When I first returned from living in France last year, I worried about how I would keep up my French. And I don’t just mean the language; I worried how I would maintain not only any linguistic skills I had accumulated, but how I might be able to continue to feel a part of the French experience. I was fortunate enough to truly feel connected to my community in France and that was not something I wanted to lose.
Then I found a call for interns at The Global Grid. They were looking for people to translate blog content about local French news in a wide variety of topics from urban planning, transportation news, and development stories. I turned in my application as soon as possible—this was my opportunity to both maintain my linguistic abilities and to stay connected to community life in France. And this time I was connected not just to the community I had lived in, but lives in communities all across France.
It’s hard to narrow down some of my favorite posts. I really preferred translating posts about life in France, things an actual French citizen who lived in these communities would encounter everyday. So I translated articles about transportation planning and development, such as a continuing saga of the metro line's development in Lille. I also translated a fun post about Parisian train stations adding cardinal directions for the more directionally challenged among us. I also enjoyed translating articles about how communities in France used technological innovations to their advantage. One article was about how a small town in France used olive pits to heat their public buildings, and I even translated about how that same community was starting to test-drive driverless cars! Finally, I enjoyed translating stories about the people who live in these communities and how they interacted with each other and their environment. If I had to choose a favorite piece, it would be a tie between a story about how a local Romani community came together to clean up a river, and a story about the people of Monaco celebrating every new birth by planting a tree.
I’m so grateful for the time I spent with The Global Grid. Not only was I able to maintain my language skills and my feeling of connection with the communities of France, I was able to learn a lot about translation, running a blog, and social media. Thanks to the hardworking team here, and I will definitely keep reading The Global Grid!