We’ve created blog posts in the past where we featured some of our teachers, where they are from, their culture and of course, language. In March, we interviewed Fredy Castellano, native of Guatemala.
This week, we focus on Eric, native French speaker from Cote D’Ivoire (The Ivory Coast). Eric is a featured teacher of French with Glovico and also speaks English.
More About Eric
Eric enjoys reading, playing soccer with friends and making soap in his free time. He has had great success in terms of his teaching with Glovico having attained a 5 star rating and positive testimonials from students. Furthermore, he was the first French teacher that joined Glovico and has been with us ever since. Apart from earning some extra income he particularly enjoys meeting so many different people from all around the world. He even taught throughout the civil war in 2011.
Also, his students are very fond of him such as Naoki who posts on his wall “He was very kind and polite. He gave me enjoyable lesson.”
The Ivory Coast (officially République de Côte d’Ivoire) as a country
The Ivory Coast is a Country in West Africa. The country is bordered by Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. The capital is Yamoussoukro with a population of just under 300,000 inhabitants and the country’s largest city and ‘economic capital’ is Abidjan (population of over 3 million). According to the 2009 census, the estimated population of Ivory Coast is 20,617,068. Life expectancy is around 49 years. Birth rate on average is 4.5 children per woman.
The languages of the Ivory Coast
The official language of the Ivory Coast is French but there are 65 other indigenous languages spoken including Malinke, Acouba, Senoufo, Baoulé, Betie, Attie, Agni and Dioula.
French is used in schools and commerce. Most publications, including government documents, are also printed in French. Vernacular newspapers are not widely available, although biblical texts and educational materials have been translated into major African languages.
Here’s some phrases which you might recognize:
Welcome – -> Bienvenue
Hello – -> Salut / Bonjour
How are you? – -> Ça va? Comment ça va?
I’m fine, thanks. And you? – -> Ça va bien, merci. Et toi/vous?
Long time no see – -> Ça fait longtemps !Ça fait longtemps qu’on s’est pas vu !
What’s your name? – -> Comment est-ce que vous vous appelez ?
Funnily, the local languages get more and more important again these days. While speaking French was a sign to be part of the elite in former times, it is hip again these days to speak local dialects these days.
As a result of variation across the country and the presence of numerous indigenous groups, there is much cultural variety. This refers to music, art, festivals and food.
Festivals take place throughout the year with the most famous ones happening in April (Fête du Dipri) in Abidjan and Fêtes des Masques which is held in November. Festivals are centered around spirituality and the omission of evil spirits combined with dancing and prayers.
Popular local dishes include kedjenou (chicken with braised vegetables), attieke (cassava ground into couscous-like grains and eaten with fish or meat) and specialities such as pan-fried frog’s legs. International cuisine is also very popular with large Lebanese, Syrian and French communities. Street food is common with typical snacks such as aloko (fried banana served with onions and chillies) available.
Music is varied and used in accordance with many aspects of the culture. World famous reggae artist Alpha Blondy is Côte d’Ivoire’s best known singer, though his music isn’t necessarily representative. The country’s traditional music style is characterised by a series of melodies and rhythms occurring simultaneously, without one dominating the others.
Ivorian art varies greatly however the most typical element are African masks and African statues. Generally, the masks of Ivory Coast are believed by the various ethnic groups to be inhabited by spirits. Other art forms in Ivory Coast include the wooden dolls, pottery and weaving of the Akye people; the grave monuments of the Anye; the wooden spoons of the Dan; and the brass sculpture of the Senuofo.
République de la Côte d’Ivoire is a country with much variety, cultural diversion and elements and sites of interest. As a teacher, Eric can teach you more about his country, language and culture. To learn more about Eric or if you are interested in learning about another highly talented teacher of Glovico, contact us either by email or social media.