Friday, June 22, 2007

Government french 101

For the past long while I've been in level B French training, trying to get to a working level so I can communicate more effectively in the workplace in my 2nd official language. The proficiency rankings are as follows:

"X", you've never spoken french in your life(or you try and you're really really bad),
"A" you know enough French to get your face slapped ("voulez vous" , etc.. etc.. insert sexual verb here),

"B" you're pretty good as long as you're talking about simple things in the past present and future tenses(you can do a lot with this), Imparfait ("she was singing") and passe composé (she sang) are key here.

"C" You can discuss Hitchcock films in great depths using very fancy stuff like the Plus Que Parfait (" bla bla "had killed and eaten Mr Smith"), The Future Anterier, ("the suspect by this time will have killed and eaten Mr Smith") The Conditionelle (polite stuff like "would like to kill and eat Mr Smith"), Conditionelle Passe ("would have eaten and killed Mr Smith"), the Subjunctive (- very tricky and my favorite, QUE this QUE that..."I am happy that you are killing and eating Mr Smith").

"E" Exempt. You speak like a pro!

"P" You speak like a pro and know exactly why (the translators are this level, they know all grammer rules inside out. I find most "P"s come from France around here, but there's a big number of homegrown folks as well, including some for whom English is their first language. - IMAGINE THAT!)

I had my first oral exam yesterday (it's always funny to say that.. "Oral Exam"! hehehehe) and I passed at a B level. While this was expected and is generally a good thing, in the end I need a "C"(grin).

Now I go in a "C" accelerated class for 2 months and we'll see what happens!

"On va voir!" (that is future proche, "going to.. bla bla bla"my best friend in the course, you use the verb "aller" au present and tack an infinitive on the end of whatever verb you're talking about in the future" Easy as spit.


Mark said...

nice work, Dave! I know some people who sit near me that have taken 4 or 5 tries to get their 'B'...

Anonymous said...


Gotta see if I can get out to join you and Trip some time. It's been too long.