Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Pardon my French

Nothing to blog about today. The last and next few hours have been wasted invested in cramming for my French exam Tuesday at 8:15. Souhaitez-me bonne chance!

I'm right on the brink of achieving the levels I need, so depending on the amount of sleep I get Monday night and the relative positions of Venus and Jupiter, it could go either way.

For civil servants in Canada, if your position is deemed bilingual, you have to be retested every five years, unless you get the golden 'exempt' score. Kind of like the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I myself aspire to a much more lowly intermediate score, or B level. As of today, my job doesn't hinge on being able to achieve my levels, but I'm in a pool of qualified candidates for a promotion and I can't lock it in until I confirm my language levels. This is kind of a practice run, but if I succeed I can sock away my results for another five years.

After many years of on-and-off language training, and investing three to four hours a week of in-class training for the past year, I think my proficiency in French is as good as it's ever been. I can follow a conversation with relative ease, and even contribute well enough to be understood, if not in a grammatically gorgeous kind of way. I'm actually quite pleased with my progress in general, but in preparing for the exam I've taken a series of practice tests - and scored lower on each successive test.

So think a kind thought for me tomorrow as I try to conjugate the subjunctive and identify my si clauses and distinguish between direct and indirect objects... and still have enough brain cells left over to tie my shoes.