Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oui, Je parle français

This is for everyone who is learning and teaching French. I am far from perfect in French but I love this language, and enjoy French cuisine too -J 
At least, this is what I can give to all of my friends and teachers in IDECAF (Institut d’Échanges Culturels avec la France) in Ho Chi Minh City and CCF (Centre Culturel Français) in Jakarta. Awkwardly, in order for them to understand what I am writing, I have to do this in English -J

Lastly, I wrote my experience of learning Vietnamese language, link: vietnamese-language-friendship - so it would be equal if I do a posting about improving my French.   

During my one-year stay in Vietnam, other than learning Vietnamese language, I also continued studying French. Before Vietnam, in my home town Jakarta, I had learned French in college. I just ticked the box for French instead of German. If someone asked me the reason, I said; because French is a romantic language, many countries are still using it… a few times I just replied: Parce que je voudrais me marrier avec un Français -J

My note book

First grade in college, when the teacher announced the test result of the first semester; “Class, there is someone in this room who got the highest score 100 for the test”.  Everyone cheered! Yippeee…. It was a good start. I got 100..! -J

Plus, during the same period with college (three years), I had also taken French course at CCF (Centre Culturel Français). CCF is now known as IFI (Institut Français Indonesia), link: IFI. I dropped off the course when I started working.

Bonjour CCF....!

A few years later, I went back to CCF to continue conquering this language. Every Saturday morning, for a few years, I had four hour French lesson.
DELF test (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française) is love and hate to me -L -J  It is very-very difficult, the higher level the more difficult it is, but that’s the challenge… 

Once, my mom went to CCF to pay for my course fee. She swears that she will not go there again, as they think she is one of the students! Everyone at the administration office speaks French to her -J

Salut IDECAF....!


Second day after I landed in Ho Chi Minh City, I walked to IDECAF in Lê Thánh Tôn Street. I was offered to undergo placement test on that day, but I preferred to come back the next day. It’s an excuse to open my text book!

The next day, I came back and brought copies of my DELF (Diplôme d'Études en Langue Française) certificates.  The officer said no test is required, the certificate is enough -J So I could choose the highest level of class (with French teacher) that was available in the morning. Starting that day, for nearly one year, three times a week of one and a half hour, I had to speak French again. 

After class, we were ready for coffee...!
“Elle est Indonesienne…!” that is what my classmates responded in high tone when the teacher did not hear me clearly when I said “Je suis Indonesienne”. He was then aware that there was an Indonesian in his classroom. Others were Vietnamese students and one Korean.
He didn’t let students relax in the class, we had to think hard -L But he is a good teacher. I attended his class at different levels for three terms.
Every time after final exam, the teacher looked desperate. He really wanted the majority of the class to succeed, he had taught the best that he could, still many did not do good -L  I whispered to my classmate; “Il est stressé”. Unexpectedly, she raised her hand and reported to him; “Monsieur, la dame dis que vous êtes stressé!” -J “Non, je ne suis pas stressé, moi…!”

Despite of friends’ comments, I attended one term with a local teacher. As the higher the class is, the less available classes in the morning. It was indeed a totally different experience. I prefer to study with French teacher.

If I really-really have to, when I am stuck and could only survive if I speak French, I could… Thanks to French practices, I could communicate well when applying visa at the French Consulate. When I arrived in Paris, the immigration officer proposed me upon arrival; “Vous n’ êtes pas mariée? Voulez-vous vous marrier avec moi?”  

Before I left Ho Chi Minh City, I gathered some ex classmates for lunch. They are girlfriends with whom I had coffee/snacks together after class… I invited my favorite French teacher too, to thank him for all of his patience and efforts to make me smarter in French.
We went to a French restaurant La Crêperie de Saigon. It’s funny that the lunch seemed to be “conversation class” in a real life, as we had to speak French.
Mes amis , merci pour votre amitié et au revoir…

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