Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mental Test, La Marseillaise

I took French for three and a half years in jr. high/high school and another three semesters in college. I never really got fluent with it, but I did pretty darn well in Paris on the class trip we took. And I was starting to get to the point of thinking in French, as opposed to thinking in English and then translating, when I was writing papers for that last semester in college. But there's not a ton of it left now. I was in Quebec a few years ago and I understood a decent chunk of what was said around me, but I couldn't really respond to complex questions. And my pronunciation is for shit.

It turns out a co-worker of mine is friends with my jr. high French teacher and she came into the office a while back to chat. I was shocked that she remembered me and my sister (sister took German, but our teacher is Swiss so we got a combo deal there), but I was also really scared that she'd ask me something in French and I would only be able to stare blankly back at her. So as a mental exercise, I decided yesterday to see how much of the French national anthem I could come up with off the top of my head.

Here's what I got without looking anything up:

Allons enfants de la Patrille
Le jour de gloire est arrive!
Contra nous de la tyrranirer
Les tendarts blah blah blah blah blah
Repeat that line I just made up
Entendez vous dans les compangnes
Muirer quelque chose les souldats
There's a serious change in the melody here
And can't remember how many lines it goes on for.....

(ready for the big finish?)

Aux armes les citoyains!
Formez les battaillons!
Marchons! Marchons!
Quelque chose autre!
Nice, uplifting closing line!

And the entire country erupts into applause over my mastery of their beloved anthem. (*"Quelque chose autre" I think is French for "something else")

Hmmm, doesn't look great. Let's look up the real one shall we? From Wikipedia:

Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé!
L'étendard sanglant est levé!
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils et nos compagnes!

Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons! marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

Huh, well it certainly could have been worse, but I'm still disappointed because I could sing this thing in my sleep in 10th grade. You can go look up the translation if you feel like it, it's kinda gory actually.

No comments:

Post a Comment