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Oct
03

French in 30 days

I learned French in 30 days. Well not really. It’s probably fairer to say I’m still trying to perfect my English.

Over two years ago I embarked on a tour of Quebec to give translated presentations on our industry to what was then quite a hostile population.  Unexpectedly these presentations, while emotionally draining, were surprisingly effective.  It made me realize, it was more important for people to hear from someone who knew and could communicate the nuances of the industry, than someone who knew French.  However, it was just as clear it would be better to have both.

It takes over twenty years of education and experience to understand the many nuances of the several different domains of our industry.  However, I thought learning French might not take as long.  So over the last two years I have found on weekends and vacations 30 days to take French lessons in Quebec.  It’s obvious to anyone who listens my French is still a major work in progress.

Nonetheless, I have managed a few reasonably serious presentations in French in Quebec.  (I am used to opponents not believing a word I say so here is a link to my presentation at forum énergie in Montreal). Loyal fans like my wife, children, employees and Pierre Boivin might not agree but these presentations have been far from my best.  Nonetheless, they were good enough to convince some Québécois they could speak to me in French.

I mention Pierre Boivin not because he is one of my dearest friends. Rather because he introduced me to Logibec.

It is every day heroes who most easily bring tears to my eyes. People like my Grandparents who homesteaded and helped build Alberta. People like the Logibec family who devote themselves to teaching Anglos like me French.  Michel, Hugette together with their daughter Emelie have dedicated themselves to the idea that being able to talk to each other is fundamental to truly understanding each other. Plus that understanding each other is fundamental to Canada working well together.

While not peer reviewed experts, they should be. They studied, discovered and created the best processes to learn spoken French. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 30 days of lessons at Logibec and look forward to more.

I hope you will follow the link and listen to my speech. It really is in French so you might not learn a lot about Quebec Energy policy (unless you are reading the French version of this blog).  However, perhaps you will be impressed with what 30 days of lessons at Logibec combined with some motivation can do.

As I said I am still perfecting my English so just in case my message isn’t clear.  What I am trying to say is, if you want to learn French you should contact Logibec at http://www.logibec-ilaq.com/logibec-ilaq.com/welcome_bienvenue.html or 418 681-4727.

2 comments

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  1. Simon Blouin says:

    Mr. Binnion,

    Congratulation for your presentation. It is an inspiration to continue perfecting my english. You couldn’t say it better :

    “…being able to talk to each other is fundamental to truly understanding each other. Plus that understanding each other is fundamental to Canada working well together.

    I understood what it meant 13 years ago when I started learning English.

    Simon Blouin
    Shareholder

  2. Michael Binnion says:

    Thank you for you comment Simon. I had no idea how hard people’s brains were working when they spoke English as a second language until I started learning French. It is inspiring to hear you relate to us understanding each other from the other direction.

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