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Contes givrees


Frecossais

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Every autumn between October and November, many communes in Dept 71 in France hold a "conte givree".

For the past two years I have gone to two or three of them in different villages near to me, and find that I am becoming better at picking up the gist of what is being said. The story-tellers are professionals and have to be actors too in order to make the stories come alive. Of course, some are better than others.

Do the contes givrees take place in other Departements as well? 

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Have you ever been to listen to one Sweet? Obviously it's great when the artiste is really talented, but they're good to go to as another aid to learning French.

I find face to face conversation not a problem, because I can clarify when I don't understand, but (like watching films in French) a complete listening exercise albeit with gestures etc is very different. I don't get it all, but enough to enjoy the story.

However I went to one a couple of years ago where the story-teller was from one of the Outre-Mer islands and had a very pronounced accent. I lost a lot there. My OH assured me that it was the equivalent of a French person being addressed by a person speaking English with a pronounced Indian accent, and when I thought about it, so it was.

Oh, and there's always a glass of wine to set you up for the journey home.

I think you might enjoy them Norman, well some of them.

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Thanks for the info Norman, very informative, though I still can't come up with a satisfying translation.

It has last autumn's programme on it. I saw Marlene Bounniort who was fantastic, and Till Roeskens. He  drew a map of his childhood area of Marseilles on the floor and told about his history. I found him less entertaining, because he didn't vary his tone a great deal, and at times I had difficulty hearing him.

The communes involved often have the story-teller go into the local primary schools, where they give a potted version ( or maybe even something different) to the children.

For me this culturel tradition is a highlight of my autumn stay in France.

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