How I Write…in French

While thinking about the question for essay 4, “How I (learn to?) Write”, my mind wandered to not only how I write in new media forms (I’m still thinking about my response to that) but also how I write in French. My French 274 class has required 4 essays over the course of the semester on various questions related to French colonization of America, the native people of the inhabited lands, and even more specifically, the cannibalism that is a part of some of these cultures. It has been a very interesting class – who knew there was so much written on these topics?! Seriously…cannibalism is discussed at length by many French authors. Anyways, our final assignment for the class is to compile these four essays into one long essay of at least 2,500 words. As I’ve spent the semester both in Writing 220 and French, I can’t help but reflect on how my writing process in the French language is similar to how I approach English writing.

I’m a big fan of outlines, or at least brief bullet points that lay out the ideas that I’m going to incorporate into my writing. When I’m writing in French, I continue this method although sometimes it is a little comical. I’ll start writing an idea in French, get to a word or concept that I don’t know how to express, and then switch to English for the rest of the phrase. When I actually compile my notes, I obviously go back and translate what I am trying to say, but it doesn’t always start out pretty in French. But I guess it doesn’t always start out pretty in English either…

My whole reflection on this idea just made me realize how the language in which I write doesn’t affect how I write all that much. I guess I’m the type to stick with used and proven writing habits that work for me, regardless of the language.

One thought to “How I Write…in French”

  1. Nice, Andrea! I find this to be the most compelling post: “When I actually compile my notes, I obviously go back and translate what I am trying to say, but it doesn’t always start out pretty in French. But I guess it doesn’t always start out pretty in English either…”

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