Portrait : Jong Hwi, South Korean and passionate about French literature

Jong Hwi is currently studying a French course (FG+) at IS Aix-en-Provence. At the end of this two-week session, the computersystem engineer will have had a total of 60 lessons. This South Korean gentleman, based in Germany for 18 years now, has been back at the institute for a week now. Indeed, the school is not totally new for him because it is already his fifth stay with us. As a real enthusiast of poetry and literature, learning French has become a must for him.

Curious to know more about it, we asked him some questions.

Why is it important for you to learn French ?

“First, a little anecdote… When I was little, I happened to hear a song by France Gall called ‘Poupée de cire, poupée de son’. I was seduced by her tone, her voice and her intonations. But the main reason is my love for French literature and poetry. I love Camus, ‘Le petite prince’ by Saint Exupery, the poetry of Verlaine or Rimbaud. When I was a teenager, I read almost all Camus’ work in Korean and wanted to be able to read it in French. Since then, I have read ‘L’étranger’ and ‘La peste’ and many other great books.”

How did you hear about IS Aix-en-Provence?

“I searched the internet and discovered a number of institutes recognized in France including institute IS Aix-en-Provence. There were several, especially in Paris, but I already knew this city and I had heard several times that Aix-en-Provence was a very beatiful city so I was also curious to discover the region.”

And it’s already your fifth course with IS Aix-en-Provence, what is it that draws you here?

“It’s mostly the relationships with people! The teachers are wonderful and very professional, we have very easy talks. When I come back, they remember me and welcome me warmly. I have a lot of fond memories here. The environment is important as well. Once, I went to Montreal to study French but I did not like it because most French speakers also speak English and they didn’t give me the opportunity to practice my French, whereas in Aix-en- Provence, I can do that easily. I have met students and musicians in cafes, who have became good friends. It’s amazing the relationships we can create!”

So would you like to come back?

“Oh yes, until I retire I think! In addition to Korean and French, I also speak German, Finnish, Spanish and Portuguese. But I especially want to maintain my French. For Koreans, it is an interesting language because phonetically it is very different and there are certain consonants that we do not pronounce. I like to observe the movements of the lips a lot. Yes I will come back and by the way, I think that the city of Aix-en-Provence would be a very beautiful place for my retirement… ”

Thank you very much Jong Hwi for your testimony and you are always welcome!

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