French language courses : Years of analysis !

Subject, verb, complement !

We the people of French mother tongue have constantly been in an analytical mode. This was reflected by years of grammatical analysis throughout our education, to even reach the state of psychoanalysis. From primary to high school, we had to scrutinize each sentence as a suite of implacable logic, subject-verb-complement. We had to identify the direct object complement, the most relevant “C.O.D.”. Who does not recall that “with the auxiliary verb TO HAVE, the past "participle" must agree with the direct object complement when it is placed before the verb”. This was repeated as if this was a nighttime prayer.

How to explain this fine tuning to one who has never had to consider adding such a subtlety as that of indicating gender and number to the end of a verb? A few centuries ago, Voltaire couldn’t bear with this precision and accused Marot, King François the 1st ’s official poet to have “returned with two things from Italy: the smallpox and the agreement of the past participle”. He would then add “I think that it is the second one that has been the most devastating.”

French hosts and teachers have the challenge to help friends from abroad understand and appreciate this type of marvels. To have them appreciate what distinguishes us, frog and snail eating people from other linguistic groups. The French language, because of its complexity has always been a reference in case of uncertainty or difficulty of interpretation in international instances.

At Bienvenue en France, through our French classes, we endeavour to have our foreign friends appreciate the ease that our language gives us to express ourselves…. This is like a gentle song, a melodious rhythm. We stive to have our language loved and our joyful and playful cultural identity appreciated.

Our classes at Bienvenue are offered at all levels, from beginner to advanced. They are given by passionate trainers and followed by enthusiastic learners. A beautiful vitality brings us together in small groups once a week, and through various and sparkling activities. These include mini-French workshop for those who do not yet "dare", a historical café at the emblematic Café Procope or at the Samaritaine, a "ciné-classe" or exceptional musical and literary events and communicative games like bridge.

Coming up soon are thematic workshops focused on songs or poetry. Our students will also be invited to participate in à la carte” activities.

By Dominique Teixido-Hervé , coordinator of the French language pole

French language courses at Bienvenue en France © DT-H