed nude
Bohemia, bohemian
That meant we were happy
Bohemia, bohemian
We only ate one every other day
In the neighboring
We had some
Who awaited glory
And although poor
With an empty stomach
We never ceased to believe
And if a bistro
Against a warm meal
We took a canvas
We recite verses
Grouped around the stove
Forgetting the winter
Bohemia, bohemian
It meant you were pretty
Bohemia, bohemian
And we all had spirit
Often it happened to me
In front of my easel
Of sleepless nights
Touching up the design
The line of a breast
The curve of a hip
And it was not until morning
We finally sat
Over coffee-cream
Exhausted but happy
Was it that we love each other
And we love life
Bohemia, bohemian
That meant that we were twenty years
Bohemia, bohemian
And we lived the zeitgeist
When random days
I’m going for a ride
In my previous address
I no longer recognize
Neither the walls nor the streets
Who saw my youth
At the top of a staircase
I am looking for the workshop
Of which nothing remains
In its new setting
Montmartre seems sad
And the lilacs are dead
Bohemia, bohemian
We were young, we were crazy
Bohemia, bohemian
That does not mean anything at all
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