Tag Archives: French

Enfants de Troisième Culture

Latest update 2.7.2015 / Dernière mise à jour 2.7.2015.

We can find many books and articles about Third Culture Kids – in French: Enfants de Troisième Culture – but little has been published in French up to now. This is why I’m setting up this bibliography that I will, hopefully, update regularly.

Il n’ya pas encore beaucoup de livres en français au sujet des Enfants de Troisème Culture. J’espère tout de même de pouvoir ajouter de nouveaux titres d’ouvrages, articles, films etc. ici.

Claudie Bert, S’expatrier en famille, ed. Village Mondial, 2005

Gaëlle Goutain, Adélaïde Russell, Le conjoint expatrié. Réussissez votre séjour à l’étranger, L’Harmattan, 2011

Delphine Joëlson Marteau, L’expatriation au féminin, L’Harmattan, 2013.

Gaelle Goutain et Adélaide Russell, L’enfant expatrié, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2009

Gylbert, Cécile, Les enfants expatriés: Enfants de Troisième Culture (Kindle), 2015

Livres pour enfants:

Karpathakis Emmanuelle, Pixie Déménage, Summertime, 2012. (traduit en différentes langues)

Karpathakis Emmanuelle, Les Vacances de Pixie, Summertime, 2013. (traduit en différentes langues)

Sites en français au sujet des Enfants de Troisième Culture ou Enfants Expatriés:

Psychologue pour Expatriés: posts, workshops etc. au sujet des Enfants de Troisième Culture (à Lyon). Emmanuelle Niollet propose aussi des thérapies par Skype pour les expatriés dans le monde entier – francophones et anglophones.


Online news sites for children

When children reach a certain age, parents want them to learn about what happens in the world. Many parents struggle with the way news are presented on TV. In fact, pictures and the way news are presented in the evening news can be quite traumatising. A great alternative are online news sites for children, where children and parents can choose the kind of news they think are appropriate and get more information about some topics in a child friendly way. What I personally like about online news is the choice to either read or watch the news.

Like in many multilingual families, my children like to have access to news in different languages. As I’m far from knowing about online news programms for children in other languages, asked some parents from the Multicultual Kid Blogs group to share news sites they recommend for children and am glad to share this here below.


Rita Rosenback recommends the Danish site Kidsnews. You have to subscribe to the magazine, but the news videos are for free.


The Dutch Jeugdjournaal is a news programm for children that goes live every day at 18:45 and can also be watched online. There is also a Jeugdjournaal app that permits you to access news in a child appropriate format on mobile devices.

English (British):

Amanda van Mulligen suggested the BBC site for news. This site is very interesting not only for news but also for general information about different topics.

Another site that my children like to visit is the First News Site.


Annabelle Humanes recommends the real paper newspaper that has also a news website. This website is, as far as I could see, without videos, therefore children need to be able to read to access the news.

Isabelle Barth points out that in France and in French-speaking countries, there is no News Channel just for children. But they have few channels just for childern an they have news in their programs. These channels are: Gulli, Tivi5mondeplus and canalj.


On the German tivi site, children can watch news and choose the topics they’re interested in.


The Italian site Bambininews offers news for children who already can read. In fact, there are no videos available (so far). Also, some Italian newspapers publish news sites for children, like Il Giorno. The TV channel RaiGulp offers also online access to some series and news, but, as far as I know, there is no video news programm online.


And on the Norwegian site nrksuper children can access the news that are also aired on TV online.


For Portuguese, Annabelle Humanes‘ husband recommends the Folinha de São Paulo, a website or supplement from an adult newspaper. It is Brazilian.


Anna Watt recommends two Russian websites, one for a younger audience and one for 10-16 year olds and older.


The Spanish site educatumundo is an educational site for children, parents and teachers. Under noticias you can find several topics, written for children. These news are not available on video, but maybe there is another site that offers news clips in Spanish?


Rita Rosenback recommends the Swedish site SVT, where children can watch the news.


Of course, these are only a few online news sites for children and I really would like to extend this list. Therefore, I would really be glad if you could recommend any further online news sites for children in the comments section here below (indicating your name and, if you have one, your website). – Thank you very much!

Is “saudade” really untranslatable?

