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Thursday, 5 January 2012

2012 and the Entente Cordiale

Happy New Year Dahlings!

2012 is already off to a really good start - Grandma Whacker has decided to take Boy 1's French language skills in hand.   For Christmas she got him this.

Bless him he was so thrilled with it on Christmas Day, he was speechless, just threw it over his shoulder and carried on unwrapping Warhammer and Lynx body spray.

What prompted this grandmaternal purchase was my surprise when I found out that Boy 1 had been learning French at school for the past 2 years...and also that there were lists of vocab he should have been learning each week.  I can honestly say there was no sign whatsoever of any Francophone goings on in Boy 1's busy schedule of activities.  He also steadfastly denies any knowledge of French, merely repeating his chosen mantra of  "The French are a load of cheese eating surrender monkeys" which he has picked up from Jeremy Clarkson's Top Gear . I had a little chat with Boy 1's French teacher (now I know she exists) about this and we both agreed that we could quite happily throttle Mr Clarkso. In the circs I feel that Boy 1's score of 3 and a half out of 11 for his French test is  - well, not as bad as it could have been.

So this morning at breakfast Grandma W decided it was a good time to debut the language CD.  She would brook no discussion.  She was on a mission.

I did try to point out that perhaps the boys were not in the right frame of mind as they had just been watching snippets of "Come Fly With Me" on YouTube.

But to no avail - on goes the CD.  Off sloped Boy 1 to the other room.  Leaving Boy 2 who at first appeared to be making a fair stab at repeating the phrases on the CD - "Bonjour, comment allez-vous?, je suis en vacances, je suis de Londres", etc

It was just a minute later than both Grandma and I realised he was now happily repeating the phrases- IN ENGLISH.   The nice lady on the tape was instructing cheerfully, "Now it's your turn, say you are on holiday"  - and Boy 2 piped up : " I am on holiday" urged the lady, "Say you come from London" - "I come from London" chirrups Boy 2.

Final score - Grandma W/Carla Bruni - 0
Boys 1 and 2/Jeremy Clarkson - 1.


  1. Go Jeremy, good to hear the boys are learning useful stuff.

  2. I used to say: I had no use for French, it was a stupid language full of coughing and spitting and I would never go there as all they had of interest was that stupid tower.
    I ended up living and working there for five years and my French husband still doesn't speak English, after 25 years in the U.S.
    Your boys have time to change their minds, although a summer exchange holiday might help that along. Wait until they discover French girls.

  3. Need to send them on an 'exchange' - hahaha. That'll sort the moutons from the chevre. And it will also give you a heavenly break! Well until you have to entertain a recalcitrant, moody French early adolescent who hates English food, despises anything not French and is quite willing to let you know it.

  4. Our wee soldier has taken french for 3 years (he's 7) and all I get out of him is the odd Gallic shrug. If his Lego was in French I dare say we might have more success. Good luck on that one, or should I say Bonne Chance.

  5. Dear Mrs Blighty, I have every faith that Grandma W will prevail - this is but a tiny setback. I was wondering however, whether Boy 2 was repeating the English instructions with an authentic French accent. If so, I would have been tempted not to intervene for the entertainment value. Have you introduced Boy 2 to Le Petit Nicolas? He may find something in common with our froggy friends. Obablypray estbay otnay otay eferray otay emthay asway ogsfray Lindaxxx

  6. Dear Linda, yes! I had a friend at school, she used to speak English with a German accent during our trips to Germany, drove me nuts! She also got very excited when the German exchange students came to stay in England - she would jump up and down and shout " The Germans are coming, the Germans are coming!" Linda - you lost me with the last bit till I read it a couple more times after a sip of wine.. xxx


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