We are a growing and expanding our school, specializing in the learning and study of French and Italian and the addition of Spanish starting in April. We are looking for energetic, enthusiastic and talented people to join our team.
Mother’s day in France, or La Fête des Mères, is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. The holiday was first introduced by Napoleon in the 19th century, but was not made official until 1950. In Italy, Mother’s day, or La Festa della Mamma is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, just like in the United States. In Italy, it is very popular to give mothers gifts of flowers. Both celebrations are very similar to our American holiday. Mother’s day is similar to a birthday, in that children give their mothers gifts and make them feel relaxed. In Italy, a large Mother’s Day meal is held at midday. In France, the day concludes with a large dinner in her honor, where she is given a cake.
Whether you celebrate this holiday in the French, Italian, American, or any other style, we wish all of the mothers reading this a very happy Mother’s Day!
It is hard to believe that another month has flown by! And it is May! I would like to welcome all of the new enrollments to our monthly newsletter and hope that you all will enjoy the newsletter as much as we enjoy putting it together.
We have an amazing line up of programs starting in May and running through the summer.
On May 27th at 7PM we are introducing the Russian language at The Language Learning Institute with an Introduction to Russian Folk Music Seminar. Irina Petrik, Ukraine born professional musician fluent in Russian, joined our staff a few months ago and we have developed a wonderful program to be enjoyed by all. This Language Learning Institute exclusive will leave you, singing in Russian a refrain to a popular folk song, knowing something about Russian folk instruments, as well as traditional Russian folk dress (yes, Irina will be wearing one that evening while she presents), and you will even learn a bit of Russian folk dance. This is an interactive presentation so you will get to participate on a level most comfortable for you…including just sitting back and taking it all in! We have tickets on sale now through May 27th at noon for a special pre-sale price of $9.00 for students and $12.00 for adults. At the door or after noon on May 27th, tickets will be $10 for students and $15 for adults. The program will end with light Russian refreshments. Come one! Come all! No one is too young or too old…and you don’t have to know Russian to enjoy. The program will be presented in English.
This summer, camp choices are plentiful with our Learn to Speak French, Learn to Speak Spanish and Learn to Speak Russian. Summer camps will be given in two locations this year: Clifton Park at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church in the mornings from 9AM to 12PM and Colonie at the Christ Our Light Catholic Church in the afternoons from 2PM to 5PM. Busing will also be available this year to both locations at an additional cost. Call the office at 518-346-7096
We are opening our New Paltz location this month with and Intensive Study Beginning French Programon May 15th from 10AM to 2PM. If you are travelling to France for pleasure or business, or if you are a beginner and would like an introduction to French and French Culture this is a great seminar!
Stop by and get a good meal, gift, or check out our latest promotional material!
Eleonora’s Secret – Genova, a bustling city without all the tourists
Genoa, or “Genova” as the Italians call it, is an oceanside city within in the Linguria region in Northern Italy, part of the celebrated Italian Riviera. I visited this wonderful city many years ago, and still remember how lovely it was. The home of Christopher Columbus, the city of Genoa has long had a proud maritime tradition that dates back to ancient times. The Etruscans founded the city in the 6th century BC, and it was later a major trading port with the Greeks. I remember enjoying well kept parks, walking the small and winding medieval streets, and strolls along the water. Long ignored by most tourist routes, Genoa offers visitors great attractions and a rich artistic heritage, without all the crowds of many other ‘touristy’ cities.
Its medieval old town, the biggest in Europe, is an intricate labyrinth of alleyways, where among the shops, restaurants, and local stores, visitors can catch sight of the city’s noble past in its 16th century palazzos, baroque edifices, and Romanesque churches, looming over the little piazzas. In 2006, Genoa’s Rolli Palaces were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Genoa’s rich history is made evident by the narrow, winding back streets, impressive architecture, wealth of art and sculpture, and steadfastly traditional population of multiple-generation Genovian families. While Genoa still is home to many fishermen and sailors, it has recently undergone a cultural change, with the onslaught of high-end boutiques, five star resorts and gourmet restaurants all in response to the growing demand for the Riviera as a vacation destination. The contrast between the old fishing families and tourists can still be seen, and also in the mix is a younger crowd of Italians, either college age, attending the University of Genoa, or up and coming twenty-something’s spending the summer in a villa with their friends. Such a mix of people makes for a colorful downtown crowd and causes Genoa to be at times, an unexpectedly fascinating anthropological study. Today, the city remains an important Italian port and popular tourist destination, especially for anyone interested in its maritime past!
