Jul 17, 2020 - Norwest Venture Partners India on deal action in India, hope and promise

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From the Editor's Desk

Why the French don't show excitement

Not only is 'Je suis excite' not the appropriate way to convey excitement in French, but there seems to be no real way to express it at all.

When I was 19 years old, after five years of back-and-forth trips that grew longer each time, I finally relocated officially from the United States to France. Already armed with a fairly good grasp of the language, I was convinced that I would soon assimilate into French culture.

Of course, I was wrong. There's nothing like cultural nuance to remind you who you are at your core: my Americanness became all the more perceptible the longer I remained in France, and perhaps no more so than the day a French teacher told me his theory on the key distinction between those from my native and adopted lands.

"You Americans," he said, "live in the faire [to do]. The avoir [to have]. In France, we live in the etre [to be]."

The moment he said it, it made perfect sense. I thought back to my life in New York, where every moment was devoted to checking tasks off a perpetual to-do list or planning for the days, weeks and years to come. In France, however, people were perfectly contented to just be.

Continued here


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