Posts tagged ‘language ‘




Franglais

Driving in my car to work I listened to the audio book of Buying a piece of Paris by Ellie Nielsen. While my mind imagined Paris streets, buildings, traffic and people, my vision was filled with green pastures stretching to meet the blue sky at the horizon. As I dodged dead koalas and potholes from winter rain, my mind swam in French conversations.

The book tells the story of an Australian couple who decide to buy an apartment in Paris and the ensuing dramas that unfold. Ellie Nielsen is a little-known Australian actress and her description of this experience is filled with humour, as she tries to communicate in French. As her comprehension and courage with the French language builds so too do the paragraphs of conversation in the book. So whilst it is a delightful book about Paris it is also a lesson in Franglais.

Listening to the audio book is a far more enriching experience because the accents and pronunciation fill the gaps that my own level of understanding and competence could not.

Once finished I prolonged the “French feeling” by listening to the soundtrack from the movie Amelie. So I drove along unhindered by traffic or buildings smiling and humming along to the music.

1 comment November 5, 2010

The spoken word

One way to get your daily fix of hearing the French spoken word is to watch the French news on SBS TV. Not only does it immerse you in the beautiful language but it also really helps to improve your comprehension of the French language.

The video vision that accompanies the news stories assists with understanding what is being spoken about. It is fun to pick out the words I do know and then to try to discern the overall story. It also reaffirms pronunciation.

Recently I watched a story about the latest storm in France that damaged homes, cut electricity supply, closed train lines, and caused the deaths of some people. I was amused to hear the news team interview the workers on the train lines who were clearing fallen trees from the tracks.

On the French news I have seen a movie review about the latest movie Slumdog Millionaire where they met the young Indian actors in their real homes in the poor parts of Mumbai. I had seen this movie and loved it. I was upset during the opening scenes to see the circumstances in which many Indian people live. It is a beautifully crafted movie.

Today on the French News I watched a story about protests across France. I am not quite sure, but I think the millions of people marching and waving placards were protesting about some proposed privatisation of the French departments of education, medical services, postal services and probably others.

A couple of days ago Australia was mentioned because two French tennis players were playing in the Australian Open in Melbourne. Our weather here during this tournament has been incredibly hot with the last three days reaching 43°C, 44°C and 45°C. I can’t begin to know how the players can withstand the heat on centre court in the enclosed stadium. The officials finally saw sense and closed the roof. Meanwhile in France snow falls. The two French players Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Gilles Simon were defeated but both played beautifully and did well against some fine opponents. Rafael Nadal was the eventual winner of this Grand Slam event.

I hope that if I continue to watch the French news on TV as often as I can then my French speaking skills will improve. It also transports me to France for 30 minutes.

Add a comment February 3, 2009

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