Kategoriarkiv: Franskt

Why so surprised

Spoke with a colleague of mine, whom by accident studied in Jönköping for a few years and during this time only learned “Tack så mycket” (Thank you) in Swedish. The reason? As he put it, everyone speaks English.

Me “learning” French is in a way in the same place but the reaction to the phrase “Everyone speaks English” is a bit different. While in Sweden this is 100% normal, you don’t find anyone object telling you to leave the English and learn Swedish (this is of course only if you manage English) but here in France the reaction is “You must learn French”.

Why is it so OK in Sweden to manage your daily life in English but in France a sin? OK, I agree that outside Paris you might struggle if your French is bad or non existing but in Paris most people speaks English. Then of course… If they want too or not is another question.

I also miss anything similar to the “Lättläst på svenska” (“Easy read in Swedish”) here in France. Classic French books adapted to people learning French. I always get the “You need to read more” suggestion and of course I need to read more but seriously… You don’t start to read Moliere and think you will master it in a week. But a Moliere adapted to “kids” (more or less) might be the idea. Trying to read French books now is a nightmare if you don’t enjoy to look up every word in a “dictionnaire”, and doing so it takes to long, and at least I, looses interest.

That was todays thoughts on learning French

Björn (Whom forgot his mobile at home this morning)

Are French rude? – Friends in Paris

First of all I have to say I am not easy to learn to know myself so if the French sometimes have strange ways of doing things I am not without blame to not have a collective of new friends and drinking buddies in Paris – or shall I say not a lot of new friends that’s actually French.

I also want to say that all the blog posts on France and French people are written with love cause I love this country and the people living here but still there are cultural things I don’t understand or think is very strange from my Swedish point of view.

One of my problems when it comes to learning French is that I don’t use French since I work in English and most of the people I hang out with is expats not speaking French or even need to learn it cause they are here for a year or less. But still, learning to know the French is not an easy task.

I also need to point out that when I write “French” here it’s actually more about the Parisians not French all over the country.

First of all age. When you turn 50+ you more or less have built up your circle of friends if you stay in one place you kind of not in need of any new people to add to the crowd and mess up the hierarchy it took years to built up. You know who’s the funny one, the organizer and the one to turn to when you need to talk. All this always change when a new person is introduced to the gang so to find new friends after 35 years of age is not easy in any country or whoever you are. Same in Paris.

The Parisians complete lack of curiosity. In a bar, café, restaurant or wherever and all over the world people hear you not from their country you can count on the fact that they will at some point ask you where you from… It won’t happen in Paris, you can sit next to a couple or a few friends knowing they listen to you when you order a drink or maybe speak with someone but even if their eyes tells you they try to figure it out no questions and very fast not even care. Some people say it’s based on the fact that French don’t speak English, which in Paris is completely wrong. They do, more or less but they do. In other areas of France like Nantes, Montpellier or Reims less people speak French but still, all native French under 50 knows enough to be able to commnicate.

I think it’s more based on what said above, the age thing, we don’t need new people in the circle of trust. And I accept and understand that what I don’t get is the few you actually connect with and the way they maintain the friendship.

I have made some pure bred acquaintances and really enjoy meeting them and it works well but it’s a 100% one way communication. None say no to meet, none say no to visit, none say no to doing things as long as I am the organizer or the take contact or suggest to meet. So far no one have said, come on hang out with me or with me or my friends… You like to go to the X museum this weekend? I noticed that X have a concert, you like to go? Eurovision is on tonight can we watch it together?

It’s nothing if you don’t take the first step. So my Swedish way, being the one keeping the communication going for a while and then stop to see if the other part actually keep in touch don’t work. If not keep on pushing the communication fades. And again, none of them say no when you ask them so it can’t be that you are the worst person ever to hang out with.

