Thursday, October 11, 2007

The French and English

We had a conference this afternoon and the speaker was a professor from the USA. I thought about it and realize, that professors who speak English can just give lecture in almost every corner of the world, but a professor who speak only French, would in contrast have very limited opportunities. What is the odd a French professor who only speak French give a conference in the Universities in Malaysia or USA?

Then why, in France, kids start learning English at the age of 10, and it's not mandatory? For student who choose Spanish or German as their second language, they could totally ignore English. Most of the American series and movies are duped in French, so it's kind of hard to watch an English film if you don't subscribe to the private English channels. We Malaysians are just lucky, able to see different program in different languages easily.

Luckily, things are slowly changed. My classmates had asked to have all the classes in English for the second semester. Our in charge professor said he will try, but the main reason why they were not able to do it was due to the reluctance of some of the French professors. These professors do not feel comfortable to teach in English. Actually, some of the professors we have who teach in English do not have perfect English and sometimes make a lot of mistake, but they are eager to try and the students enjoy having classes in English.

I hope in the future most of the French are at least bilingual, her neighbors German, Netherlands, Belgium have achieved a lot more in this field. Let's catch up France!


  1. Maybe due to history between France and England. I understand they hate each other (in the past).

    So i think the language thingy also boils over to this modern age.

    I heard from friends that French people will just love to see people struggle in France...i.e take a French Dictionary and try to speak. Even though they understand and know English...they will not speak until they see you 'suffer'.

    Wonder if this is true or not.

    Note: Please delete this comment if find offensive...just asking only. Sorry in advance if i offend anyone. Thank you.

  2. Hi,

    Not at all I don't find your comment offensive.

    Personally I have never met a French who wanted me to suffer from speaking French. They tried to communicate with me in English but sometimes it just didn't work bcos they struggle with English. Then later on they help me learn French. However, these French are my friends or friends from my husband's friends. I'm not sure if they would do the same to a foreigner like me if they don't know that person.