French Language

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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

After a few years in France we reckoned that we were getting semi-lingual instead of bi-lingal.

I was out with old friends last week and when the odd word in my english vocabulary abandoned me, as it used to happen in France with french words and so the party game commences whereby I give a full description of the word sought and friends have to devine what I mean............ and I hate it happening to me.

Truthfully some words seem to suit one language rather than another.

I don't think I think about what language I'm speaking in; I seem to be able to come out with much rubbish in both qnd for the most part quite fluently.

The trouble with the english speaking friends I had in France was that I could say 'remorque' for example in mid sentence and wouldn't have to find the 'english' word, and we all spoke franglais.
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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

But your franglais is particularly delightful, Idun.

Sweet, I don't want to sound like I am bragging, but truly,  my spelling hasn't suffered much in either language. I've always been a smart alec with words, which I put down to the fact that I am particularly stupid in so many other areas of life.

independent - independant, address-adresse, onion-oignon, there are so many to play with...


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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

5-e, you are still up and about!  How lovely, delightful, formidable (er.....what's it mean, formidable?)

However, I CAN spell "formidable", so that's OK then, as far as spelling goes?

BTW, will be looking for a French class to go to.  Only problem is, the only one I've been told about is run by an English person and I have sufficient trouble with my English without having an English teacher who is supposed to be teaching me French.Confused [8-)]


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

My problem comes not from spelling (well, I do have a problem with spelling now, but that's another story altogether), but from what a word or item is in English.

French doors will forever be known to me as porte fernetre for example and I always have to think about that.
Property Loire Valley.
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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

Formidable that you are looking for a French class S.17! In your own case, simply because your French is already pretty good,  you have to get the best teacher possible: so you are quite right to try and go to a class with a teacher who is both a native French speaker and a "real" language teacher. Too many people seem to think that speaking a language automatically turns them into into a teacher of that language.  But also, if someone is a teacher, doesn't mean they can teach a language they might not know quite enough. This is where qualifications and experience come into the equation!

About spelling: there are many very clever (but near dyslexic) people who are hopeless at spelling - in whatever language. Being good at spelling is not an intelligence indicator, it just shows some particular ability.


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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

 sweet 17 wrote:

 Only problem is, the only one I've been told about is run by an English person and I have sufficient trouble with my English without having an English teacher who is supposed to be teaching me French.Confused [8-)]

Hm hm hm Sweet17........My wife is British and is also a qualified teacher (Delta etc..) she is actually qualified to teach teachers of the French language at all levels. Her students young and old have always been full of praise for the quality of her teaching from beginner's classes to higher levels. So don't knock the British teacher of French language, just make sure he/she is suitably qualified for the job.

On the other hand, I agree with you that many British people "rather good at their own language" automatically think of themselves as being suitable teaching professionals. I am French born and would not dream at teaching you lot (unless you are real desperate and offer me a small fortune  Blush [:$].)


Les voyages forment la jeunesse
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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

The only thing I must say to defend my preference for a native speaker of French as a teacher is that I don't really enjoy learning a language per se and a "proper" French teacher can open doors to a whole new and exciting French world.

I love the cultural side; what the language does for your understanding of the social, artistic, traditional aspects of the life that the language describes.

To give a very basic example, I soon learned, practically right after arrival, to ask for "un petit kilo" when I don't want quite as much as a full kilo and it's the sort of taken-for-granted statement that a native speaker would use but which a foreigner person would not necessarily understand.

Another example is how you call where you live a "maison" (when you aren't talking about "chez") regardless of whether it's a house, a flat, a caravan, a shed, whatever.  I remember thinking that very strange but it's little bits and bobs of information like that which I find fascinating.

A language to me is a lot more than conjugating verbs (which lots of people I know seem to think it is) and being able to put pronouns in the right order Big Smile [:D]  Yes, yes, I know all that's hard enough but the reward for all that effort has got to be something rather more than the sum of the parts assembled together? 


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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Re: Has your English spelling gone to pot?

 ericd wrote:
So don't knock the British teacher of French language, just make sure he/she is suitably qualified for the job.

And what makes your wife even more suitable to teach French, Eric, is that she is married to you, a French-born person! Not only she is a bilingual qualified teacher, but she is also likely to be bi-cultural - very important.

But then there is the question of accent. It is very, very hard for an English-born person to completely lose their English accent - just as hard for a French-born person to lose their French accent.  There are many native English speakers who speak French fluently but have a very strong English accent - and likewise for French native speakers with their English. Still, sometimes it can be done. Then you have those who are brought up speaking 2 or 3 languages equally perfectly...

 

edit: whoops, I wrote the above without seeing Sweet 17's post - but that's OK.


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