Also note that for the first meeting it is the French person who push more, but never from that point forward. This fact actually makes me wonder whats up? Bringing it to the table with a Frenchman the answer was that Parisians are so self centered that they want to be contacted to boost their egos, they rather sit home alone than not be the one being contacted. The same person is one of the once never asking me to hang out by contacting me with some own ideas of things to do.

So again it’s not easy to make friends in Paris. And I will come back to this at a later stage on the blog. So see this as an introduction.

Björn

So the french test done

And let us say it in real Swedish, “Det gick käpprätt åt helvete” (this is what you say when things not exactly goes as you plan it).

First of all this is the second kind of test I’ve done. Last year I made a Lilate test which was hard enough but at least you have a person on the other side so there is some kind of communication between you two. They can re-phrase if there is a word you don’t know and the person actually notice if you know what to answer, understand the question, but find it hard to express your answer.

The Bright test is 100% on-line and if you don’t get it with the words used the question is kind of dead. You also have a specific amount of time for each question so sometimes you not even ready to read or hear the question or find the alternative among the answers so the question is dead based on that. So what do you do? Yes, 10 seconds left to answer you panic and click on an answer whatever just to not leave the question blank.

This turned out to be a huge mistake. Now, looking back at it the best thing is to leave it blank and not answer at all.

The questions are, as said, set and do not exactly follow your knowledge base. In many cases they included words I never heard before or if heard at least don’t know the meaning of them. The same thing as when 25% of the classes are on line classes to do by yourself alone. You can’t answer them correctly cause you have no idea what they mean. It’s useless. And when it comes to the online learning you sometimes know the answer but write e instead of é and of course get a red result and in my word I try to find another solution and mix things up even worse. I have said it before and say it again self studies and this guy will never be a match, I need lessons.

So the result was as awful as you can imagine and even outside in the real world my French not as bad as I did on this Bright test. It only gave me the feeling of giving up completely and go for the option to never learn French. Frankly, in Paris it’s not needed in your daily life apart from interaction with Governmental institutions and proven today sometimes when you need medical assistance.

But I will address that in another blog post.

Björn (now decided to not even think in French for 14 days)

Going backwards

As you all know by now I try to learn French and this is my at the moment second most stressful task and problem. I really want to learn French… I have dreamt of learning French since my first visits to France in the 80’s so even if I never expected it to be easy I actually thought I was motivated enough the learn fairly fast.

O la la, not even close. And now I actually go backwards in my knowledge of the French language. A year ago I had my test and ended up as a A2 (not anything to be proud abut after then 3 years in Paris but still…), and doing a second level test a month ago I just learned I’m now a A1+, so I actually getting worse and I have my language class test on Monday and will get a new evaluation. With this speed it might be A1 then…

Björn

A bit more french?

Today we play with the word “Is”, which if I studied Italian might have been a so called piece of cake, but now I study French and si should be a simple “if”.

But depending on the words around it can also be a “such” and “if” and then we have the j’y which completely pushed me over the edge to madness.

Again, French is really really hard and I admire everyone who get it.

Björn

Destination Eurovision 2019 Semi 2

So the second semifinal of the French selection to Eurovision Song Contest took place yesterday and what do we take from that? First I wonder how the production was thinking when they selected what songs to be presented in the two semifinal heats. The first one was far from as good as the second one. Around 6 songs in the second semifinal might have been among the top 4 if they participated in the first semifinal.

We can also hope that the quality of the songs in the second semifinal stop Bilal Hassani from representing France in Tel Aviv in May 2019.

So what about the entries yesterday? The first entry Gabriella “On church encore” a huge favorite among the expert jury kind of passed me without any emotions at all. It was just a bad song and a lot of bad singing.

“La voix d’Aretha” performed by The Divaz strikes me as a clear winner as soon as I heard it. A feeling based on the first song of the evening and the songs from the semifinal 1. But as you will see later on in this blog post more good songs turned up during the night. But still, nothing bad to say about this entry. A bit repetitious with the “Respect” line over and over, but its not unusual in Eurovision to repeat phrases.

