learn french

French exam – Section B: Reading & Responding

Hi there! Well, I’m officially coming to the end of Year 12 and we all know what that means – exams! Lots and lots of exams … *sigh* One of the practice exams I did about a week ago was for French and our teacher has instructed us to post a revised copy of our answers on our blogs. So, here is Section B of the exam (reading and responding), corrected for you to read 🙂

The instruction for this part of the exam was to read a short passage of text and write 200 – 250 words in French as a reply. The text was an advertisement by a student exchange company, asking for applications for Australian students to host a French exchange student for several weeks, and in exchange that student was able to travel to France. Read my answer after the jump.

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How To Use ‘Depuis’

Today in French class, we learnt more about the french word ‘depuis’, and how to use it in a sentence.

Depuis roughly translates to ‘since’ or ‘for’ in English, such as in:
‘I have been learning French for five years.’

However, depuis can also be used when describing locations. For example, you can also say:
‘Le cadeau vient depuis la France.’ (The gift arrives from France). However, it is still possible to use ‘de’ in place of ‘depuis’ in this sentence (Le cadeau vient de France). 

Most often though, depuis is used when describing a length of time. This is done in two ways. This may seem complicated at first, but it’s soon easy enough to learn.

The first form describes an action that is still currently happening. For an example, let’s take the French sentence “J’apprends le français depuis six ans.”
This sentence translates to “I have been learning French for six years” in English. Notice that the French sentence uses the present tense (le présent de l’indicatif) when referring to what you’ve been doing – it is j’apprends, not j’ai apris. This is because the action is still going and you are still learning French, so the present tense is used.

The second form is used when describing an action that is complete and finished. For an example, let’s use the French sentence “J’ai apris le français depuis six ans,” which translates to I learnt French for six years.” Notice that in this example, the French sentence is the past tense (le passé composé). This is because the action is finished.

To sum it all up, use present tense in sentences with depuis when the action is still currently going, and use the past tense in sentences with depuis when the action has been completed.

Hope that helped!

À bientôt 🙂

Les papillons

Bonjour!

Aujourd’hui en français nous avons travaillé sur une fiche de travail au sujet des papillons. Voici un peu de ce que j’ai écrit.

Ici, il faut maintenant bien s’occuper des cocons. Nous ne les déplaçons pas. Ces cocons deviendront des papillons. C’est écrit dans la leçon. En attendant, il faut les observer derrière la glace du terrarium. 

À bientôt 🙂

Le chocolat

As one of my major projects for French this year, I have to research an aspect of French cuisine, and I’ve chosen French chocolate and chocolatiers as my topic. Below I’ve written a few paragraphs about it, as an introductory essay of sorts.


 

When one thinks of French food, the initial thought is often that of their cheese, wine or bread. But, as this article points out, le chocolat is actually one of France’s best kept secrets. Its neighbours, Belgium and Switzerland, are famous worldwide for their gourmet chocolate, but, as I’m hoping to discover through this project, France may secretly have some of the best.

The cocoa bean was first introduced to France in the 1600’s when Anne of Austria, a Spanish princess, married the King of France Louis XIII. At first it was drunk as a beverage and used only by the French nobility (la noblesse), but soon began to be sold in pharmacies around France as a ‘miracle food’, due to its supposed therapeutic values. 

© Zoonar/Thinkstock

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (around 1760), chocolate was finally made available to the public when chocolate businesses were set up around the country, quickly selling chocolate bars and hot beverages. From then on, it swiftly became a staple of French cuisine, and many families even now have a chocolate mousse or cake recipe that has been passed down through the generations.

Just like their wine, the French prefer very high-quality chocolate, and the favourite choice is often of the ‘dark’ variety, as this website explains.

“31% of sales in the French chocolate market are premium, compared to just 19% in [the rest of] Europe. 25% of French consumers buy only dark chocolate while 65% buy dark and milk.”

© Getty Images

Some of the best and most well-known French chocolatiers include Patrick Roger, Cazenave, Hirsinger, Richart, and Valrhona. Check out their websites if you’ve got time, because some of the chocolate on there is seriously amazing. 

Paragraph in French:

Bonjour!

J’aime le chocolat (c’est délicieux) et donc j’ai choisi ‘ le chocolat ‘ pour mon sujet pour mon projet ce terme en français. 

