Ming the Mechanic:
French Exams

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 French Exams2004-07-01 10:47
13 comments
by Flemming Funch

I spent the last three days going to French exams. Not that I really had to for any major reason, but it can be nice to get some diplomas to show that one can speak and write. And it is good practice. There are some official exams called DELF and DALF that one can take all over France, and in most other countries too. Most universities have classes that prepare for those exams through several semesters, but I also realized just recently that one can just sign up for them directly. They're actually independent of any particular courses. I did the exams A1, A2, A3 and A4, which, if I pass, should add up to DELF (Diplôme d’Etudes en Langues Française) Premier Degré. After which one can do A5 and A6, which are DELF deuxième degré, and B1, B2, B3, B4, which are DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française). With that one would, for example, be accepted to French university studies without any further testing.

There's no saying if I'll pass these first ones, though. Went very well, I think, but I'm not sure how stringent the criteria are. Both written and oral tests. Explaining various texts, writing formal and informal letters, and presenting and discussing various topics. My vocabulary is pretty good, which carries me quite a long way. But I can easily grab the wrong conjugation of a verb, or the wrong prepositions, and the masculine/feminine thing for a lot of words is still complete guesswork. So, I hope they don't take that too seriously.


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13 comments

1 Jul 2004 @ 12:19 by Lionel @82.227.198.101 : Examens
Bonne chance, Flemming ! D'ici peu, la langue de Molière n'aura plus de secret pour toi :-)  


1 Jul 2004 @ 19:10 by ed3006 (NCN) @68.162.20.107 : Language Learning
The things I found most helpful in learning Spanish & currently Cebuano... verb conjugation handbooks, dull as hades, but ya gotta sweat through em; Just listening and soaking in music & the speech, primarily for the rhythym (this was very helpful in Spanish & is COMPLETELY neccessary in Cebuano, as all the syllables are really short and delivered rapid fire) insisting that those around you who are native speakers speak nothing but the native language and dealing with them entirely in their tongue. I try to balance book time with native speaker time 50-50
One thing I read about, but have been unable to locate is a teaching tool/ program I heard about...It's a program that allows you to red-flag phrases/words you are unsure about, and also stores & remembers for review, words that you get incorrectly when quizzed. I believe a guy who wrote a book titled, "Breaking out of Beginner(s) Spanish," either invented this for use with his son or wrote about it anecdotally. I love the idea of this as it pinpoints the weak areas for shoring up.
Verbs & tenses were and still are an area of partial anxiety for me. Do you dream in French & tell jokes in French? If yes then you're doing all right  



1 Jul 2004 @ 19:45 by ming : Languages
I'm starting to think in French some of the times, and, yes, also dream. Haven't told that many jokes, but I do make people laugh once in a while.

Ah, great idea with a program that can bring stuff back up for review. I often find that I end up looking up the same words 3 or 4 times before I remember them. And I remember them much better if they come up again not too long after I first encountered them. So, if that could be automated a bit, one might learn faster.

Today I spent a bit of time looking at Esperanto webpages. After worrying about French irregularities, wow, here's a language with zero irregularities. Seems like one should be able to have conversations within a couple of weeks. All the rules can be stated in maybe half a page.  



2 Jul 2004 @ 03:25 by NIck Temple @212.159.66.30 : Luck in languages
Bonne chance encore....

Also note the research recently that said that the bilingual had quicker minds into old age....Bilingual brain  



2 Jul 2004 @ 04:50 by ming : Quicker minds
Ah, that makes it worth it.  


2 Jul 2004 @ 20:32 by Jon Husband @24.87.29.115 : Une maudite langue, c'est sur ;-)
Je dit cela comme une form de taquinage. Je trouve toujours difficile le decision necessaire pour accorder les prenoms et adjectives avec l'essence feminine ou mascuulin d'un tel mot.

It often makes no sense whatsoever, and objects we would consider masculine are fenminine, and vice-versa. I have found that one has to navigate by feel and intuition si c'est la deuxieme langue - moi, j'essai de cerner si ca sonne correctement, s'i y a une resonance ... mais zut que c'est difficile de temps en temps.  



3 Jul 2004 @ 05:52 by ming : La maudite langue
Oui, il y a beauçoup de details difficile. Mais, oui, maintenant j'ai quelque fois la propre intuition  


5 Jul 2004 @ 14:40 by Martin Dugage @80.11.86.126 : Poetry will make you love French
Mon verre est plein d’un vin trembleur comme une flamme
Écoutez la chanson lente d’un batelier
Qui raconte avoir vu sous la lune sept femmes
Tordre leurs cheveux verts et longs jusqu’à leurs pieds

Debout chantez plus haut en dansant une ronde
Que je n’entende plus le chant du batelier
Et mettez près de moi toutes les filles blondes
Au regard immobile aux nattes repliées

Le Rhin le Rhin est ivre où les vignes se mirent
Tout l’or des nuits tombe en tremblant s’y refléter
La voix chante toujours à en râle-mourir
Ces fées aux cheveux verts qui incantent l’été

Mon verre s’est brisé comme un éclat de rire  



5 Jul 2004 @ 16:17 by ming : La poesie francaise
Heheh, that's great. Yeah, I think French works great for poetry. Or for bringing more poetry into the everyday communication. Sometimes the sentences get to be a bit longer than they would be in English, but it is worth it.  


9 Jul 2004 @ 09:19 by ming : DELF exams
Hurrah, I passed the four exams I took. DELF Premier Degré. Now, on to the next ones in a few months, which are going to be a good deal harder. Being able to discuss subjects with specialized vocabulary in greater detail.  


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