Tuesday 4 March 2008

An Fhraincis agus na Francaigh: Alt i mBEO

alt seafóideach i mBEO na míosa seo. Tá an t-údar, Breandán de Gallaí ag gearán faoin Fhraincis agus faoi na Francaigh féin.

Scríobh sé "Is cuma cén iarracht a dhéanann tú [an fhraincis a labhairt], ní thuigeann siad faic atá á rá agat – agus measaimse go mbíonn siad mar sin d’aon turas.". Seafóid! Chaith mé na blianta sa Fhrainc, agus más féidir leat cúpla focal a rá bíonn siad sásta labhairt leat. Ar ndóigh muna féidir leat na focail a fhoghrú i gceart, ní thuigfidh siad thú. Is iad na gutaí is mó a bhíonn deacrachtaí againne - tá níos mó gutaí sa Fhraincis agus bíonn cuid acu deacair ag foghlaimeoirí arb é an Béarla a bpríomhtheanga.

Ar ndóigh, ina intinn féin, chuala an t-uasal de Gallaí na fuaimeanna i gceart. Mar sin, ní thuigeann sé cén deacracht atá ag na francaigh: tuige a bhfuil siad chomh caillte? An falsacht atá ann?. Ní hea. Is é an t-údar atá falsa. Ní éisteann sé go géar leis na gutaí agus ní dhéanann sé an iarracht cheart iad a fhuaimniú. Ach, ansin, cuireann sé ceist mhaith "
An bhfuil mo chuid cainte chomh briotach sin, chomh dothuigthe sin, nach dtig leo fiú tomhas cad é atá á rá agam?. An freagra: Tá.

Ansin díríonn sé a fhrustrachas (nó a shaontacht?) ar na Francaigh féin. Maíonn sé nach bhfoghlaimíonn Francaigh an béarla i gceart in Éirinn. Ní phiocann siad suas an Gael-Bhéarla "at all at all" agus bíonn rian na foghraíochta fraincise ar a gcuid cainte i gcónaí. Céard is féidir liom a rá faoi seo? Aineolach nó páistiúil? Braitheann sé ar an chainteoir. Agus tá aithne agam ar dhaoine ón Pholainn agus ón tSeirbia nar éirigh leo gramadach nó foghraíocht an Bhéarla a thabhairt leo i gceart. Tá fear amhain acu anseo le 10 mbliana.

Is cinnte go raibh greann ag baint leis an alt úd. Chuir an t-údar é sin in iúl ag an deireadh nuair a thrácht sé ar na huimhreacha. Ach sílim go raibh sé i ndáiríre sa chuid is mó. Ba chóir dó coinneáil leis an ghreann. Tá sé gearán faoi dhaoine eile is an chaoi nach dtugann siad teanga leo i gceart - agus scríobh sé ag an tús "
Admhaím nach bhfuil mé rómhaith ag teangacha". Is cinnte nach bhfuil, ach tá bua an ghrinn agat.

2 comments:

Seán Báite said...

Dia dhuit a Thomaltach, ta leasainm Gaelach agam ach tá mo chuid Ghaeilge go h-ana lag ar fad (dhéan mé an ardteist ar feadh na hochtóidí) - scríobhfaidh mé as Bearla as seo amach - ochón! That fella from Beo should try to learn that 1/ the French generally don't do 'service' and that 2/ Parisians don't do 'service' period. He should maybe also not take Parisians failing miserably in service industries as representative of the rest of the French population. He made me laugh though with his comment on the numbers - trust the French to require you to carry out intricate calculations to count beyond 69.. well, they always did have a penchant for complicating things, n'est-ce pas ?
If he's looking for less complicated French speakers, he should try Belgium or Switzerland - where they have the common sense to use 'octante', 'nonante' etc.
He should also try to see France beyond Paris - and not just the Place de Belgique :->
Whereabouts were you living in France for 3 years ??
Oh and thanks also for the link on to an Spailpín's excellent post on that ad as gaeilge (I haven't seen the ad either).

Tomaltach said...

You are absolutely right - Paris and the Rest are worlds apart. I lived in the south, in Nice. The "Côte d'Azur" is very unlike much of the rest of France. The culture is pure mediterranean. Food, drink, attititude, behaviour. The people of the Côte d'Azur think the Parisiens are up their own asses and need to get a life. Preferrably a relaxed life in the sun! Funny enough there is a French film out now, a comedy about a southerner from Provence who is posted to a town in the Far north as punishment for misbehaving at work. He dreads his new life in a land that will be alien to him. But the equation works both ways: Parisiens see the southerners as lazy, slopy and a tad lawless. Both are stereotypes of course, but lurking in both is a little grain of the truth.

To be honest I thought the article was juvenile. The claim that the French willfully misunderstand him is ludicrous. I cannot claim to have mastered the language while there, but I made the effort and it was repaid a thousand fold: at work, at play, and doing the basics like discussing a new rental agreement.

I met other Irish expats in Nice who stubbornly refused to learn the language. They had only Irish or English friends. They watch only Irish tv via satellite. They frequented Irish pubs. In short, they built a little Irish ghetto into their own lives. They couldn't, or didn't, read the local newspaper. Didn't listen to French radio or watch French news. In short, apart from sucking up some rays, they might as well have been in Clontarf. A choice which I fully respect, but it would be a bit rich if they came home and claimed the French were unwelcoming!

No, the article I refer to was beneath beo.ie and I hope it is not the standard we will have to endure under its new editor. But she is new, and should be given time to make her mark.