Histoire: La fève de cacao a été présentée en France en années 1600 où Anne de l’Autriche a épousé le Roi De France Louis XIII. D’abord c’était juste une boisson et a utilisé seulement par la noblesse, mais bientôt il a été vendu dans des pharmacies autour de la France comme ‘une nourriture miracle.’ Autour de 1760, le chocolat a été rendu disponible au public quand les affaires de chocolat ont commencé dans tout le pays, vendant les barres de chocolat et des boissons chaudes. Le français préfère le chocolat très de haute qualité et leur favori est du chocolat noir.

Il y a beaucoup de types différents de chocolat, comme le chocolat noir, le chocolat blanc, le chocolat avec des noix, le chocolat avec des fruits secs, etc. (Ils sont tout délicieux à moi!) En France, ils considèrent la fabrication de chocolat un art et des chocolatiers sont vraiment des artistes. Ils ne font pas juste le chocolat étonnant, ils font aussi des sculptures de chocolat et de bonnes pièces. Un peu de ce chocolat peut coûter des centaines de dollars! La Fabrication de chocolat est une affaire sérieuse en France!


Hopefully you enjoyed that delicious post, and more chocolate stuff should be coming soon!

À bientôt 🙂

Où est le cheval?

A few weeks ago in French class, we were split into pairs and tasked with writing a short conversation between two people, one of whom had lost something, and then presenting it to the class. Sounds basic, yes? Well, it wasn’t quite so simple for me, I’m afraid.

At the time, I was just recovering from a nasty case of bronchitis and my voice sounded awful, and the girl I had been paired with was not feeling much better, as she was coming down with a nasty cold herself. Together, we probably sounded like two old, wheezing geese honking out a stumbling conversation in French. We were also probably sleep-deprived, and this was the last (or second to last?) week of the term, with moods running high and students being excited for the holidays. Thus, our (meant-to-be-serious) written conversation quickly took a turn for the silly, devolving into a rather bizarre story of a horse inexplicably getting lost near a restaurant in Marseille. It was finished hastily amid much quiet giggling and coughing, and it is my pleasure to present it to you here.

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Le Fromage

Ah, le fromage. Few things are so typically French as delicious, smelly cheese (well, that and baguettes and berets).

I am fortunate enough to be one of those people who loves just about every type of food under the sun, but cheese is especially wonderful. I think what I appreciate most about cheese is its versatility: it can be baked into a cheesecake, sprinkled as a topping on just about every hot meal, melted into fondue and enjoyed with morceaux du pain, or just enjoyed on its own with a fine glass of wine (not that I’m actually old enough to do that yet, however!)

As part of French class we were tasked to write about le fromage, and I’ve decided to simply write a list of my personal favourite cheeses and cheese dishes, in all different forms. Enjoy!

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Déjeuner Du Matin Poème

In French this week we were given the rather tricky task of ‘adding to’ a pre-existing poem. The one our teacher chose is called ‘Déjeuner du matin’, by Jacques Prévert. You can read the original here, but the version below is my own version of it with a few extra flourishes and details thrown in. The added parts are in the ‘[ ]’.
~
Déjeuner du matin [Dans la lumière froide d’aube]
Il a mis le café [au lait] dans la tasse [de porcelaine blanche]
Il a mis le lait [crémeux] dans la tasse de café [de dégagement de vapeur d’eau]
Il a mis le [grande cuillère de] sucre [blanc]
Avec la petite cuiller [de cuivre] il a tourné [lentement et silencieusement]
Il a bu le café [au lait]
Il a reposé la tasse [sur la table propre, pointillée avec miettes]
Sans me parler [du tout]
Sans me regarder [de ses yeux vides]
Il a allumé une cigarette [et prises cela entre ses doigts minces]
Il s’est levé [et, étendant une main]
Il a mis son chapeau [noir de velours] sur sa tête [penchée]
Il a mis son manteau de pluie [en lambeaux]
Parce qu’il pleuvait [au milieu de décembre]
Et il est parti sous la pluie [d’aspergement]
Sans une parole
Sans me regarder [dans ma direction]
Et moi, j’ai pris ma tête dans ma main [tremblantes]
Et j’ai pleuré, [silencieusement pour mon coeur brisé].
~
I hope you enjoyed my own little take on this poem!
À bientôt 🙂