UGO and his “Ce qui me bless” a entry hard to place, I kind of liked it but I´m not sure its a Eurovision winner. Not a bad song, nicely performed and one of the songs I think might have gone to the final if he sang in the first semifinal.

Tracy de sà went French/Spanish/English in what we might call a rap attempt. I think this song will climb the charts after the selection but as a Eurovision song not my cup of tea.

“La Promesse”, Emmanuel Moire, a actual artist who released and charted well in the past in France and you can notice is as a fact. This guy is not an amateur. The song, again, I´m not sure it is a Eurovision winner but for sure a hit song in France. Well worth the points giving to him during the night. An amazing performance (but even if the jacket is fake try to make it look more like a real one for the final) taking the subject serious compering to the joke of the song “Roi” from semifinal 1 with the same kind of message. Will en dup high on my list during the final next week.

Noémie and her “Ma petit famille” a what my friends will say is a typical Björn song. And I really like this song, it made me happy. It is not meant to do much more I suppose, dance, be happy and enjoy. Really really a sad thing she was completely ignored by the international juries and the public.

The ballad of the ballads “Tous les deux” performed by Seemone might be the most French song this year, it is so French that even if she would perform the song in English, Russian or Japanese you know this is French. And its beautiful, I do not want to take the tune away from Seemone but I can’t stop thinking how Isabelle Huppert would have performed it even if Seemone made it perfect and beautiful. This is a song that actually can win Eurovision. Not something I would have guessed if it want for Salvador Sobrals win a few years back. The only little little thing I don’t liked about this song is that at the end the word “Papa” went a bit too repetitive. It took away maybe 5% of the total magic of this ballad, but its for me. Again a song I will put high on my list next week.

Doutson “Sois un bon fils” also very French as French music sound today, and kind of how a lot of hit music sound here in France and I kind of like it. It is not special enough but nothing wrong with it.

“Madame la Paix” by PhilipElise Also sounded French but not in a good way I ended up to stop listen after around 1 minute it did not reach out to my taste in music at all. Will be interesting to listen to it on CD cause I have a feeling it will grab me more with headphones on than live on TV.

So My final list from Semi 2:

  • 01 Emmanuel Moire
  • 02 Seemone
  • 03 Noémie
  • 04 Doutson
  • 05 The Divaz
  • 06 UGO
  • 07 Tracy de Sá
  • 08 PhilipElise
  • 09 Gabriella

#Gabriella #TheDivaz #UGO #Tracydesa #EmmanuelMoire #Noemie #Seemone #Doutson #Philipelise #destinationeurovision

Time for the update

So time to update you all on the past weekends BIG event, the first semifinal of Destination Eurovision. First of, last year was the first year in ages France had a national final and it was a puppy production with a firm goal to find the best song to send to Lisbon 2018. And now in 2019 they stepped up a bit from 2018 but still the production need some changes to force France to watch it.

First of all the show is slow. I notice from other TV shows here in France that most of them are a bit slow, its a lot of talking and so also in the French selection. I do not see the need for each artist to first sing a favorite song before they perform their entry and competing song. And the expert jury, no need for it. Speed up the production and people will find it more modern.

The songs then…

Naestro “Le braiser” Nothing wrong with the song, maybe a bit to much non Eurovision to be a good entry to send to Israel in May but I liked it. But they missed a chance to show the public Naestros amazing classical voice. Listen to “Bella Ciao” and you will hear a real hit. I placed him 3 at the end of the evening

Florina In the shadow” A favorite among the experts in the studio, Im sorry why? A OK pop song but without any personality or Oumpf. I placed her 8 at the end of the evening.

Chiméne Badi “Lá-haut” Obvious a artist known here in France, I have never hear of her before tonight and she sang her song in a box like Maltas Eurovision entry last year. The song, again, was OK but no drive. I placed her 5 at the end of the night.

