bac

When English is too difficult for the French highschool kid(s)

Ah, my dear France! My dear French people! English is really not that hard. I promise!

Today, a lovely article was posted on one of the French website (click here– but it’s in French)… a young high school kid decided to make a petition to disregard a certain question “M” on the BAC d’anglais (I guess kind of like SAT’s) because it was deemed too difficult for his young mind.

OK, OK. I get it. English even gets me sometimes. But, lets look at the questions. Could we possibly understand the two questions (from a French perspective) if we only used some logic? Perhaps language similarities?

Let’s see.

First question: “What are three of his concerns about the situation?” So, I am assuming he didn’t know the word “concern.” Because words like “what, are, three, his, situation, about” are basic English levels. Right? This boy is doing his BAC! He knows basic English! So let’s assume the word “concerns” was too difficult. Or perhaps he connected it to the French verb concerner (French for “relate to”). That’s after his first brain storming. But we all know, a word like concern cannot possibly be English. Come on, way too many nasal sounds! In fact, the word “concern” comes from a mix of French and Latin! From French concerner or late Latin concernere (in medieval Latin ‘be relevant to’), from con- (expressing intensive force) + cernere ‘sift, discern’. So you don’t get a pass on that first question, young boy. The word has French roots!

Second question: “How is Turner coping with the situation?” OK, again. Beginners English levels include the words “how, is, with, the, situation?) (oh, and btw, the word situation is the same in French!!) So the verb that is puzzling the young French boy must be “coping.” To cope( or cope with)- a person dealing with something difficult. Could the verb have any origin in French word or perhaps is, just by normal logic, easily related to French verbs? It turns out, the verb “to cope” comes “from Old French coper, colper”, fromcop, colp.” And as much as I admit, perhaps this is a harder verb to understand, it still comes from your own native language, French boy. So no need to complain, because, as it turns out, you fail in French!

What do you think? Leave a comment below 😀

P.S: My children’s book “Ginger’s missing glasses” (beginners English *wink wink*) is free tomorrow on Amazon!

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7 comments

  1. I’m a french guy and i think you’re not so far from the thuth. The new generations don’t like difficulties and I can see everyday how the level of our native language decrease. So, as you said, how can we hope their english level take an opposite way.
    I think the best way to learn english is to practice it from morning to night. If each young people don’t have to go for studies in an “english speaking” country, the problem will be the same for a long time.
    But french spirit is hard to change. Maybe one day they will be more open minded, I hope so.
    We have to cope with that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Henri! First off, thank you for your comment and sharing of your opinion. I’m delighted to hear some feedback! Yes, I think a lot of generations (not just French) don’t like difficulties and obstacles and prefer the easy way out. I think French are very proud of their culture and language and I saw that clearly when I lived in Strasbourg…which is great, you should be proud. But, given the fact English is such an important global language, I find it odd that young generations don’t see the importance of it. Like you said, best way is to practice English a lot. Maybe watch English movies, read English books, listen to English music… The resources out there are plentiful when it comes to learning an English language and I think there is no excuse. English is hard, but so is French or any other new language. People just need to start putting more effort in studying it.

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  2. “to cope” comes “from Old French coper, colper”, sure thing, but pretty much no one knows this word “coper/colper”. I think they confounded “coping” with “copier” (=> paste), wich is really stupid from them.
    (sorry for bad english, french “kid” here)

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    1. Hi there! Yes, knowing an old French word is unlikely butI wanted to show that it didn’t just fall from the sky but it had actual roots from French and not English language. And yes, you are right, I should’ve thought of “copier” -to copy! Modern kids, right? Thanks for commenting 🙂

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  3. I did not know that English is difficult for French students. I who live in Finland, French was difficult to me. I was very poor in those languages (Swedish, English, German and French) we learn in Finnish schools, but later I have been learning more and more those languages.

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      1. You are right. As You noticed in my post, I blog in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. I added Portuguese about a year and half ago.. I started learning Portuguese since two years ago. Now I have translated two Portuguese books with the dictionary in hand. Once I wore out my French dictionary in 10 years! We are senior citizen and love languages. Here is my info:

        About me and my country.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Liked by 1 person

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