8 07, 2016

Winter competition: French

For our French winter competition we have chosen a poem that almost all French children know. It was written by Jacques Prévert, the famous 20th century author and screenwriter who wrote simple poetry using everyday language. His poems are widely taught in schools in France to develop the children’s memory as well as taste for French literature. They also frequently appear in French textbooks published worldwide and are often taught in American upper level French classes to learn basics. So now, submit your work of art (painting, drawing, a created image) to one of the charming people in the office and you’re in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! The best image in each language wins. French language poem Chanson pour les enfants l’hiver Dans la nuit de l’hiver galope un grand homme blanc c’est un bonhomme de neige avec une pipe en bois un grand bonhomme de neige poursuivi par le froid il arrive au village voyant de la lumière le voilà rassuré. Dans une petite maison il entre sans frapper et pour se réchauffer s’assoit sur le poêle rouge, et d’un coup disparait ne laissant que sa pipe au milieu d’une flaque d’eau ne laissant que sa pipe et puis son vieux chapeau.

14 09, 2015

Spring quiz: French

As promised earlier this week, we continue our series today with a French quiz. Take part to win a little chocolate treat which must be claimed by Friday, 2nd October 2015, by coming to class and presenting your answers to your teacher. Our French teacher, Louis, has prepared the following text about spring for us: Alors que l’on fête le festival des couleurs en Inde et le nouvel an en Iran, que fait-on en France pour célébrer le printemps ? Mais d’abord, quand est-ce ? En France, le printemps a lieu du 21 mars au 21 juin, soit  entre l’automne et l’hiver en Nouvelle-Zélande. En France, c’est l’occasion pour les enfants de manger leurs « chocolats de Pâques ». Le 1er mai, il est d’usage d’offrir du muguet à sa femme et sa mère. Le printemps c’est aussi la période durant laquelle a lieu Roland Garros et la Nuit des Musées (16 mai). C’est donc un moment idéal pour visiter Paris ! En France, le printemps est aussi considéré comme « la saison des amours ». Oulala ! Here are the French challenges: Which flowers is Louis talking about as being a symbol of spring? At which famous castle is the photo taken? In France, what does PRINTEMPS also stand for?

13 10, 2014

J’ai la peche!

The beauty of language is that it isn’t static and rigid, it is flexible, keeps evolving, reinventing and redefining itself. As civilisation grows and expands, so do the words and expressions of a language. Neologisms, colloquialisms, slangs and jargons play a significant role in language evolution. As in any language, French has different registers and has a large repertoire of rich colloquialisms that never stop evolving. Whether or not to use colloquial French is totally up to you. But you need to understand it because you’ll hear it spoken between family and friends, in movies, songs, magazines and in the streets. Importance of Spoken French Let’s take a FLE student attending classes every week. They will study the pronunciation, grammatical structures and tenses, when to use formalities Tu and Vous, how to introduce themselves, ask for information and they can create lovely grammatically correct sentences in French. Once the student goes beyond the textbook environment, they will notice that people no longer sound like the audio CDs heard in class and will encounter a world of language that breaks the grammar rules, where language is far less structured. They might get their first taste of spoken French filled with word contractions, reductions, idioms, argot (French slang) and verlan (reversed words). Learning Formal French is of course the first and foremost step but understanding informal speech will help you understand language in a current way and save you a whole lot of confusion. TOP 3 Contractions: Tu + Verb beginning with a vowel: Tu in Tu as and Tu es contracts to T’ in spoken French. T’as compris? T’as reçu mon message? Also for example: T’aimes le dessin? Je + consonnant: Je becomes J’ Je veux [...]

11 12, 2013

Speaking French in the Arab world

Colonisation, occupation, trade and globalisation have left their mark on every language in the world. All languages have adopted a large range of vocabulary from their neighbours, occupiers, and "occupees". Although English may have deja vu, laissez faire and RSVP, this is next-to-nothing compared to the extent that French has became part of the language of many Arabic speaking countries, particularly in North Africa and the "West" of the Middle-East. If you want to learn the dialects of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia or Lebanon, an ability to speak French is almost a prerequisite. The below commentaries are written by individuals remarking on the unique situation in these countries. They help to better understand the extent of French influence on these languages. You can click on these commentaries to read the full documents. Turn on the radio and you will hear Tunisians speak sentences in which Arabic nouns follow French adjectives followed by Arabic verbs and French adverbs. Officially in Morocco, the French language is considered a foreign language, but once you go to a Moroccan government agency you will notice that, in fact, you are the one who is the foreigner. Everything is written in French, from documents to the door mount nameplates on the gates of offices and pavements. Diplomats coming to Algeria after serving elsewhere in the region are amazed that Algerians rarely finish a sentence in the same language they started it in. When Randa Makhoul, an art teacher at a school in Beirut, asks her students a question in Arabic, she often gets a reply in English or French. So, if you've been studying Arabic with plans of travelling to or living in one of these countries, don't forget to pack a [...]

16 09, 2013

Learn French with your daily TV update

TV is a great way to practice and improve your language skills. Learning French through TV is very easy - all you have to do is sit back and watch. Unfortunately we don't always have time to watch hours of French TV all day to hone our French language skills. The Zapping is a daily summary by Canal + in France of what happened in French television that day. Its a quick revision to improve your French skills but also to keep up to date with French politics and culture. Keep up with the Zapping and you won't have to worry about a French friend making a joke about a French current-event that you're not aware of. If you keep watching the Zapping (there are also weekly-review Zappings if daily is too much for you) you will notice recurring themes, and get to know French current events well enough to form an opinion and participate in discussions on the topic. You can get your daily dose of Zapping here: The Zapping