Genoa is also famous for pesto (basil, pine nuts, garlic, and parmigiano cheese) usually served over trenette or trofia pasta cooked with potatoes and green beans. Being a port city, Genoa also has some good seafood dishes such as the fish stew, Buridda. Cima alla Genovese is veal breast stuffed with organ meats, herbs, vegetables, and pine nuts, served cold.
Transportation to Genoa: Genoa is a train hub and can be reached from Milan, Turin, La Spezia, Pisa, Rome and Nice, France. The two train stations, Principe and Brignole are both in central Genoa. Buses leave from Piazza della Vittoria. Ferries leave Genoa’s port for Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and Elba. Genoa also has a small airport, Cristoforo Colombo, with flights to other parts of Italy and Europe.
Bonjour! Welcome back on the Old Continent, Europe! This month we are making a stop in The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a constitutional monarchy and an independent sovereign state, tucked between Belgium, France and Germany.
Of the country’s 502,066 inhabitants, some 90,000 live in Luxembourg-city, the capital of The Grand Duchy, and its immediate surroundings. The number of foreign residents in Luxembourg has already exceeded 43% of the population. It is the highest proportion of foreigners of any EU (European Union) country.
Luxembourgish, French and German are the three official languages. Both German and French cultures meet in Luxembourg. Franco-German bilingualism is a typical aspect of the country’s social structure. This peculiar language situation is a direct result of the size of the country, and its historic associations with both France and Germany. When going abroad (which after all, is not very far!) the people of Luxembourg have to speak other languages, simply because their own is not understood elsewhere….that is what adaptation is all about, in my point of view!
Did you know that Luxembourg is the sixth-smallest country and the only Grand Duchy in the world? The size of the country measures just 51 miles by 32 miles. If you are a “gourmet”, you will be delighted to learn that Luxembourg has more Michelin-starred restaurants per square mile (or per inhabitant) than any other country in the world! You can certainly expect to eat very well there! To top that, Luxembourg is regularly ranked as the world’s safest city by the renowned, Mercer survey. What do you think of moving to Luxembourg??!!!
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is, indeed, a fascinating place, with a touch of difference!
The biggest news this past month in France, Europe, and throughout the globe was the volcano. The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in Iceland disrupted flights for millions of Europeans and Americans traveling to Europe. The volcano sits on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, from where it gets its name. The last eruption from this volcano was in 1821, so it has been dormant for almost 200 years. The explosive eruption stage began on April 14, after a smaller eruption with signs that a larger eruption was imminent. These indications included strong tremors and rising water levels in rivers. The second eruption which gained worldwide attention was ten to twenty times greater than the first small eruption. Because this volcano sits on a glacier and involves ice and water, the eruption was much more violent than a regular volcano. Following the eruption, ash and smoke rose about five miles into the air. This was particularly problematic because it entered the cloud layer, which begins about 3.2 miles into the air. Once the smoke reached the cloud layer, the wind carried the smoke over much of Europe. As a result, airlines all over the world were forced to cancel flights to and from Europe, grounding all passengers for about a week. This affected 30% of global air transportation. In fact, this was the worst disruption in air transportation since 9/11, during which the United States grounded all flights for three days, affecting both domestic and international flights to and from the country. Iceland’s air traffic remained largely unaffected until April 22, which was a week after European flights were canceled. The winds had died down and the cloud of smoke was no longer being carried. Although Icelandic geologists report that they are unsure when the eruption will stop, at this time, European airports have returned to average amounts of air transportation.
“I wanted to thank you for these classes. When you told Jennifer and I we were your first post-COVID students, I wanted to tell you that these classes have been a source of great joy and comfort for me in a really weird hard time and I am so grateful for you and them. It has given me something really interesting and fun to focus on and divert any feelings of life uncertainty as it takes real focus and work. But it is also super fun too and a life goal to learn another language.”