Hi everyone, it’s Jo and happy French Friday. I’m going to tell you why I speak French, and how it changed my life Because there’s a huge story here and I’m going to try to tell you all of it in French today, let’s go! My story with French started before I was born and maybe you’re asking yourself, why? First thing: I’m not French, I was born in Brazil Everyone in my family is Brazilian My dad, his name is Pierre Franco Like, Francophone, that means someone who speaks French Pierre, that’s an obvious French name He’s not French at all! And his family isn’t French And so, why is his name Pierre Franco? I have no idea. With my mom, it was also bizarre My mom is 100% Brazilian But my mom, her name is Denise she studied French her whole life She studied in “L’Alliance Française” in Brazil and then she started working for La Societe Generale (a French bank). Why? No idea Because no one in the family spoke French So since she was young, she really wanted to speak French Her dream was to study in Paris Between Paris and my Dad, guess what she chose? My daddddd. She got married instead of creating a life in Paris, in France She never went to Paris Well, it was fast, they got married and had three kids I was the youngest of the three When I was five years old, my mom moved us to Bethel, Connecticut in the USA So that was a huge change in my life I started speaking English, because my native language was Portuguese Then, when I began speaking English, I thought “I’m never going to be 100% Brazilian, I’m not going to be 100% American And so, here in the USA when I was 12 I could choose to study either Spanish, or French And all the students told me “Jo, you already speak Portuguese so you should choose Spanish because it’ll be so easy!” Portuguese and Spanish are pretty similar and for me, it wasn’t fair to choose something JUST because it was easier So at 12, I started studying French in school I hated studying French in school it wasn’t for me I prefer just figuring out the language, instead of knowing if its é or è I know that it’s important, but it’s just to tell you that in school, I wasn’t the best student The exams, and tests, and all that I was awful At this time, all the other students stopped learning French because the teachers weren’t good I advise you to not stop studying something just because the teacher is bad, because it’s a little sad I did the same thing with music because I played the saxophone and the violin and then I stopped because I didn’t like the teachers In high school, there was another teacher and all the other students didn’t like him because he was really, very, extremely, strict Not cool. But, he loved me why? Because he knew I loved speaking and the other students didn’t I don’t know if it was easier for me to learn French when I was 12 because my mom used to speak to me as a baby in French Or if it was something in the spirit of my parents In the classroom, my French name was “Cécile” And like, every question it was “Cécile, the answer?” When I was 17 years old, I decided to start learning Italian also because I really loved languages And in my opinion, if I could speak Portuguese, learn English, and French, Italian should be easy Then it was time to go to University and I thought, ok Connecticut, there’s nothing for me here. New York City is only two hours away on the train I wanted to be an international business woman while speaking French so I chose to go to a school in the city and I didn’t have any friends so I added myself to the “incoming Freshmen” facebook group of students who wanted to speak to other perspective students of the University and it was thereeeee where my life changed people. I wrote on the Facebook group Who responded to me? It’s thanks to the French language that Damon and I met So we started speaking on Facebook before going to University just so we’d have a friend at school (when we got there) Because we both had a passion for the French language we both did an exchange to go to Paris, France at the same time He did a year, I did a semester. But it was dumb, because due to the fact I studied business at an American university (in the USA) they told me that I couldn’t study in French in Paris So I needed to study at an American University in Paris. DUMB. So all my classes were in English even while I was in Paris and I lived with a French homestay family and it was with them that I learned the most French So I studied abroad for four months in 2012. That’s where we started the channel And after the exchanged, my life changed. It’s always like that. When we started filming little videos I started thinking, “why work for someone else?” I told myself, “maybe these videos are a career” Maybe we can create a new option of content showing young people who want to learn languages who want to travel. And so, Shut Up and Go was born! That changed my life I don’t need to speak French but I love the language and like this, I can practice with you. And now, if you can leave a comment below of something that’s changed your life. And we’ll see each other next time! When I told my mom that I wanted to study in Paris as a 17/18 year old all alone, with a French family that I had no idea You know what she said? “Joanna, you can go there, but under one condition. I’m going with you for a week it was always my dream to go to Paris” And that was how my mom finally got to live her dream to go to Paris with ME! it was really cute!