France to debate introduction of more English-speaking courses

Didn't realise English was banned in French universities in the first place.

Latest from The Telegraph:

Plans to ease a ban on the use of English in French universities will be debated on Wednesday with unions threatening to strike in protest at a measure some claim will turn French into a “dead language”.

Under a 1994 “Toubon” law defending the French language, French must be used in classrooms from right through

nursery to university, barring lessons in a foreign language and visits from foreign guest teachers.

The law also obliges public bodies to find French alternatives to Anglicisms, such as “mercatique” for “marketing”.

Geneviève Fioraso, the Minister for Higher Education, wants to ramp up courses in English, warning that otherwise universities will eventually end up with “five people sitting around a table discussing Proust”. The measure, she said, is aimed at increasing the number of foreign students at French universities from the current level of 12 percent of the total to 15 percent by 2020.

But it has ignited a storm of protest from language purists, including the influential Academie Francaise, set up in 1635 and the official guardian of the language. Courriel, a French language defence association, even branded it “linguistic assassination”.

Now several leading unions in the education sector have threatened to strike on Wednesday, when a parliamentary debate over the proposal opens, with even some members of the ruling Socialist party opposing the plan.

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Hayley Westenra finds French boyfriend, learns French

News just got out that New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has found a French boyfriend. “I have a lovely boyfriend, who I met in London,” she told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

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hayley westerna

News just got out that New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has found a French boyfriend. “I have a lovely boyfriend, who I met in London,” she told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.

“He’s French. I’ve done very well for myself. I’m learning French, with lessons from one

of his friends.”

“His English is great,” she added. “It’s really easy to be lazy and not to learn, but I really want to, particularly when I go to France and I

hang out with his relatives who don’t speak a word of English.”

It’s amazing that she is even taking French lessons!  She is naturally very talented; we

blogged about Hayley singing in Chinese last year.

Well, I guess this is bound to disappoint some of Hayley’s male fans.

Congrats Hayley. All the best for the future.

Posted via web from Euroasia

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A Pain in the Ass – French Movie

The other day I went along to the preview of this brilliant movie “A Pain

in the Ass” (L'Emmerdeur) by French writer-director FRANCIS VEBER, the guy behind The Valet, The Dinner Game and The Closet. This summary from Flicks: Francois Pignon (Patrick Timsit), whose wife (Virginie Ledoyen) has just left him for a shrink, checks into the same Nice hotel as hitman Ralf (Richard Berry). Ralf is there to stake out a key witness in a major corruption trial, while Pignon plans

to hang himself in the bathroom. Their adjoining rooms bring them together; the perfect killer and the perfect pest. Complications cement their relationship as Pignon’s fondness for the cold-as-ice assassin grows stronger.

If you think you've met people who are a pain in the ass, wait till you meet Pignon!

This movie is coming out 15 October at your local cinema. Go check it out.

Should you wish to be able to watch French movies one day without looking at the English subtitles, you know who to call for French lessons.

p/s: Thanks Christine and Frederic from Evian for asking me along. Also met this guy who runs a water concept store. Yes they only sell water. Aquadeli on Mt Eden Road. They've been around for a while, but I've yet to go check them out. Have to visit sometime soon.

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French Film Festival starting February 09

The French Film Festival kicks off in Auckland next week. Running from  February

18-26 at Rialto Newmarket, this annual event is bound to attract many local Francophiles.

Tickets cost $15.50. We highly recommend all our French students check out the films on offer.  For those of you tired of reading the subtitles, come along for one of our French courses 🙂

According to the official website, the following films are on offer.

Baby Love With: Lambert Wilson/ Pascal Elbé
Love Me No More With: Marie-Josée Croze/ Pierre Vaneck/ Albert Dupontel
A Simple Heart With: Sandrine Bonnaire/ Marina Foïs/Pascal Elbé
Actresses With: Valeria Bruno Tadeschi/Mathieu Amalric/ Louis Garrel
Lady Jane With: Ariane Ascaride/ Jean-Pierre Darroussin/ Gerard Meylan
What if… With Alice Taglioni/Jocelyn Quivrin/Thierry Lhermitte
Guilty With: Hélène Fillières/ Jérémie Renier
Crossed Tracks With:

Fanny Ardant/ Dominique Pinon
Shall we kiss With: Virginie Ledoyen/ Emmanuel Mouret/ Fredérique Bel
London mon amour With: Virginie Ledoyen/ Vincent Lindon/ Pascal Elbé
The Great Alibi With: Miou-Miou/ Valeria Bruni Tadeschi/ Lambert Wilson/ Pierre Arditi
Me Two With: Alain Chabat/ Daniel Auteuil
Cash With:Alice Taglioni/ Jean Reno/ Jean Dujardin
Ulzhan With: Ayanat Ksenbai/ Philippe Torreton
Daddy Cool With: Daniel Auteuil/ Juliette Lamboley/ François Damiens
U Director: Serge Elissalde
Asterix at the Olympics With Gérard Depardieu/ Alain Delon/ Clovis Cornillac

If you decide that next year you would rather not rely 100% on the subtitles, come along for one of our French courses starting in March. Check out our French timetable here.

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Obama says learn Spanish

Obama gave this talk in Georgia recently, on the campaign trail, encouraging locals to learn Spanish.

Obama: “I agree that immigrants should learn English…but understand this…instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English, they’ll learn English, you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish!”

Obviously not a very popular message in the American heartland, but only something that Obama can pull off. Check this out.

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Why learn French

French is the second most popular language at Euroasia, after Spanish. Here are some reasons why you should consider learning French:

  • Together with English and Spanish, French is one of the most international of European languages, spoken in all the continents of the world.
  • French was for centuries the international language of diplomacy and culture; it’s still important in those fields.
  • The French-speaking world has contributed an enormous number of great artists, writers, philosophers and scientists.
  • France has a large economy with a huge international presence.
  • Young Kiwis can go and work in France, Belgium or Canada for one year under a working holiday scheme.  A knowledge of French would obviously make a huge difference to anyone’s job prospects.
  • France itself has an incredible variety of scenery, from the rugged Atlantic coast, to the beautiful central valleys, to the Alps, to the Mediterranean landscapes of the south.  It offers great opportunities for outdoor activities.
  • French cities are active, busy places, where there is always a lot going on.  They have

    a unique café culture, and there are great opportunities for cinema, theatre, eating out and clubbing.

  • French cuisine is world-renowned, and French is still the international language of cooking, so at least a smattering of the French language is useful for chefs and food enthusiasts.
  • If France seems a long way off, New Caledonia and French Polynesia are more accessible holiday destinations.  And they are very French!  Even a limited knowledge of the French language can enrich and enliven your tropical holiday.
  • Much like speakers of English, French speakers tend not to be very enthusiastic about speaking other languages, so in France, for example, there is no guarantee you will find someone prepared to speak to you in English!

Find out more about learning French with Euroasia.  Or to enrol for a French course, check out the French timetable!

Courses start week of 13 October.

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