Wednesday, March 08, 2006

En Francais

I fact-checked a piece in French today. Haven't really spoken it since I graduated high school in '99 but when an editor here asked if I spoke French I said "Yes". The piece itself was in English, but the subject was a Quebec woman who spoke very little English. I found it fairly easy to comprehend what the woman was saying, but translating the facts into French and relaying them to her in passable grammar was a painful experience. I just don't have the vocab for it anymore. Luckily, this was a very nice woman. For this piece I gave up the fact-checking rules of controlling the call and not letting the source ramble on. I figured the process would be more efficient if she did most of the talking.

I don't feel confident enough to cross "brush up on my French" off the list of things to do before I die, but I think I'm better for the experience.

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