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Finding My Proof Of Memorization In French Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Vocabulary

L’autre jour (the other day) I needed an important insurance document. One of my professeurs sent an email telling me what I needed, and as with many important documents it had a long and complicated name.

Une attestation personnelle d’assurance de responsabilité civile
A personal proof of civil liability insurance

Before I left mon appartement (my apartment), I made sure to memorize it. I didn’t want to be lost not knowing how to say un tournevis again! I repeated the whole thing over and over until I could say it sans y réfléchir (without thinking).

I went to find the office, but once there I saw a sign reading:

Fermé
Nous avons déménagé
Notre nouvelle adresse est…

Closed
We moved
Our new address is…

I knew the street of the new address so I didn’t have a problem finding it, but as I was walking in the door I realized I had forgotten the name of the document! La secrétaire (the secretary) greeted me as she took care of another person, and I was glad to have time to try to remember how to say the word!

Bonjour ! Vous pouvez attendre là-bas.
Hello! You can wait over there.

I sat down and looked for une brochure (a brochure, pamphlet) that might have the word I needed to say. As I was looking through the various types d’assurance (kinds of insurance) it came back to me!

Une attestation personnelle d’assurance de responsabilité civile

I repeated it over and over to myself until la secrétaire spoke to me.

Bonjour monsieur. Comment puis-je vous aider ?
J’ai besoin d’une attestation personnelle d—
Vous avez besoin d’une attestation de droits ?
C’est pour un stage.
Oui, d’accord, je peux le faire pour vous.

Hello sir. How can I help you?
I need a personal proo
You need proof of insurance?
It’s for an internship.
Yes, alright, I can do that for you.

After all that I didn’t need to say the whole thing, even if I will never forget it now. I left the office knowing sometimes French is easier than it appears!

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


Comments:

  1. apaula:

    to me,that was actually a funny story,and I nod in agreement at the end when you said that french is actually easy than it appears…
    I just need to b consistent in my learning though to keep up with the conversations!
    merci for the story…great read