The conventional wisdom is that the Portuguese term saudade doesn’t have an equivalent in any other language. But according to an entry in wikipedia, there are quasy-synonyms in several languages.

Saudade is…

According to the Dicionário Houaiss da língua portuguesa, saudade can be described as follows (my translation):

“A somewhat melancholic feeling of incompleteness. It is related to thinking back on situations of privation due to the absence of someone or something, to move away from a place or thing, or to the absence of a set of particular and desirable experiences and pleasures once lived.”

Depending on the context, saudade can relate to the feeling of nostalgia or melancholy (melancolia in Portuguese), in which one feels an interior satisfaction because it is impossible to find something, but one never stops thinking that one is searching for it. It is an incompleteness that one unconsciously wants to never completely resolve.

For further information about this term, please find my other posts about it here and here.


I list the languages  of the entry in wikipedia in alphabetical order, but a parental order among the languages would have been possible too (i.e. the Bosnian term is similar to an Arabic and Turkish term, but with different meainings. You’ll find them all listed separately).


In Albanian we can find a direct translation of saudade in the word mall. It encompasses feelings of passionate longing, sadness, and at the same time an undefined laughter from the same source. Other variations which give different nuances to this word are: përmallim, përmallje, etc.


In Arabic, the word وجد (wajd) means a state of transparent sadness caused by the memory of a loved one who is not near; it is widely used in ancient Arabic poetry to describe the state of the lover’s heart as he or she remembers the long-gone love. It is a mixed emotion of sadness for the loss, and happiness for having loved that person.


In Armenian, saudade is represented by “karot” (I’m sorry, I couldn’t find the right font to write the armenian term), which describes the deep feeling of missing of something or somebody.


The Bosnian language has a term for the same type of feeling, sevdah, which comes from the Turkish term sevda (‘love’) via Arabic sawda (‘black’), which in Turkish means “black bile.” In Bosnian language, the term sevdah represents pain and longing for a loved one. Sevdah or sevdalinke (pl) is also a genre of traditional music originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s a singing about bitterness, sadness, longing and love pain. These songs are very melancholic, emotionally charged and sung with passion and fervor.


In English, the verb “to pine” or ” to long” for somebody, something or some place that you miss deeply, to wish you could be there or have it again. It’s a nostalgic yearning for something that may no longer exist.


In the Finnish language the term kaiho seems to correspond very closely to saudade. It “means a state of involuntary solitude in which the subject feels incompleteness and yearns for something unattainable or extremely difficult and tedious to attain”. Curiously, the sentiment of kaiho is central to the Finnish tango. Kaiho has also religious connotations in Finland, “since the large Lutheran sect called the Awakening (Finnish herännäiset, or körttiläiset more familiarly) consider central to their faith a certain kaiho towards Zion”. Saudade does not involve tediousness. The feeling of saudade rather accentuates itself: “the more one thinks about the loved person or object, the more one feels saudade.”


Saudade relates to the French regret, in which one feels a hard sentiment, but in a nostalgic sense (cfr. in some dictionnaries saudade is described as “sentiment de nostalgie, du regret mélancolique“).

(La Mélancolie, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1532)


I would like to add another term to the wikipedia list. The Galician morriña. It describes a feeling towards the place/country we come from (“Heimweh” in German), which is very melancholic. This term entered into the Spanish language through the Gallego: “Se utiliza en español en general para describir un sentimiento de tristeza por la lejanía del lugar de donde procede uno y de aquellas cosas, objetos y situaciones que lo evocan.”


One translation of saudade into German is Wehmut (in Dutch weemoed), a form of nostalgia; or Weltschmerz, which is the “general pain caused by an imperfect state of being or state of the world”. Also Sehnsucht comes pretty close to the meaning of saudade. It’s generally translated with “yearning” or “craving” and describes a deep, bittersweet sense of something lost, missing, or unattainable. Sehnsucht can also have a more positive, goal-oriented connotation; “an “aspirational saudade” that may drive one to reclaim, pursue or define the absent something”.


The Greek word closest to saudade is νοσταλγία (“nostalgia”). Nostalgia also appears in the Portuguese language as in the many other languages with an Indo-European origin, bearing the same meaning of the Greek word νοσταλγία. There is yet another word that, like saudade, has no immediate translation in English: λαχτάρα (lakhtara). This word encompasses sadness, longing and hope, as does the term saudade.


