French Language Blog

“Un Roi Clandestin” (“An Illegal King”) in France Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 in Vocabulary

This is the extraordinary story of a little prodige du jeu d’échecs (chess prodigy) who was forced to flee his country, le Bangladesh, in order to avoid the threat of being abducted.

Un matin d’hiver (one winter morning), he ended up with his père (father) in a Parisian banlieue (suburb.)

Despite their many efforts and their tough situation, the French courts refused to grant them le droit d’asile (the right of asylum.)

Soon enough, the runaway boy and his dad became des sans papiers, or “SDF” (“sans domicile fixe“, meaning homeless.)

With nowhere to go, they were forced to spend several nights on the street, trying to survive in the freezing cold.

They were all alone, and everything seemed lost and utterly hopeless.

But one day, l’enfant (the child) met the person who was to completely change his life: This was one of the best and most renown chess coaches of France!

Thanks to his training, the little boy who originally hailed from Bangladesh won the le championnat de France (the championship of France.)

His story moved so many people in France that the Premier ministre (Prime Minister) decided to adjust the immigration status of the father and the son.

Today, Fahim (that is his name) retraces in great detail his incredible story throughout the pages of a biographic livre (book): He describes la douleur de l’exil (the pain of exile), the harsh realities of l’immigration, the stubborn fight the father waged to save son fils (his son), not to mention l’amitié formidable (the great friendship) that was born between the French master and his disciple.

His book is presented as un témoignage (a testimony) of a child venturing in the fascinating world of chess, where le courage, la dignité, and la solidarité are les maîtres mots (the keywords.)

Fahim is now un adolescent (a teenager). Last year, he won the title of champion du monde des scolaires.

No doubt, he has un brillant avenir (a bright future) ahead of him.

All the people who believed in him and supported him during the harsh times can be rightfully fiers (proud) of him.

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