dans ce que votre narrateur parle des choses françaises aimées…

♥ I absolutely adore Joe Dassin’s “Les Champs-Élysées.” I studied French for years, and almost all of the classes used the immersion method, which meant that neither we nor the teacher spoke any English during the class and that translation was discouraged (and seen as an ineffective way to learn the language.) I did learn a great deal, and am rather fluent when it comes to reading and writing, semi-fluent with comprehension of spoken French, and somewhat good at speaking it. Despite being rather comfortable with the language, though, I am a rather poor translator because I was discouraged from doing it for years. I can often understand what’s being said but have a lot of difficulty putting that understanding and comprehension into English, if that makes sense at all. I can sometimes do it, but rather slowly and with some difficulty.

All of this leads up to my love for “Les Champs-Élysées.” When I first started learning French at age eleven, I remember the teacher playing it for us, and teaching us the lyrics in both French and English (this was one of the non-immersion method classes I had) and I adored the song then and still do. It gives me happy lovely nostalgic feelings. Plus, it’s one of those songs where, if asked to translate it, I could probably easily do so, because I know it so well.

My favorite lyric is: “Tous les oiseaux du point du jour chantent l’amour” (“all the birds at daybreak sing of love”- I think… if my translation is incorrect, let me know). So lovely!

Here’s a video of Joe Dassin performing it in this hilariously, adorably, wonderfully lounge-y style. I imagine that this is from the ’70s, and probably from French television, but I’m not sure. I didn’t think that I could like the song any more than I already do, but the lounge-y performance makes me love it even more ♥ ♥ ♥:

Overall, I think that learning via the immersion method was quite useful. I can usually understand what I read and hear, but frequently have a hard time translating it into English. But maybe that “deeper” understanding of the meaning is a “better” skill to have? I don’t know. I do think about language a lot, and find them very fascinating, so it’s interesting to think about.

♥ Another thing I adore: Godard’s 1966 film, Masculin, féminin:

(“We’d often go to the movies. We’d shiver as the screen lit up. But more often, Madeline and I would be disappointed. More often we’d be disappointed. The images flickered. Marilyn Monroe looked terribly old. It saddened us. It wasn’t the film we had dreamed, the film we all carried in our hearts, the film we wanted to make… and secretly wanted to live.” ♥ ♥ ♥)

I love all of his work, but I have a special fondness for this one, for some reason. Chantal Goya is so lovely (she also performed the soundtrack and was a pop star/yé-yé girl in real life. Swoon!) and it captures the feeling of ’60s Parisian youth so very well.

Here’s the original trailer, from the Criterion Collection DVD (highly recommended!):

Oh, how I want all of Madeline’s clothes from the film! Lovely lovely lovely!

And the song playing during the trailer is Chantal Goya’s “Tu M’as Trop Menti” (= “you have also lied to me”? I’m not certain) from the film’s soundtrack, which I tracked down a couple of years ago (it’s hard to find.) Here’s the song (.m4a): tinyurl.com/dxoohj

More soon! xoxo

About these ads

6 Responses to dans ce que votre narrateur parle des choses françaises aimées…

  1. deanne says:

    oh, i liked this post. I love that Joe Dassin song. Every time I hear it, I think “soon I will walk down the Champs Elysees!”
    I love that Chantal Goya song too. I haven’t seen Masculin/Feminin because I can’t find it anywhere to rent. I’ll have to see if I can find a download.

    With me, for French, I can understand the written word and can speak it okay, but I find comprehending the spoken word a little tricky because it’s so fast! I am getting better though.

    • Thanks so much, dear :) Sorry I’ve been so slow with this lately. That song is indeed lovely! & I’m so excited for you about Paris. Eeeee! :) I need to do that sometime soon, too.

      & I think that you’ll love Masculin/Feminin. It’s really wonderful & hilarious & smart & I love how it’s so evocative of that time. Great stuff. If you want the entire soundtrack, let me know & I can send it your way.

      & Yes, totally! I have such a hard time with understanding French when it’s spoken so fast. I think that’s why songs are the easiest for me, because they’re generally much slower. lots of love. xoxo

  2. Bronwyn says:

    Have you heard this song–Ciao bella by Rose?

    Did you know I ended up majoring in French and spent my sophomore year in Paris? I’ve only been back once since then. I can’t wait to go once I’m finished with school this summer!

    • That song is lovely! Thanks for the link :)

      It’s great to hear from you. Sorry that I’ve been so slow with this!

      & That is wonderful! I sometimes wish that I had majored in it, too. & Be sure to take lots of photos when you go again! :)

  3. Ian Raugh says:

    “I can often understand what’s being said but have a lot of difficulty putting that understanding and comprehension into English, if that makes sense at all. I can sometimes do it, but rather slowly and with some difficulty.”

    I understand that. I have the opposite issue with Latin, since I learned it by pretty much exclusively translation. Granted, I can translate extremely quickly, but I am far from able to speak the language (I can only read and write it with any respectability).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: