Échofête est le meilleur festival à Trois-Pistoles. C`est un festival pour l`environnement. Il attire beacoup de personnes vient des autres pays monde. Pour mon ateliers, moi et mes camarades de classe avons parlé avec des visiteurs. (Je faisais le même activité avec mes étudiantes en Corée du Sud!) Ma surprise a été de constater qu`il y a des personnes ici qui viennent de Paris!

Il y avait du drame avant le festival cette année car de la manifestation des étudiants à Montréal. Mais, les spectacles continuent! Je suis allée au spectacles vendredi soir, samedi soir, et ce soir. J`ai oublié m`appareil photo vendredi, mais j`aimais beaucoup les chanteurs. C`était rap et ragga en français! Wow. Excellent. J`ai une liste de mes artistes préférés (Samian, Paul Cargnello, Bernard Adamus) parce que je veux acheter leurs DCs quand je retourne à Vancouver.

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Échofête is the best festival in Trois-Pistoles. It`s an environmental festival. It attracts a lot of people from around the world. For my workshop, my classmates and I had to speak with some of the visitors. (I did the same activity with my students in South Korea!)  I was surprised to learn that there are a lot of people here from Paris!

There was some drama here this year because of the student protests in Montreal. But, the show must go on! I went to concerts Friday night, Saturday night, and tonight. l forgot my camera Friday, by I loved the performers. It was rap and raggae French! Wow. Amazing.  I have a list of my favourite singers (Samian, Paul Cargnello, Bernard Adamus) because I want to buy their CDs when I return to Vancouver.

BoA Sings "I'll Eat You Up"

Of all the K-pop songs I've heard in the past 22 months, this one is still my favourite. Kwon Boa was born just outside of Seoul in 1986 and was discovered by the head of SM Entertainment at the age of 13. Since then, as BoA ("Beat of Angel"), she's had success as a singer/dancer/model in both Korea and Japan. This year she went to the good ol' US of A in search of success there, as well.

I found out about BoA not through my students, like usual, but throughYouTube Live concert in Tokyo (yes, I am a huge nerd).  And the first time I saw this video, I became a fan. This girl can dance. I can imagine trying to break into the American music scene is tough for an Asian pop star (it's hard enough for Canadians, for goodness sake), but I hope she makes it.

Meet the Biggest Boy Band of All Time: Super Junior

Sorry, Sorry
Super Junior

"Sorry, Sorry" is the latest song from the K-pop boy band, Super Junior. And when I say "boy band," I mean the biggest boy band of all time; Super Junior has no less than thirteen members: Leeteuk, Heechul, Han Geng, Yesung, Kang-in, Shindong, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae, Siwon, Ryeowook, Kibum, and Kyuhyun. And no, I can't tell them apart yet. Even Perez Hilton has taken notice of this super-sized boy band.

Prior to the release of "Sorry Sorry," Super Junior hadn't released a song here since "Don't Don" in late 2007. With no singles and lots of competition, they've been losing their place among boy band-loving teens like my students. TVXQ (also known as Dong Bang Shin Ki in Korea), FT Island, and especially Big Bang have consistently been ranked as the best by my girls. If I mentioned Super Junior, it was always met with, "No, teacher. Not Super Junior. They are not good." But, judging from the dancing around my classroom, I'm pretty sure Super Junior is gaining in popularity once again.

My students made a cute video of the teachers for Teacher's Day. It was styled like a music video for this song, with some teachers and students dancing, posing, or catwalking. Not gonna lie, I was disappointed that I wasn't asked to dance; my part was limited to a goofy smile. But I found this video with all the dance moves so I can practice, and maybe I'll be ready for next time.

Jason Mraz Concert in Seoul

Tonight I had the opportunity to see one of my favourite musicians, Jason Mraz, live in concert here in Seoul. It was great to hear the Koreans singing along to his songs; extra cute when he changed the words or sang songs other than his own and the audience couldn't follow along.

I've never seen a concert that wasn't English (still waiting to see Big Bang or Wondergirls!), so I can't imagine what it's like to not understand everything being said. The show was awesome, minus the super-tight security. I did manage to take a video (albeit sideways) of one of my favourite songs, "I'm Yours." Just try and not love this song.

Jewelry's "One More Time"

There's another K-pop song that has caught the attention of all my students, causing me to eliminate some more vocabulary from my classroom. I am no longer able to say "one more time"---something I often say during speaking exercises---without my students singing that particular line in this song. And they can't seem to sing it without the accompanying dance move (the one where the index fingers come together).

