French Debutants

Convenor:   Barbara Phillips   Phone: 01633 763884

Meetings:   Wednesdays, 2.15 - 3.45
Text book:   Easy French Reader, second edition

Les Debutants

What can I say? They continue to surprise and delight me with their energy and enthusiasm for the French language, culture and food. A few weeks ago we studied a newspaper report of a young Parisian tourist in Toulouse who was shot 42 times by the local baker because he asked for a Pain au Chocolat instead of the local expression of Chocolatine. It then transpired that most of the group had never seen a pain choc so we had to try one. Or two ...

We have decided to abandon the "hard" Façon de Parler with its emphasis on learning grammar, and instead work from the Easy French Reader - I suspect they were beguiled by the title!

For several weeks we have followed the story of Marc, a young Frenchman and Julie, an American studying in Paris. The ups and downs of their relationship taught us new vocabulary and how one should be tolerant of other beliefs (i.e. that any modern inventions were first discovered by a Frenchman!) and we can absorb the grammar more easily by using it in context. Now, however, we have started on figures from French history, e.g. Vercingétorix, who could have been the model for Asterix, Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu - if you've read The Three Musketeers you will have come across these two characters, and of course Joan of Arc and the French Revolution. Not to mention Napoleon, General de Gaulle and myriad other French Presidents ... it is going to be an interesting couple of months, covering French history and culture.

As if this wasn't enough, the Debs have entered a team in the summer quiz, and are planning to take part in the end-of-year Concert to round out our 25th Anniversary Year.

If you did French in school but not since, then why not come along and sit in? There's no pressure to do homework (well, to be honest, not much) but it does help if you have at least looked at the text beforehand. It is not essential however, and we all help each other. We are a friendly, social group who love going out to lunch on any occasion - the most recent was the 90th birthday for one of the group!

Barbara Phillips
May 2018

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