Archive for the ‘French music’ Category

J’ai réussi le DELF B2.

“Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma.”

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Well, now I have the official piece of paper from the French Government attesting that I have achieved the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) level of B2 for French. In addition to having spoken it for most of my life: I am now officially recognised as a francophone by an official body: The French Ministry of Education!

General thoughts on the DELF B2:

I like to think I passed the test, but I am prepared to take it again if I didn’t. That said, what do I think was the most useful? What would I do differently? What strategies would I advise someone who wants to take the Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française or the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française to use?

First off, the best thing is to either grow up speaking French, or spend some time in France, or other francophone region, living the language for 3-6 months. Better yet, a year using French as much as possible with francophones. It’s not really useful doing this unless the people you are interacting with are native speakers. There are linguistic nuances which just taking a course won’t give you.

That’s probably not an option if you are reading this. The next best thing is to listen and to watch French media. RFI ( is a really good choice since most of the listing segments came from them. You will have a bit of a leg up, especially if you heard the segment in question. I’ll take more about the different parts of the test in subsequent posts.

Reading is also helpful for learning orthographie. But it’s better to get a good handle on spoken French since the reading and speaking parts were fairly easy. Speaking was the easiest, but it helped to have listened to the clips. That said, there are a few site run by the French Government and media to help you prepare for the test.

You definitely want to take the test and can get old copies of the test here: The new format test is the most useful since that was pretty much what the test was like. The more I look at those, the more I think I did all right.

The two places you will have the most control over are the speaking and writing sections. The reading and listening sections are pretty much multiple guess on spoken and written segments. Again, taking the tests are the most helpful. I think working on the listening “comprehension” is the more useful of the two.

I’m not sure how useful most of the pass the DELF books are, other than the ones that prep you for the writing part. It really is go in with a bunch of “phrases tresors” and fill in the holes. “Phrase tresor” was a term used at Chateau Ceran for phrases that would prove useful in learning French. In this case, they are terms that are useful for making an argument. More on that when I talk about the writing part.

The bottom line is that unless you are a francophone, or can spend intensive time with some before the exam, you will need to study. But even francophones can have some problems with these tests because of how the questions are written (take the sample course to see). I’m planning on doing a few posts on the test. One for each of the four segments, one for prep material, study hints, and a final summary. I’m not sure which of the four I should start with: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking, or writing. In a way reading and listening overlap as do speaking and writing. There are some differences.

Quoi ce bordel, Manny ????

Emmanuel Macron praises OrelSan perhaps a bit more than is deserved

You can find the words here / Vous pouvez trouver les paroles ici

Qu’est-ce qui se passe , Emmanuel ? Premièrement, vous avez changé les couleurs du drapeau. Ensuite, vous mettez Josephine Baker au Panthéon. Maintenant, vous faites l’éloge d’un rappeur. D’accord, Je devrais écouter ce cd, mais j’ai déjà entendu ses autres travaux.

Je n’en suis pas sûr que je le décrirais comme un sociologue. Oui, je suis en accord avec ses exprimaient concepts car je suis plus un pessimiste qu’un optimiste a propos de la situation mondiale. Pour autant, l’expression d’idées dans une chanson fait-il de quelqu’un un sociologue ? Ne faudrait-il pas une analyse plus poussée pour attribuer des qualités académiques à cette chanson ? De plus, le fait d’être d’accord avec ce que dit quelqu’un ne le rend pas correct. On ne fait que partager une opinion : vraie ou fausse. Il s’agit un besoin de quelque chose en plus pour faciliter la résolution du problème au-dela un liste des complaintes .

Le métier de politicien consiste à trouver et à mettre en œuvre des solutions aux problèmes. On peut exprimer un accord avec les idées des chanteurs et chanteuses néanmoins on doit travailler sur les problèmes sociale. La reconnaissance sans action n’a aucun sens pour la société.

OK, I agree with the sentiments expressed in this song. They apply both to France and the US, but as I say: it’s one thing to make a list of complaints. It’s a different thing to bring about change.

Someone should do an English version for the US.

Angèle – Bruxelles je t’aime

I learned about Angèle last summer. The person who told me about her said she was Dutch.

No, she’s Flemish.

I really understand this song: especially as I am now working on my being certified as a “Francophone”. This is despite having the French language foisted upon me.

I don’t have the same issue proving I am a German speaker.

Enjoy! Profitez! Geniet! Genießen!

Note that I posted that last bit in English!

BTW, the announcement in Flemish at the start of the clip relates to when the CD will be released. You can preorder it online. I did!

Cœur de Pirate–Oublie Moi

J’aime bien cette chanson mais je préfère la felix cartal remix version. J’aime pas seulement car cette chanson est Quebecoise. Tu surprendrais si tu penses que je étais un anglophile.

Sinatra did it “his way”.

There are a few standards which started out as French songs, such as “These Foolish Things” was “Ces petits choses”, “The Falling Leaves” was “Les feuilles mortes”, and so on. But I bet you didn’t know that “my way” started out as this song.

French pop/rock artist (also known as “yé-yé or “yeah-yeah”), Claude François, released this emotional song about a couple growing apart in November 1967 not suspecting that Comme d’habitude would become an international hit thanks largely to its English cover, “My Way,” written by Paul Anka and popularised by Frank Sinatra. To date, Comme d’habitude has been covered 1327 times by more than 570 artists and remains the most exported French song of all time.

I wasn’t going to post the original lyrics, but they are so different from the Sinatra/”My way” ones.

Je me lève
Et je te bouscule
Tu ne te réveilles pas
Comme d’habitude
Sur toi je remonte le drap
J’ai peur que tu aies froid
Comme d’habitude
Ma main caresse tes cheveux
Presque malgré moi
Comme d’habitude
Mais toi tu me tournes le dos
Comme d’habitude

Et puis je m’habille très vite
Je sors de la chambre
Comme d’habitude
Tout seul je bois mon café
Je suis en retard
Comme d’habitude
Sans bruit je quitte la maison
Tout est gris dehors
Comme d’habitude
J’ai froid je relève mon col
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Toute la journée
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude
Je vais sourire
Oui comme d’habitude
Je vais même rire
Comme d’habitude
Enfin je vais vivre
Comme d’habitude
Et puis le jour s’en ira
Moi je reviendrai
Comme d’habitude
Et toi tu seras sortie
Et pas encore rentrée
Comme d’habitude
Tout seul j’irai me coucher
Dans ce grand lit froid
Comme d’habitude
Mes larmes je les cacherai
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Meme la nuit
Je vais jouer à faire semblant
Comme d’habitude
Tu rentreras
Comme d’habitude
Je t’attendrai
Comme d’habitude
Tu me souriras
Comme d’habitude

Comme d’habitude
Tu te déshabillera
Comme d’habitude
Tu te coucheras
Comme d’habitude
On s’embrassera
Comme d’habitude

“My Way”

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way
Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows
I took the blows
And did it my way

Yes, it was my way