This song doesn't appeal to me as much as Wondergirls' "Tell Me" or Big Bang's "Lies," both of which had their run as female middle-schoolers' songs of choice in the fall and winter. All three songs are heavily played.

Recently, I was walking home from school and three stores in a row were blasting their music onto the sidewalk. The first store was playing Wondergirls, the second was playing Big Bang, and the third was playing Jewelry. I was laughing the rest of the way home.

Check out Jewelry's video for "One More Time".

"Tell Me" / "Lies"

There are two songs in Korea that have been topping the charts and dominating radio airplay for months: “Tell Me” and “Lies”. These two songs, by K-pop (Korean pop) girl band Wonder Girls and boy band Big Bang, respectively, are inescapable. We here them in stores, in clubs, in classrooms during lunch time, or as cell phone ring tunes. Literally, everywhere, all the time. As annoying as it is to hear the same songs over and over, I have to admit they're both catchy songs.

I've had to eliminate tell me from my classroom vocabulary because those two little words would cause thirty teenage female students to simultaneously erupt into song. “Tell me! Tell me! T-t-t-t-t-tell me!” And then they'd ask me, “Teacher, do you know the dance to Wonder Girls?” Then I'd spent the next five minutes just trying to get back on track.

On the other hand, mentioning Big Bang as part of an example for whatever lesson I’m teaching instantly makes me a 'cool' teacher. “So, girls, we use present simple verbs to talk about facts and routines,” I glance around at all the blank stares and stifled yawns, “for example, ‘I ride the bus to school everyday.’ ‘I like Big Bang.’” And the yawns turn to smiles and laughter. Score.

This video is from their concert special on KBS TV (aired 5 October 2007) when Wonder Girls and Big Bang performed both of their huge hits for a large crowd. Listen to the synchronized “Tell me, tell me, t-t-t-t-t-tell me” from the audience; it's my favourite part.

Here are the English translations I've found online for these two K-pop classics:

"Tell Me" Wonder Girls

I did not know you to like me
I feel so good, oh so good
I thought it was a dream
Maybe I should pinch my cheeks,
I just feel so good

I thought maybe you didn't like me
I spent nights pondering about it
But now I know that you like me
Oh my, tell me again

Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
That you love me, that you waited for me
Tell me tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
Tell me that you need me, tell me
Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
I want to hear more, keep on telling me
Tell me, tell me
Tell-tell-tell-tell-tell-tell me
Say that it is not a dream, tell me

I don't know why my heart is beating so much
My chest is about to burst
When you see me I feel like a person shocked with electricity

I don't know how long I've been waiting
I don't know how long I've been dreaming
But now I know that you love me
Oh my, tell me again

Tell me, tell me, tell me you
Want me, want me, want me too
Tell me, tell me, tell me you
Love me too, love me too

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"Lies" Big Bang

Yeah (Love is pain)
To all my broken-hearted people (Come again)
One's old a flame, scream my name
And I'm so sick of love songs, yeah
I hate them love songs, memento of ours

It's raining late at night, it brings you here,
I run at the end of memories
I could live fine without you, even if you beg it will come to no use
I drank the alcohol I couldn't drink,
I even drank up the night that burned my heart
I hate it, a day without you is too long,
I beg to finally forget about you (It's all lies)

Without you, I have no smiles
No tears well up
I don't want to live anymore

You're like a [unknown]
It makes me mad
I think I'm going insane at the thought of you
I want to see you, but they say I can't, it's all over, I'll be right there

I'm so sorry but I love you, it's all lies
I didn't know, but now I do, I need you
I'm so sorry but I love you, sharp words on a whim
I didn't even know, I sent you off
I'm so sorry but I love you, it's all lies
I'm so sorry (I’m so sorry) but I love you (I love you more, more )
I'm so sorry but I love you leave me and could you forget me slowly so I can hurt

That song I sang you that I put everything into (People probably don't know)
By myself, so that nobody else knows (Yeah, the words that I said were all lies)
Now I'm being left alone, the sight of me not knowing what to do
The crinkled note in my pocket that told of separation
I have folded (Where are you, that habit of mine of calling you)
I want to change, I want to laugh it all off now

Oh oh oh oh oh for everything to be a dream
Oh oh oh oh oh because I'm nothing more than this
I still can't forget you, even if it takes forever, even until I die
I wonder if that hurt I gave you has healed
I'm sorry because I didn't do anything for you