13 February 2008

Perfectionnement français : expression écrite & orale

In my exams last semester I got an 18/20 on my exam for Perfecting your Written and Oral French. I'm pretty proud of it because 1) in the derisory French school system, a 15 is considered the best score you can realistically hope for, and 2) the prof is this effusive, extravagant writer and I really value her opinion.

For the benefit of all you French readers, I've reposted part of that exam here. The prof gave us a list of ten words, then we had to incorporate the words into a 10-line story. See if you can pick out what the words were.

Sa fuite n’est pas sans danger

Vietnam, Indochine de mystère. Dans les paddys du Mékong ; étouffant, un été éternel. Une jeune veuve, Minh, s’enferme dans sa maison. Le monde qui l’entoure l’ennuie depuis la mort de son gentil mari, un marchant de cacahuètes. La saleté de la campagne, la pudeur du naturel. Elle veut, elle doit, retourner à Saïgon, le glamour, l’excitation. Mais ses beaux-parents l’enchainent, ils sont zidanes.

La mélancolie est oppressive pour Minh, elle meurt ici. C’est en fumant l’opium qu’elle vit vraiment. Elle rêve de Saïgon ; les bruits de voitures, le clac des tuiles quand elle jouait au mah-jongg avec ses amies. Sa fuite n’est pas sans danger. Les beaux-parents pourraient la découvrir, la dénoncer, la jeter dans la rue. Mais elle n’y pense pas. Toute ce qu’elle veut c’est retourner au Saïgon qu’elle a connue.


Ian Mackenzie said...

That's lovely Dan. You should post in French more often!


Tokyo Tintin said...

Thanks Ian. I think I just might do that.

lisa said...

"cacahuètes" encore une fois, doll. quelle blague!

Tokyo Tintin said...


"Cacahuètes" was indeed one of the words to incorporate. I think it was the most difficult one to get in there actually.

The others were: Vietnam, Mystère, Été, Éternel, Gentil, Naturel, Glamour, Zidane, Mélancolie, Fumer, Voiture, Jouer, Danger.

Zidane would have been pretty difficult to fit in my story too, if I had known what it meant. I did know that Zidane was a French soccer player, but I just assumed that the word had some kind of slang meaning I wasn't aware of. It never occured to me that she was actually refering to the guy. So I just made up a word ("Her in-laws control her. They're zidane."). The professor thought it was funny; Quelle audace!