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Our French Mis-Steps

Our Team had completed the basic level of French Language training last year and this year we thought that we would take advantage of the 'lean' period between the projects and go a step forward in French. However, the French Language institute had less faith in us that we had in ourselves and told us that they would need to assess whether we have remembered enough to go for the next level. They informed us that they will hold an assessment over phone for each candidate and then evaluate whether we can go ahead.

Many of us made the examiner's day by providing her enough material to laugh about for at least a couple of days. Here are some snippets of the conversation. All of this happened in French. What you see below is the exact translation in English.

Snippet 1: Examiner talking to Punjabriti (name changed)
Examiner: Do you have children?
Punjabriti: Yes, I have a daughter.
Examiner: How old is she?
Punjabriti: She is three years old.
Examiner: Do you also have a son?
Punjabriti: No, my daughter does not have a son. (Do I need to explain more?)

Snippet 2: Examiner being run down by Car-run (name changed)
Examiner: Can you describe your house?
Car-run: There are 3 bedrooms, 1 drawing room, 1 dining room, 3 bathrooms, and two swimming pools in my house. ((in French, swimming pool is 'piscine' and kitchen is 'cuisine'. My friend here, obvoiusly, meant two kitchens)
Examiner: Two swimming pools?
(By now Car-run had understood that he had goofed up, but decided to stick with it)
Car-run: Yes, one very big and one small.
Examiner: Do you swim?
Car-run: No.
Examiner: Does your wife swim?
Car-run: No.
Examiner: Does anyone else in your family swim?
Car-run: No.
Examiner: You have two swimming pools in your family and none of you swim in them?
Car-run: Yes that's right. (I don't know about the examiner but I was convinced)

Snippet 3: Examiner being led on by Siddance(name changed)
Examiner: Is your home close to office?
Siddance: yes its very close.
Examiner: How do you go to office?
Siddance: I go to office on football. (when obviously he meant that he goes to office on foot)

Snippet 4: Examiner interviewing ChinChin (name changed)
Examiner: Do you have a car?
ChinChin: Yes, I am a car.
(here the examiner corrected ChinChin that he/she should say that "yes I have a car". )
(After a few sentences...)
Examiner: Which car do you have?
ChinChin: WagonR
Examiner: How much does it cost?
Chin Chin: It costs Rs. 40 Lakhs (Hell of an expensive WagonR!! But if ChinChin is the car, then I guess it is quite reasonable)

At the end, may be because of the entertainment we all provided, we all cleared the assessment and are on our way to the next level.


  1. It seems I missed it all :)

    All the best for 1B and I look fwd to assessment tests next year :)

  2. Thanks Nandan,

    This was so much fun that we may organize an assessment just for a few laughs :-) Just Kiddin!!

  3. Vibha, we can also plan such activities within our group...

    btw.. New names are good..



  4. Thanks VJ. Yes we can plan assessments within our group.

  5. Vibha, looks like an year old -but hillarious! :)

    I dont get who Chinchin and Car-Run are :|


  6. Vibha, looks like an year old -but hilarious! :)

    I dont get who Chinchin and Car-Run are :|



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