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jwg

Le Missionnaire et la Sauvage

"Un sauvage va trouver un missionaire et lui dit:
----Mon père, baptisez-moi; je veux devenir crétien.
Le missionnaire lui répond:
----Ca n'est pas possible, parce que la religion chrétienne ne permet pas la polygamie et vous avez pleusiers femmes.
Le pauvre sauvage s'en va très triste. Quelques semaines après, il retourne et dit au missionnaire:
----Maintenant baptisez-moi, je n'ai plus qu'une femme.
----Qu'avez-vous fait aux autres? dit le missionnaire.
----Oh! je les ai mangées, dit simplement le sauvage.

From Lisons Donc by Emile B de Sauzé found in rsc's library of books, from 3rd form French and my recollection inspired by Le Petit Prince.


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As I pointed out to jwg when he read this story to me, I'll bet it's not being used in any 9th-grade classroom in the US these days.

A pity. That certainly would've piqued my interest.

Certainly not in any of the "Freedom Fries" congressional districts, where I would not be totally shocked if the locals had dismantled their high school French progams.

My 9th-grade French text didn't delve into cannibalism, but it was very much a product of the late 60s, and showed rebellious young French women named Sylvie and Brigitte, scantily clad in halter tops and scarves, plotting how to overthrow the faculty one professor at a time.

Certainly not in any of the "Freedom Fries" congressional districts

That's not what I was getting at -- I'm thinking that this story would be considered, um, culturally insensitive. Especially at the "progressive" private school that jwg and (later) I attended.

I could understand it, oddly enough. Perhaps among cannibals one eats one's mistakes, just as doctors bury theirs.

I feel quite accomplished today: not only did I get my home network and PDA all working and talking to one another, but I read a story in French. Woo-hoo!

Congratulations. I suppose it would be inconsiderate of me to point out that this was the first story in the collection (intended for use in first-year French classes) and that the language is about as simple as it gets. Well, it does have the "ne...que" construction, which is not altogether obvious.

Yes, it would be. I got a medal for French in high school, but in 1998, the last time I was in Paris, I couldn't even order a baguette in bakery. Thank God for pointing and mumbling.

Oh, I know about this. Reading is one thing, forming coherent and intelligible sentences is quite another. And then there's understanding the responses.

My best friend and I were real cut-ups in French class. We were asked to write and perform a play. Nobody else would partner with us, so it became a two-man show.

We came up with the unlikely title, "L'hero ou l'heroine?", and wrote a slapstick story about drug dealing and drag queens (he was really good at pratfalls). We actually wrote it, hoping that the teacher would be scandalized, and refuse to allow us (force us) to perform it at the annual Cabaret.

She loved it! She even gave us a few pointers on spicing up the plot, and gave us the vocabulary words to do it. It became a fixture at French Club functions that year.


I remember one unit in my high school French "Total Immersion" class. We were studying the Baroque period, and a bunch of us band geeks decided our presentation would be a woodwind quartet playing selections of the period.

Imagine our surprise when, after a nice number by Lully (I forget which), we gazed up to find our teacher frowning.

"Il était italien!"

Of course, this is the same woman who broke down in tears and bawled her eyes out after we took turns reciting passages from the final chapter of Le petit prince back in the 9th grade.

reciting passages from the final chapter of Le petit prince back in the 9th grade.

Oh, look! you unhijacked the thread!

My best friend and I were real cut-ups in French class.

Quelle surprise.

I think I understood that...and I've never had a French lesson in my life!

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