Battista Acquaviva “Passio” The best song of the evening performed by a singer who most likely during weekdays work as a fire alarm somewhere. She can’t sing and even if I get the nude dancers and show it will never ever be something you want to hear again if not changing the singer. But, the French televoters loved it and OK I thought it was cause of the staging and the show but the song actually chart in France. The recording must be auto-tuned. And hopefully the recording sounds better. Love her name those placed her 9 and the end of the evening. All cause of the lack of voice.

Silván Areg “Le petit Nicholas” HERE France you have the perfect Eurovision entry. A catchy really good song, fun staging, good looking guy with a show and an idea behind his performance. This would work in Eurovision. My number 1 this evening

Bilal Hassani “Roi” The second surprise this evening. Obvious the people love this guy. And I have no idea why. First of all the song is so boring, the show is bad and if he at least could sing, but no. So why the hype? Who is this guy and why do France love him? Or is it so bad that for France Eurovision not a big deal so it is the gay public voting in the semifinals? A theory which dies when you also heard the experts loving him and the international jury loved him. What do I miss???? I placed him 7

Aysat “Comme un grande” OK first of all this is Eurovision, you need to write and record a real ending to the song and not tune it out, its sloppy and disrespectful. But over all a OK with a plus song. I do not mind she ended up in the final, I had her song 4 at the end.

Lautner “J’ai pas le tempe” A huge surprise again, but this time in the wrong way. A song that should have passed to the final but was voted out and that by the televoters. OK the production needed work it was to soft and needed some beat but the guys can sing and the song is catchy. My number 2

Mazy “oulala” A very uninteresting song not bad, competent production but not pop not schlager what is it. Placed her 6

When all the voting passed the final 4 going through to the final Aysat, Silván Are, Chiméne Badu and Bilal Hassani. And now to another thing I think France can change. Why, in the semifinal, present the votes? Now people know the televoters favorite or will something change until the final? But since Hassani won why would any of the others win in two weeks?

Very strange.

Björn

Destination Eurovision 2019

The French selection starts today and from the aired rehearsals it looks like they go all in this year. Show, backdrops and more Eurovision style from start. Looks really nice actually.

To celebrate this this start of the French Eurovision season I decided to present to you the France in Eurovision most played list. So here it is, the French entries played the most at “Chez moi”:

  • 01 1977 “L’ oiseau et l’ enfant” – Marie Myriam
  • 02 2016 “J’ ai cherché” – Amir
  • 03 2004 “Il faut du temps” – Sandrine Francois
  • 04 2001 “Je n’nai que mon âme” – Natasha St-Pier
  • 05 2005 “Chacun pense a soi” – Ortal
  • 06 1991 “Le dernier qui a parle” – Amina
  • 07 2008 “Divine” – Sebastien Tellier
  • 08 2017 “Requiem” – Alma
  • 09 2010 “Allez Ola Ole” – Jessy Matador
  • 10 2007 “Lamour a la française” – Les fatals picard
  • 11 1990 “White and Black Blues” – Joelle Ursull
  • 12 2009 “Et s’ il fallait le faire” Patricia Kaas
  • 13 1994 “Je suis un vrai garçon” – Nina Morato
  • 14 1989 “Je vole la vie” – Nathalie Paque
  • 15 1995 “Il me donne rendez vous” – Nathalie Santamaria
  • 16 1978 “Un, deux, trois” – Catherine Ferry
  • 17 2014 “Moustache” – Twin Twin
  • 18 1999 “Je veux donner ma voix” – Nayah
  • 19 1993 “Mama Corsica” – Patrick Fiori
  • 20 2011 “Sognu” – Amaury Vassili

So thats the top 20 French songs, all according to my iTunes Playlist. But still, the best French entry ever never went to Eurovision, 1974 when ABBA won, a year when France should have won, “La vie a 25 and (Y’a pas de Mai’s se faire du bien)” – Dani

Björn