Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is a while since I posted so firstly best wishes to all.

Now I have lived and worked here in France for over 40 years now and love it and now call France home and in just under one more year I will apply to become a French Citizen.

Now as I understand matters I will have to comply with the following requirements:-

Pay all my French Taxes, National and Local and Soc Sec. OK
Have a Clean record with the Police OK
Learn French History and System of Government. Can do
Understand and respect the French way of life OK
Achieve B1 Level in the DELF Language Test BIG PROBLEM


I am having a lot of difficulty in learning French to that level and whilst I can read it reasonably well and understand the unknown words from the context, unless the person speaks slowly and with no heavy accent I find spoken French almost incomprehensible. Now I did attain an A Level in that Language but that was 46 years ago now , I'm 64 and was in those days "What is the pluperfect of the verb Avoir?" not a lot of use if trying to find the way to the station. I can speak the language to an extent if I know the words but it will be very stilted and literal not idiomatic.

Working in an Aviation related industry where English is the official language I have no real problems with my work and i get by otherwise. Being an Introvert I am not one to join things or indulge in group social activities so do not need to converse with people except in specific circumstances. I would add that i am currently taking French lessons each week at my own expense but it doesn't seem to be going in.

Now I have heard from a few different people that if one is over 60, as I am, the Language Test is NOT required. If that is true than it would save me a lot of hassle indeed.

Can anyone direct me to an official website , part of a Legal Code , Government Department or whatever that can confirm that age related exemption and if so how to register for or claim it?

Thank you in advance,


Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Not sure about the over 60 change in requirement. But i found it helps to keep on practicing. Listen to your language level of French, there are plenty easy language samples around and then stretch yourself. I've also made my way through some audiobooks that I knew in English and I bought the French audio and text. I try to listen and then read, and then on repeat until I hear and understand what is being said. Similar for Movies and TV shows, it helps to know the show beforehand, to go back and listen on repeat until one gets it. There are also plenty of language resources available online.

Aside from that, I've found that there are some people that I just simply don't understand. I have yet to figure out why that is. But the language tests are usually pretty clear spoken.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
Take a look at the Service-Public.fr website (https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2213).

It states that if you are over the age of 60, you don't need to produce a diploma or attestation evidencing your language level. Instead, your knowledge of the language will be assessed during your "assimilation interview".

Just keep plugging along, and by the time you get to that point, I'm sure you'll do just fine.

[Oops, as usual, Bev beat me to it...]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,909 Posts
I've got no firm evidence to back up my following comments, but I've spoken with a number of people who have gone the Fr citizenship route - for a variety of reasons. A consistent theme I hear is that the rules are there to bar "undesirables" becoming citizens. If you can demonstrate that you're well integrated into France, house owner, job, responsible member of society etc etc then the barriers seems less of a problem.

TRy searching the net for advice on how to pass the oral DALF exams. It did these years ago. Some tips I remember...

just guess if a noun is le or la....it's better to use the word correctly in a sentence than worrying about masc/ fem. Fluidity and "in the round" are more important than specific rules.

If you are asked a question that uses a word you don't know then ask..I found they're happy to explain it.

Try to make it a discussion between adults rather than "parent - child" q & a session.

Try to enjoy it??..difficult I know. As a business school lecturer doing entrance interviews I always prefered the smiling candidate who discussed things, rather than the well qualified frightened rabbit.

Good luck, tell us how you get on. You never know, but Brexit outcomes may mean that many of us have to follow you!

DejW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
514 Posts
Steve, as others have said the test is not necessary and you just need to 'get by' for the interview. But I'm sure your enjoyment of being in France is improving as your French improves.

Just a couple of random thoughts:

First, there are several aspects to understanding/speaking a foreign language. At our age (I'm in my mid/late sixties) we were almost certainly taught to focus on vocabulary and grammar (ah! the pluperfect, the past historic and the subjunctive!) with a bit on the pronunciation if we were lucky. Of course these are important but equally important are the rhythm, the stress, the tone, the pace. If these are wrong it's much harder to understand and make one self understood: really - much harder.

I signed up for a course of phonetics at the local Alliance Francaise and it was really quite revealing. Now I have to say that I've also got quite a few criticisms of that particular course so I can't recommend it wholeheartedly, but I assure you that it was worth doing it. And it turns out that changing the pace and rhythm of how you speak is harder than it sounds! It has certainly helped me to understand speech. That might be an angle to follow for a while.

As I say I'm roughly your age - bit older in fact - and one thing I find increasingly frustrating is with the quality of my hearing. I am nowhere near needing hearing aids (at least that's what I tell people who are rude enough to ask the question :-o ) but the quite normal loss of high-pitch sounds means that distinguishing conversation when other noises are going on (in a bar, outdoors or just in a room with several people talking) is getting more difficult. I've swallowed my pride and now have no hesitation cupping a hand to my ear and saying "Hein?". This both serves to cut off some of the extra noise and signal to the other person that my hearing is not as sharp as it could be. Another angle that might be worth exploring.

So good luck! Keep at it. Let us know how you get on. I'll probably be following on your heels in 18 months time!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,414 Posts
Just a word here about the language testing aspect of taking French nationality - take a look at the definitions of the various language levels https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_European_Framework_of_Reference_for_Languages

Note that there is nothing about grammar mentioned. It's all about understanding and making yourself understood. It's really more about getting out there and talking to people, chatting with the shopkeepers and being able to, say, make a necessary phone call to book an appointment or report a problem. If you get the gender or tense wrong, it doesn't count against you. Simple, basic communications is all that is required.
Cheers,
Bev
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top