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QUESTION French Accent?

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As French is the common language of the legion, and is learned by rote does it have an identifiable accent.
That is to say if you were in conversation with a French national and they didn't know you were a legionnaire would they automatically know you were a legionnaire by the way you spoke, is the accent or the way you speak definable, and is it different from the national French military, for example if you served in Corsica would you absorb the Corsican accent. Is it even something you would notice?
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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France being a multinational country, I don't think that you would get noticed too much once you have left the legion. Of course it's like anything (the language), it depends on the effort that you put into learning it. Some people don't make any effort at all. And then they are amazed, while still in the legion, why they get all the bum jobs and why they are always passed over for the interesting courses.
I have always kept quiet about being in the legion, except on here and facebook, even there I go under Steven Smith, so although I lived and worked in France for years, while out shopping or going into a bar no -one turned around and asked if I was an ex-legionnaire.
As for taking on the regional accent, I don't think that you ever totally lose your own accent. I would say it was more a question of adopting the expressions that would get you less noticed. If you were to use text book French, then there is no way that you would fit in.
 

dusaboss

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France being a multinational country, I don't think that you would get noticed too much once you have left the legion. Of course it's like anything (the language), it depends on the effort that you put into learning it. Some people don't make any effort at all. And then they are amazed, while still in the legion, why they get all the bum jobs and why they are always passed over for the interesting courses.
I have always kept quiet about being in the legion, except on here and facebook, even there I go under Steven Smith, so although I lived and worked in France for years, while out shopping or going into a bar no -one turned around and asked if I was an ex-legionnaire.
As for taking on the regional accent, I don't think that you ever totally lose your own accent. I would say it was more a question of adopting the expressions that would get you less noticed. If you were to use text book French, then there is no way that you would fit in.
Joe would you be able to recognize if someone speak legion French? Is there certain accents you get after time spent are there just certain expressions? Kurva being first you learn. :)
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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Joe would you be able to recognize if someone speak legion French? Is there certain accents you get after time spent are there just certain expressions? Kurva being first you learn. :)
I suppose if someone has the aire of ex-military about him and is speaking French with an accent, then yes I'd assume he was ex-legion. But other than that, no. There are certain phrases which would come out after a few beers, but none that come to mind at the moment. The easiest way to tell is when there are a bunch of them, on leave together, where the common language is French !
I haven't seen any comments from you on my channel recently, are you boycotting it? :oops: ;)
 

Puripuriman Tumas

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Interesting question, and if I may, my contribution: altho’ not a native French speaker, I lived in France, suburb of Garches, for three years from late ‘63 to early ‘67, as a teenager (tough, I know, hélas, c’est la vie!). I became fluent, in that era’s ‘argôt’, and managed to maintain a comfortable level of conversational fluency, aided by study and work-related use of the language, which assisted me when deployed to UNTAC during ‘92. Later, on posting to UNHQ NY, where I continued to study, as well as use, French on a daily basis, and then also when working in parts of Africa during my career, I was often taken for ‘some sort of Frenchman, or maybe Belgian’, based on the dated vocabulary and vernacular I used. I was fortunate to be immersed in the language at a youngmage, and was able to absorb the subtle nuances of pronunciation and expressions used by my peer group, and thereby avoid the received, often forced pronunciations handed-down by non-native teachers (think ‘Allo, ‘Allo!).
 

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Think one of major problems I personally had was in the very early 80s their was a big intake of guys from the U.K. and also English speaking countries, further more the nationalities that picked up other languages like it was a bottle of special K. It had a knock on effect that a lot of the time we were using our native tongue not French as we stuck to our groups or little Mafias in the foyer or out on the town.
First time we went to Paris jumped into a taxi asked the driver in pigeon French were we were going to get a reply from the driver “ where would you like to go” in perfect English just summed it up our French was crap but some British guys were good at learning others not to good and as Joe said it did not make life very easy but as I have said prior I had some good French buddies that helped.
 
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Thanks for the answers, it would appear that non French speaking Legionnaires, absorb the accent so if not in uniform or without disclosure the quality of French is equal to the effort applied in learning. Stationed in Germany I learnt to speak German but rarely was I asked are you a soldier? More often than not I was corrected on pronunciation or context. How I had learned German was pretty much accepted as a given.
 
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As French is the common language of the legion, and is learned by rote does it have an identifiable accent.
That is to say if you were in conversation with a French national and they didn't know you were a legionnaire would they automatically know you were a legionnaire by the way you spoke, is the accent or the way you speak definable, and is it different from the national French military, for example if you served in Corsica would you absorb the Corsican accent. Is it even something you would notice?
My father Edmund Murray (FFL 1937 - 1945) prided himself on being able to speak French fluently. He became a Metropolitan Police Officer in 1947 and gained the second highest marks in a Special Branch competition to speak French. He became Churcill's bodyguard (1950 - 1965). My sister studied French at University, she exchanged with a French girl who was studying English. My sister asked her French friend what she thought about Dad's ability to speak French ... she replied in English but with her lovely French accent ''He speaks French as though he was brought up from the gutter''.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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I don't wish to change the topic of the moment, which is how did Bill's sister's friend would know that their dad spoke such good French- as opposed to him being from the gutter (and her also).
But Sir Winston also spoke French, there is even some footage of him addressing the French people in their own lingo.
 
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