In Hebrew, saudade can be translated by Ergah ערגה, which means yearning/longing/desire coupled with deep sadness.


The closest word to saudade in Indonesian is galau. It describes a sad feeling or mood that is felt when we miss someone. It is apparently used by the Indonesian youth today [it would be great to have some feedback about this, maybe with some context of its use] and, although the word itself may be caused by various things – such as failing an exam – the most common causes are love-related. The person feeling galau is nostalgic as well. “It can last for hours, but it is almost always temporary.”


In Japan, saudade expresses a concept similar to the Japanese word natsukashii. Although commonly translated as “dear, beloved, or sweet,” “in modern conversational Japanese natsukashii can be used to express a longing for the past.” “It connotes both happiness for the fondness of that memory and goodness of that time, as well as sadness that it is no longer. It is an adjective for which there is no fitting English translation. It can also mean “sentimental,” and is a wistful emotion. The character used to write natsukashii can also be read as futokoro 懐 [ふところ] and means “bosom,” referring to the depth and intensity of this emotion that can even be experienced as a physical feeling or pang in one’s chest—a broken heart or a heart feeling moved.”


In Korean, keurium (그리움) is probably closest to saudade. “It reflects a yearning for anything that has left a deep impression in the heart—a memory, a place, a person, etc.”


In Mongolian, betgerekh (бэтгэрэх) is closest to saudade as it describes the feeling of missing something or someone very deeply. It seems that this term is also used to determine a mental illness.


In the Romanian language, the word dor bears a close meaning to saudade. It means “longing, desire, wanting something” and can also stand for “love” or “desire”, “having a derivation in the noun dorinţă and the verb dori, both of them being translated usually by “wish” and “to wish”.”


The Slovenian language has many words espressing the feeling of “longing”: hrepeneti, koprneti, pogrešati (literally “to miss someone”), nostalgija, melanholija. The verb koprneti (“to long, yearn or languish for someone or something”) and thereof derived noun koprnenje  (“yearning”) are the closest translations to saudade.


Saudade is often related to the Spanish añorar, which is defined by the Real Academia Española as “remembering [or feeling] with sadness the absence, deprivation or loss of someone or something loved”.

Llamamos saudade a un sentimiento de melancolía motivado por la ausencia de alguien o de alguna cosa, de la lejanía de un lugar, o de la falta de ciertas experiencias ya vividas. Frecuentemente en plural, la palabra se usa en varias situaciones:

– estar com saudades de alguém que vive longe (echar en falta a alguien que vive lejos)

sentir saudades das ruas da cidade natal(echar en falta las calles de la ciudad natal)

sentir saudades dos tempos de faculdade (echar en falta los tiempos de la universidad)


The term can also translate into the Spanish expression echar de menos, or extrañar—roughly equivalent to the Portuguese ter saudades: “missing something or someone”: ter saudades de comer uma boa feijoada (echar en falta comer una buena feijoada)


In wikipedia we can find that “in Tamil, a similar feeling of love-sickness is expressed by the word pasalai.” But I found this description of the term pasalai: Female hysteria (!) “includes symptoms of  faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

It would be great to have some feedback about the meaning and the use of this term in modern (and ancient) Tamil.


In Turkish, the feeling of saudade is somewhat similar to hüzün, which describe a melancholic feeling popular in art and culture “following the fall of a great empire”. However, hüzün is closer to melancholy and depression in that it is associated with a sense of failure in life and lack of initiative.


Saudade is said to be the only exact equivalent of the Welsh hiraeth and the Cornish hireth. It connotes “homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed”. It is the mix of the longing/yearning/nostalgia/wistfulness feeling.

In wikipedia is also mentioned the Torlak dialect of Bulgarian, “spoken today in the easternmost part of Serbia and the remote southern mountains of Kosovo”. “There is an expression which corresponds more closely to the Japanese and Greek examples, but can be compared to saudade in the broader sense of longing for the past. It is жал за младос(т) / žal za mlados(t) i.e., “yearning for one’s youth.” [Since the dialect has not been standardised as a written language it has various forms]. The term and the concept have been popularised in standard Serbian through short prose and plays by the fin-de-siècle writer Borisav Stanković born in Vranje .

