I feel a strange affinity with the French language. I love the sound ot it, and I love the accent of French people when they speak English. The only conclusion I have come to as to the reason for is historical. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, who was married to the dauphin of France. She was, of course, fluent in French and she thought in French. After her husband's death she sailed home to Edinburgh, Scotland to claim her throne. After years of imprisonment she was beheaded in 1587 by order of the English Queen, Elizabeth I, who regretted this bitterly when it was too late. Mary was a very brave and oustandingly noble figure from Scottish history. I treasure this part of my country's history and the link with France.
Of course, the french gov encourages the use of french in the same way english encourages the use of english, the italian bla bla bla. You learn how to write and to read in french at school when you are 6 years old. Isn’t it the same in your country?
The use of french in France is a political choice, Canada is different. If you compare France to Yougoslavia, there are some common points very interesting. In France, many different cultures coexisted together. Of course, there has been some conflicts, bretons against vendéen, provençaux against auvergants. The kings decidec to unallowed every different languages and the use of french became an obligation. It has worked, but not in Yougoslavia of course. I think that’s 1 of the reason why french language still being important in France. People paid with their blood the obligation of using french as national language.
I am 32 years old, my generation used to learn english at 11 years old, you had the choice between english and german. Most of us chose english. 2 years after you start learning another language, usually it’s spanish.
Things changed, nowaday as I said, children start learning english very young.
To your question : “What are your Bacleuriate or High School Second Language requirements?”
If you are talking about the baccalauréat I mean the diploma you have at the end of your public studies when you are usually 18. There’s not an obligation with english, usually most of the young people do it with english and a 2nd language, that’s what I did. And you must have a 2nd language. In my case it was : english, spanish. But it can be german, italian ; german, spanish, english, german…..
When you are looking for a job, speaking english is of course a plus, it can be a necessity in jobs like waiters, servant, tourism.
If you want to work in a public institution (fonctionnaire), you must be french, so you must speak french. English can be necessary for example if it’s about a job you must communicate with foreigners.
Is “gaffe” an english word or is it the french meaning?
maybe the next paris fashion show will have a new line of bourkas designed by gautier, french wine would be outlawed, or how about the ayatollah ali chirac as your president. the only thing left that would be french would be the return of beheadings.
But there is a fashion for bourkas designed today in France. French wine cannot be outlawed for 1 reason, algerians and other north african countries produce today their own wine, for example the famous “Sidi Brahim”. Their own production of wine exists since a very long time. So if french wine was outlawed, algerian wine should be outlawed. When you see how much money they earn because of their wine, I don’t think algerian gov will do it.
I don’t think we can say Chirac is an Ayatollah, he is liberal that’s the point. So was Thatcher, but the religion has nothing to see with it. France is laïc, politic and religion are 2 different things. It’s not the case with an “Ayatolla” who’s something between religion and politic.
And you forgot the “old alliance”!!!
Scotland the brave!
Merci bien, mon cher ami! You are a star! Yes..the old alliance! Vive la France! I will log onto that link. Now my exams are over and in between working in the supermarche (aka Tescos!) I have more time to come in here and really log into all these other links.....it's exciting. I leave the football fanaticism and the drinking :-( well, the excessive kind... to the English..... a bientot!
I meant gaffe in its English sense. It is probably more common in Canadian an British English. We borrow everything.
It is a noun which means a socially awkward or tactless act
[synonym: faux pas, solecism, slip of the tongue , gaucherie]
I apologize if I made a gaffe by the way. I get overly serious sometimes.
I was just commenting that due to Historical events which you alluded to,
the French government was very serious about the propagation and standardization of French.
Obviously, they don't prevent people from learning English. It sounds like they even encourage 2d Language learning in the sense of creating a stronger European community.
In Canada, we have French Immersion schools, in the English areas. They find that early childhood is the best time to learn another language well.
The children get at least 2 or 3 classes a day entirely in French, from the first year of school And they have maybe one class a day about learning English. For the vast majority of children, the immersion in French doesn't hold back their development in English.
Some people, (A lot of them become Engineers, Architects, Draughtsman) seem to have difficulties and the switched back to the English schools where French is learned more slowly.
I think they so something similar in Switzerland?
It is interesting to live in a Bilingual Country, although the downside is that there is always a groups of people, trying to split up the country for their own power-hungry purposes.
Regards, Paul V.
Sorry, baccalauréat is what I meant. Here we call it a High School Diploma. It mean the diploma you have at the end of your 12 years of public school studies (11 years in Quebec). when you are usually 17.
There is no obligation to have second language. Less than half the english students have french credit. And they had to add a English Literacy test requirement for the Diploma because about 25% of the students are unable to gain usable literacy skill before the 11th year.
This is because of modern group teaching methods and the automatic Grade promotion mitigaites against the individual student getting the personal attention needed to learn English Spelling.
Bi-lingual country......Belgium an example? I believe it is and it must be interesting. Does anybody know the real situation there? Is it divided down the middle..the north Flemish and the south French? You don't hear of any bother there so I guess both language speaking groups get on well together. I've never been to Brussels but it must be an interesting city. It has to be...it governs the lives of most of us in the EU if you were to believe the UK politicans at least! Perhaps it is a multilingual, multicultural city...that is interesting. Cheers!
Paul could answer this.....Montreal must be another interesting city....I was told that it is more French than Paris! Is that really true? The more I come into this forum the more I realise how little I know...Dumbass Damo!
Belgium has three official languages:
-Flemish, a Dutch dialect spoken by Flemings in the North (Flandria)
-French, spoken by Wallons in the South (Wallonia)
-German, spoken in the extreme east.
It is divided into 3 regions (Flandria, Wallonia and Brussel)
Each region has its own official language, except Brussels, where all three languages have an official status.
That's all I know and I wasn't able to find any really worthy site, but here is a "languages map" of Belgium:
By the way, Damian, you said your exams are over? I thought in Scotland there were no exams but just a count of one's results through the school year. Well, at least that's what I've read in a magazine once.
The exams ended last Wednesday in France (the baccalauréat).
We usually have the choice between English and German as a first language, and most of us choose English. However, in some schools, you can choose something else, even a rare one.
All things considered, the only obligation is to have at least 2 languages. The most common combination is English + Spanish.
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I'm meeting my friends in a bar tonight to down beer or something and celebrate the end of the "bac" and our victory against England... :D
ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!!!!!
(Ooops, any Englishman round here...?)
Thanks for that information on Belgium.....interesting when countries have language divisions. Thanks for the link...I will log into it. You are correct regarding the Scottish system but I have just finished my final exams at university. This is in England not that that makes any difference in this respect. I wanted foreign travel! :-)
Good for you in your football victory....actually, I DID support England....it didn't hurt TOO much :-) ALLEZ LA FRANCE COME ON ENGLAND etc etc etc................whatever!!!!
Things seem pretty messed up in Belgium.
Especially, when you think that French was originally the prestige language
spoken by all educated people.
If the French are not careful, they will become a minority.
Still with the EU so active in Belgium, there will always be a few people who speak french.
Regards, paul V.
If the French are not careful, they will become a smal minority in Belgium.