lundi 3 décembre 2012

English-speaking blog about France/US cross-view

I'm considering setting up an english-written blog. The aim is to help americans (well, northern american) folks to better understand french people. And, who knows, maybe the opposite ?

Here's what would be my "misson statement". What d'you think of it ?

My name is Nicolas and I’m a regular French guy. I’m 40, with all the crisis stuff that comes with it, family man with an adorable 5 year-and-a-half daughter. I’m bipolar (type II), tough, but trying to make the most of it. I was born in France and always lived in France. I’ve been several times in US, both for leisure and business. I was 8 the first time and it was a lifetime experience for a young boy to see firetrucks in NYC or the Apollo spacecraft in the Washington museum. I think one may say I’ve been fed with US culture: I’m a huge US series fan, love a lot of US music, love the culture. But I must admit that some aspects of US culture are also repulsive to me. Because I was born French and that won’t change. I guess that not every American is fond of every single aspect of his own culture. I do love a lot of French culture & history aspects but deeply hate other ones. All in all, I love my country and, well, I’m still living there (in Lyon, if you can pinpoint it on a map). Also, I’m not a real regular guy about US culture. Just to give you a hint, I’ve read the US constitution (including bill of rights and amendments). I can name from the top of my head something like 48 out of the 50 US States. Or most of the US presidents since, say, Woodrow Wilson. That should place me, on this very aspect, in a 1% slice of the French population (probably less). Note that I physically know only a very small part of US: north California mainly, the western National Parks, Austin, TX (for a single day!), drove all the way down from Maine to Big Apple, visiting Boston and Cape Cod, spent some hours in Atlanta and Cincy airports. I planned to visit NYC more in depth but Sandy decided otherwise.

About me now: I have graduated from a computer engineer school. I’ve been a techy for several years and actually enjoyed it! Then I moved to presales, sales, management, entrepreneurship, took a turn to financial positions (CFO) and now working as an “independent” counsel for SMB in strategy & finance. That’s going well and I can say that, considering revenues (not patrimony), I’m within the “famous 1%” (in France). But I’ve got another part in my life. This Mr Hyde is writing. I’ve been a blogger for one of the three major national generalist newspapers in France for 3 years. 170 posts, 1.6 million pages viewed, 6.200 comments, that’s a reasonable success for a French-speaking audience. I’ve also written articles in an economy-specialized French magazine. I stopped those two activities about 2 months ago for various reasons and reactivated my own personal blog. Audience is encouraging (60% of what I generated from the major national newspaper). My topics are economics (mostly), politics (obvious link), science, society or just my life.

Now, my thoughts are: why don’t I make this available in English? The first obvious reason is that I’ve only had school English and my papers would be crippled with grammar or vocabulary mistakes. Moreover, I’d lose something highly valuable to me: writing style. Not that I’m the French equivalent of Philip Roth but still. But on second thought, what the hell? Let’s try. No to translate every of my (numerous and frequent) posts. Some of them are not that interesting and very French-centric anyway. But some others may be of interest for American or English audience trying to understand better France. My strong French roots, my acceptable US knowledge and vivid US-culture passion may put me in a good position to do this! Of course, this project wouldn’t be a word-for-word translation. I need to add some context if I want my overseas (Atlantic or Channel) readers to get a glimpse of who we are. Shall we proceed?

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