The French Connection: Virginie Paradis' French Truly Teaches Language and Culture

Virginie Paradis wants to make us a little bit French.
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This article appears in print in the January 2019 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Virginie Paradis is clearly a perfectionist. Her precise English diction sparkles like Veuve Clicquot in crystal. The way she pronounces words in her native French is equally satisfying, like finding out there’s an extra choux à la crème in the box — and it’s yours!

Paradis has run French Truly, a language immersion business, since 2013. She operated from Seattle until the fall of 2017, when she moved back to France — to a small town near Lyon — to continue her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

As her studies wind down, Paradis, who became an American citizen in 2016, plans to begin spending more time in Seattle again, starting in February with three French immersion courses and a special Valentine’s Day presentation for a Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) event, “The Revolution of Love in Europe & France: Transition from Arranged to Love Marriage.”

After hosting events in her Seattle home, Paradis began working with SIFF in 2016, staging monthly French Truly salons featuring wine and pastries, a short presentation on a theme and the screening of a French film related to the theme. She returns in February with a comedy, The Women on the 6th Floor, about a bored man who becomes infatuated with the maids who live on the sixth floor of his building.

“I’ll give a 45-minute presentation as I always do — this time on the theme of love,” Paradis says. “I will walk guests through history, following the evolution of marriage from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.”

Paradis will also teach a French immersion weekend for beginners (February 16/17) and two for intermediate speakers (February 9/10 and 23/24). They will include classes at the Mediterranean Inn as well as activities with French people who live in Seattle. Each will end with a cooking class taught in French by pastry chef Patrick Morin, owner of La Parisienne Bakery in Belltown. To learn more, visit frenchtruly.com/immersion-seattle.

“My goal,” Paradis says, “is simply to create meaningful connections with people and make them happy via something I love and know inside out: France. It can be humbling to learn something new when you’re an adult, so I’m here to take all the stress away and just make it a joyful, fruitful experience.”

French Truly Salon
Thursday, February 14, 6:30 p.m.;
SIFF Film Center, Seattle Center Campus; $20 ($15 SIFF members)