My mind is really buzzing after an educational and thoroughly enjoyable late night in Second Life discovering the rich experience available at ‘Le Louvre’, Paris 1900, and I feel compelled to share this with you!
As a French teacher in RL, I love any opportunity to develop my own language skills, and there is no better way to do this than to be in the company of native speakers who also love exploring language. As a ‘newbie’ 8 years ago, I met loads of them in Arcachon, a community of exceptionally friendly French people who offered friendship quickly and accepted you straight away. Devlink Garside was one of these people, and over the time I have known him, I have really valued the language he has shared with me. He is a natural teacher: always spotting ways of introducing me to new language by deliberately introducing a colloquial expression he knows I will not know, patiently explaining it, and making reference to it some time later just to check I still know it. There is no doubt in my mind that language ‘sticks’ better when you have been fully immersed in a situation where you came across it for the first time, whether physically or emotionally. The situations created by Dev are random, fun and memorable! Enough of the Devlink eulogy ..I will be embarrassing him and will return to him later. Let’s get on to Le Louvre, a project in which he has played an important role which has great relevance for language learning.
The Paris 1900 team has always impressed me with their love of culture while still having fun. They hold slick, informative and entertaining events on a regular basis, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. I have enjoyed many tours led by lively, talented members of the group.
Olympe Rhode is the curator of a new, impressive exhibition of paintings at ‘Le Louvre’. Let me give you a short walk-through ….
Here is the slurl (the website address) for the island:
You arrive in Paris 1900, and admire the instantly recognisable landmarks. While there, why not take a little drive around in a period car? Just imagine that the sea you see in the distance is La Seine, flowing through the most beautiful city in the world ….
Ready for some culture? Then get off at Le Louvre and walk through the door under the sign ‘Galerie des artistes’.
As you enter, you will be greeted by a charming, handsome man, who lifts his hat to you. Ah les beaux jours!
There are three floors, and an attic space.
The ground floor (le rez-de-chaussée) houses works from Antiquity (pre- 5th century)
The first floor displays works from the 16th – 19th century.
The third floor has art from the Middle Ages.
The attic is called ‘la Petite Galerie’ and has temporary exhibitions and space for social events. I was very honoured to be invited to the opening of the museum. A nice excuse to buy a new frock!
The layout of the build is superb, and well-designed for people who may be new to Second Life. As you walk around, you see the art works clearly without any obstacles and without having to use your mouse controls. Bravo Netpat Igali!
And now.. the really important bit which brings us back to (Saint) Devlink Garside….!
To get the most out of this art gallery, whether you are interested in art or language or both, you simply MUST take time to use the cleverly designed HUD (Heads-Up Display) into which the team has put hours and hours of work. This way you can easily access information about every item displayed, in English or French, as a summary in the HUD or as a separate detailed notecard which you can access from the side bar of the HUD. Here are the steps, deliberately written for those who may be new to Second Life, but also hopefully of interest to others.
Click on any one of the pillars found on either side of the staircase on each floor.
You will receive a message that you have received an object named ‘HUD Le Louvre FR/EN’. Select the option ‘Keep’.
Open up your inventory. Go to ‘recent items’ then ‘objects’ to find your HUD
Activate the HUD by clicking on the object in your inventory and clicking ‘wear’ or ‘add to worn’ (the latter makes sure that the HUD does not replace anything you are already wearing in that spot, and can avoid embarrassment …!)
The HUD appears at the bottom of your screen. The default is the French version, with the Tricolore flag at the top left.
Click on ‘help’ (the middle right box’ of instruction on how to use the HUD in both English and French. (These instructions are explained in the following steps) You will also receive a Landmark which goes into your inventory. Use this at a later date to find the museum and/or to pass on to friends.
Click on the flag to select your language [Currently available in French = Tricolore OR English = Union Jack)
STEP 8 (and come back to this step for each fresh painting you visit)
Click on the painting for which you would like information
Read the summary in the HUD.
If you would like more than the summary information, click on the ‘NOTE’ button in the side bar of the HUD – the top right box of the HUD
You will receive a message that you have received a notecard. Select the option ‘Keep’.
Read the notecard! You can resize this so that you can see both the picture and the notes on your screen.
For language lovers, take the cards in both French and English by toggling between the French and English versions, and learn the other language through comparing the parallel texts.
Before leaving the museum, don’t forget to tip the gallery, remembering how much it costs the Paris 1900 to maintain the SIM (a full region costs $1000 and costs 295$ a month to maintain.. so nearly $5,000 a year, or £3,500), and how little Lindens are worth (10$ / £7.00 = 2,500 Linden dollars, so 1$/70p = 250 Lindens). You will all have your own approach, but mine is to think that each visit to a venue is worth at least the cost of a big chocolate bar. So 250 Lindens seems a very small price to pay for each visit, and if you can afford more, that’s even better! (I can say this because I am a visitor! I often find that SIM owners are embarrassed to ask for money .. but they are providing the means of our entertainment!))
There is also a Guest book where you can leave your comments. When I looked there were 8 comments. I will return now and leave a comment and a link to this blogpost.
And finally.. to return to my idol, Devlink! (Are you still reading this Dev, or have you run away in embarrassment?) Dev has invested hours in research and helping to translate the notecards which give information about the works of art. That’s where I came in, albeit briefly, and where I rediscovered the power of what I believe is known as ‘tandem learning’ (two equals helping each other with learning each other’s language) and immersion.
Dev and I spent at least 90 minutes looking at the notecard for one painting, debating the correct translations from French into English. Staring at words for a long time, poring over their meaning is not only a satisfying activity per se, but it also ensures that words ‘stick’ in your mind! The delightful ‘extra’ in this activity is that you are also learning a great deal about art and, in the case of ‘The Lictors’, about history. Of-course I had heard of Brutus before. I have also seen David’s painting hanging in the real life Louvre. But to be absolutely honest, I had never really bothered to find out more.
Thank you Paris 1900 for providing this beautiful experience. Merci Devlink pour le cours de français!