French Language

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Re: Correcting french

I should have precised, for the teaching assistants and I, French is our second or third language and the only common one amongst us, we are all here to learn it.

I did get corrected recently and quite publically too but I was glad of it even though I knew of my mistake as soon as the words had left my mouth, in a classroom whilst on a course to learn how to respond to diving accidents, barotraumatisms etc, I asked the formateur if he could speak louder as I couldnt listen to him and there were worried embarrassed looks all round, a lady from my old diving club explained "il veut dire entendre" Smile [:)]

In fact the problem was her husband and his potes who were all having a jolly good loud time and ignoring the lesson but preventing me from hearing, now that is something that I often experience and find very very rude, whenever there is a public gathering and a speaker, it could be the Maire giving his voeux or whatever, groups of people dont want to listen so they talk loudly amongst themselves until the others try to silence them with a "schuut!"

Again its always those that are poor listeners, the husband I referred to before I had nicknamed Alé and when the others realised why they started using it and it stuck, it drives him mad because no-one will explain to him what it means, just that its Chancers affectionate surnom for him.

Alé = à l'ecoute Wink [;-)]


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Re: Correcting french

Not a young lad, someone maybe of my age.

I do ask friends how to say something or tell that I am having problems with some expressions, knowing that they know that it is the moment for a little learning session, but never in full conversation.

I have listened for hours to one friend who needed to talk, terrible things happening in her life. I have talked a lot too and we have had a lot of laughs.

Even if my french is at worst iffy, it is very fluent iffy and sans hesitation. Why would someone stop me, even discretely to correct me. Sadly I am at the age, where I can all too easily forget my thread, he killed the conversation completely.




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Re: Correcting french

Betty, your post is a huge source of relief to me - I, too, find this "damned if I do, and damned if I don't". On the one hand, I remember a friend of mine being deeply, deeply offended when I corrected her once we were in a restaurant and it was clear the waiter did not understand her French -  she sulked and sulked and told me how mortified she was. I correct Mr. 5-E's French all the time, which is not always judicious or conducive to harmonious marital relations.Big Smile [:D] as he thinks my expectations are unrealistic. On the other hand, I find it incredibly tedious when anglophones who are learning French insist on speaking French to me - and trying not to offend, I just switch to English (trying my best Sloane accent) - after what is usually a very short time, we all revert to English and can actually have a decent conversation. But with my bilingual friends, I find it so relaxing to just go back and forth between the 2 languages, we can have a lot of fun that way, I love that very special kind of communication.

However, thank you to those of you who expressed your dislike of  being corrected the wrong way or at the wrong time. It is helpful to hear, as I must be guilty of insensitivity sometimes, must be a little more careful.

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Re: Correcting french

I think that some of the replies have made me realise that some people do not really mind and just shows how different we all are.

If we ever meet 5E I wonder what we will speak, I would hate to upset you.

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Re: Correcting french

Something about which I feel very strongly is that, very often, fluency is more important than accuracy. We all know of people who try to speak English and find it difficult, but we also know that unless their English is really basic, we manage to understand what they're trying to say, and we respond to them accordingly. We don't correct, because we've understood, therefore they have got their message across, even if there have been mistakes. If we correct too often, then the speaker feels increasingly stupid and intimidated and then becomes reluctant to speak at all.

Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.
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Re: Correcting french

But I LOVE being corrected!

Once someone, especially a stranger, has corrected me, I usually manage to remember the correction for ever more afterwards.

OTOH, I NEVER correct someone's English (well, maybe the OH's now and again when he uses one of his Welsh constructions and turns it into "funny" English),

I guess as I am learning the language in an active way and trying to improve all the time, I treat every correction as a free lesson and one to be treasured Big Smile [:D]


N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: Correcting french

I also love being corrected, I guess that you have to try and judge how the other person feels about it.

I would never try to correct a French persons English in France unless they specifically asked me to, but over 8 years I there have probably only been 2 or 3 occasions when people have tried speaking English apart from when they are drunk and just dribble out n'importe quoi.

In England is someone is there to learn the language then I will but I follow Bettys rule, only if I dont understand or if someone else might misunderstand, I had my friends daughter stay about 10 years ago, she was then studying to be an English teacher, thankfully she gave it up as she would have been a real garce, I found her a well paid summer job, gave her free board and lodgings, ferried her around lots and generally was on hand to cope with her mood swings and tantrums as she was at the time a troubled teenager, my friend who gave her the job said never ever ask me to do anything like that again Chancer!

Anyway one day I asked her if she liked something it was a foodstuff cant recall what, she gave me a withering look and said "naturally!" in a disdainfull tone as if I should have known, only a moron like me would ask the question,so I served it up.  She said "I tell you I dont like this!!!!" so I said "I thought you said you did" "No!" she replied, "I said NATURALLY!!!" nat reely = not really Confused [8-)]

I explained that she should watch her prononciation on that one or she would be misunderstood by others and she flipped an said "Well I can tell you that you speak French crap!!!" Woot! [:-))]

The other correction I tried and failed with was her spoken use of moreover instead of also.

I dont take risks now, even if someone is always asking me how to say something I dont assume that they will be happy for me to correct them, but I like Sweet17 am delighted on the rare occasions when someone does.


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Re: Correcting french

Years ago I got to know the Directrice of our local village school, and we socialised for a while. I loved her way of correcting my French, she'd repeat what I said, slightly emphasising the proper word order or verb or whatever. I learnt a lot from her. Nowadays, like you Idun, most corrections and new vocabulary are in one ear and straight out of the other!

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