Finally, it is interesting to see that saudade can be found also in Esperanto. It borrows the word directly, changing the spelling to accommodate Esperanto grammar, as saŭdado.


I presume that there are more languages and dialects to be added to this list and all the terms would need a proper linguistical explanation (context of use etc.). I’m not proficient in (all) the languages listed, therefore I would be very thankful for any comment at the end of the post that could help to know more about those terms in the different languages. – Thank you very much in advance!

What I found very interesting in this tour d’horizon is, that the feeling of saudade, expressed by other terms, inspires musicians in several cultures and that it’s closely related to the general sentiment of fin-de-siècle (but this will be the topic for another post).

Thoughts on Switzerland and the so-called “Röstigraben”

This is a very interesting article from Jenny Ebermann from Mindful Leadership & Intercultural Communication, which I would present you here as a very important insight into what is actually an invisible but tangible cultural and linguistic barrier and how this is perceived by someone who lives in the French speaking part of Switzerland.


Ute Limacher has recently published a series of excellent articles on Switzerland, its different cantons, languages and history. To add another perspective to these, I have been asked to write down some thoughts and experiences on this country I call ‘home’ since over 6 years now. Exactly as Ute herself, I have also been living between and in different cultures since early childhood, thus identifying myself with various cultural groups and sets of behaviors.

I would like to take this particular opportunity to write about something that from my perspective and seen through my intercultural communication glasses is quite interesting and astonishing: the “Röstigraben”. Actually, as you have learned from Ute already, there are 4 main languages spoken in Switzerland and the so-called “Röstigraben”, which is a rather informal term, actually defines the “divide” between the Swiss German speakers and the French speakers.

I myself was actually lucky enough to have experienced these two different sides of Switzerland, having lived in Zurich as well as in the Romandy in Lausanne. If you speak French and you have a couple of spare moments, you should listen to Marie-Thérèse Porchet’s geography lesson. Not only is it hilarious, but it will also give you a better feel and understanding of what it is like to live in Switzerland and where the differences lie.

At first, when I arrived in Switzerland I thought it was funny to give a name to something rather fictive such as the imagined ‘border’ between cultural differences. Especially for me, who grew up in Belgium with its three official languages and where to my knowledge no such terminology exists, it had never occurred that it could actually have a name and would be very distinct. The truth is that you learn quite quickly that there really is a “Graben” (or trench, ditch in English). You just have to search the Internet to find many different articles on the subject.

If you are living in Switzerland, you can also hop in the train in any French speaking town, like Lausanne for example and travel towards Bern (or the other way round of course). Whereas you will see French newspapers on the seat and hear mostly French in all the wagons, suddenly and subtly this will change. Newspapers left over are now German and people speak Swiss German. Every time I take the train this strikes me, maybe because I speak the different languages but maybe also because it kind of happens all of the sudden; there is no real mix of languages and people as it would be like in Belgium before one or the other language dominates the atmosphere. It simply goes from French to German or from German to French.

Interestingly, it also appears to be very difficult for people to jump over the “Röstigraben” to visit friends, go on holidays or simply spend time. I have to admit that many acquaintances I used to see when living in Zurich, I don’t see anymore on a regular basis just because I now live in a French speaking canton. You would think that 250 Km is not far, but from a cultural standpoint it actually makes a major difference.

In my professional life, I have even heard people say that they did a “semester abroad” while studying. What they really meant here was that they simply went to the other side of Switzerland to study. How interesting is that?!

I personally think that these differences are very enriching and see a great benefit in being able to switch from one language to the other and from one culture to the other in the same country. Maybe this also gives a good idea of what it is like to live in Europe, where all of the cultures, languages etc. co-exist on a rather small continent (compared to others) without borders and mainly with a common currency. Food for thought! Jenny

Bildschirmfoto 2013-04-04 um 14.54.34

[©LECLERC, Jacques, La frontière linguistique en Suisse, Québec, TLFQ, Université Laval, 4 avril 2013, [http://www.tlfq.ulaval.ca/axl/europe/suisse_front-lng.htm]]