Quoi de neuf / Infolettre

How Good Is Your French? Find Out!

Many Alliance bulletin readers are keen to improve their French, and to that end, it's useful to have concrete ways to measure progress. The Common European Framework of Reference is a great place to start. It's an international standard that describes language proficiency in six levels: A1 and A2, B1 and B2, C1 and C2. Click here for a grid that explains the levels and the estimated hours for each. Note that Alliance classes and textbooks are geared to the grid; those same standards figure in the official DELF/DALF proficiency exams. That testing is held twice yearly (the next is in March) at Gilkey International Middle School in the Cedar Mill area and costs $110 to $190. Click here for the sign-up form (adults should use the Tout Public page); test results are communicated 4 weeks afterward. For an informal yet accurate assessment of your level, try the free simulated TCF test on TV5Monde's site (click here) and remember that Alliance teachers are available year-round to prepare students for exams and conduct informal assessments.      

Montreal Circus Troupe Comes to Portland
Alliance bulletin readers are invited to save 20% off tickets for the upcoming March shows of  Les 7 Doigts de la Main, a circus troupe from Montreal, being brought to Portland by White Bird Dance. The company's virtuoso performers fuse traditional circus arts, such as hoops, trapeze, teeterboard and juggling, with dance, theater and comedy. The London Evening Standard says of their latest production, Sequence8: "This is a show that sets the benchmark for modern circus eye-poppingly high." The shows in Portland will be at Newmark Theatre on March 5-6 at 7:30pm, and March 7 (Saturday) at 2:00 & 7:30pm. Get your discounted tickets by purchasing them online prior to midnight, February 22, and specify the code CIRCUS for 20% off adult priced tickets in all seating levels.
French Events Around Town         
   French American Business Networking: This Thursday will feature a business networking event in the Pearl, hosted by Jack Cowan of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest. A few spots are left - click here for general info. Pre-registration (click here) is required. All sectors are welcome.
Cercle titleCAIS: The next Cercle Français will be at noon on Thursday, February 26, at the First Congregational Church (1126 SW Park Avenue). Click here for details.  
  Terroir Presentation: There are still seats available for the March 6 presentation at the Alliance on the concept of terroir. Click here for complete details about the presentation by Joseph Bohling of PSU (shown here at right). 
  North Africa and France: On Wednesday, Feb. 18, attend a free lecture in French on North Africa and France: Past and Present, at PCC's Sylvania campus, by Nabil Boudraa (photo at left), Associate professor of French at OSU, scholar of North African cultures, and a native of Algeria. Click here for complete information.  

   French Night at the Blazers: On February 25, Alliance president Beverly Voytko will welcome a record-setting group for the post-game meet-and-greet with Nic Batum. Click here for details; participants must have purchased their tickets via our Group Manager. 

Many French Films in Portland!
Deux Jours, Une Nuit: We've heard from readers that the film, Deux Jours, Une Nuit, playing at Regal Fox Tower, is a great one for students at all levels. The storyline involves repeated questions, fast switching between tu/vous forms of greetings (adult-to-adult, adult-t0-child, employee-to-boss, colleague-to-colleague, etc.), and practical, real-life examples of direct and indirect objects in everyday speech. Click here for showtimes.
   Film Festival: PIFF (Portland International Film Festival) continues through February 21 - check out all the French films in the festival by clicking here.
   Mommy: The French-Canadian film, Mommy, is currently showing at Living Room Theaters. Click here for details. 

   Timbuktu:  If you missed the Oscar-nominated film Timbuktu during PIFF, you can catch it when it opens February 20 at Living Room Theaters (in French, Arabic, and Bambara with English subtitles). The film is described on RogerEbert.com as "A thoroughly remarkable and disquieting film from Mali's Abderrahamane Sissako, Timbuktu is also a work of almost breathtaking visual beauty, but it manages to ravish the heart while dazzling the eye simultaneously, neither at the expense of the other. It's a work of art that seems realized in an entirely organic way." 
  The 25th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films continues through March 8, 2015. It includes a variety of feature and documentary films from the African continent; the majority of films were made by African directors and several are in French. All the films are free and open to the public; click here for all the details.
Quoi de Neuf Is a Six-Time Winner
Portland's Alliance has just received confirmation from Constant Contact, one of the world's leading email marketing solutions providers, that this Quoi de neuf bulletin has earned the industry's All-Star Award for the 6th year in a row. This distinction is awarded to a small percentage of top-performing email communications that statistically demonstrate the highest levels of readership and technical excellence. The newsletter has 6,300 subscribers including readers in over 20 states and several countries.
Dates to Remember
Feb. 19: French American Chamber of Commerce Networking Event
Feb. 25: French Night at the Blazers at the Moda Center (almost sold out)
March 5-7: Montreal Circus Troupe at Newmark Theatre
March 6: Terroir Presentation at the Kamm House
Quick Web Links

Winter Term is under way. Spring Term starts the end of March.   




Some are hosted by Alliance staff, board members or other volunteers. Drop-ins welcome; membership is encouraged but not required.

NW, N, or Central   

St Honoré on NW Thurman on

Wed., 6pm, Feb. 18          

C'est Si Bon on NE 7th on the first Tuesday, Mar. 3 @ 6pm  

Philippe's Bread on N. Williams on Sat., Mar. 7 for B2/C1 levels (advanced, fluent)  

SE Portland

At Chez Machin, Mon., Mar. 9, at 7p.m.

At Vie de Bohème weekly on Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m.


At Gustav's in Vancouver, Tues., Mar. 3 at 5:30 p.m.


In-Kind Sponsors







Paris In the News, French Tour Opportunity,
Member Ads and More  

  Paris in the News: Just published last week, this NY Times article (click here) explains the development of le Métropole du Grand Paris, a plan to better integrate the suburbs' populations. For more info, also click here for a Wikipedia article in French on the plan.
  Host a Conversation Group: The Alliance is seeking volunteer hosts for the French conversation group tha
conv2t meets twice monthly on Wednesday evenings, at St Honoré in the Pearl. Contact Rhonda Lynn (email rhondal@afportland.org).
  Valentine's Review: Test your French and review the pagan origins of "le jour de la Saint-Valentin" by reading either the online Wikipedia page or clicking here to get even more information on the origins (all in French) of what is commonly known as "la fête des amoureux." Finally, and much to our chagrin, the image that went viral last year (but which was very funny) proved to be a fake - click here for the "promotion" from the Mairie de Paris about floral bouquets on Valentine's Day. 
 Discover France Off the Beaten Path: Fabienne Spier (photo at right) is a professor at George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University and this summer she'll lead her 8th small-group tour in France. The tour will accommodate a maximum of 10 people and will begin in Bordeaux on July 13 and end in Albi on the 27th. Only four spots remain to be filled on the tour. Click here for complete details including itinerary, accommodations and pricing. Alliance of Portland member Marti Kutter participated last year and commented, "I enjoyed the tour last year and am going again this summer. We stayed in some fabulous places and visited many small, out of the way places that were new to me. The group was small and congenial, and I liked the idea of speaking French the whole time. Fabienne is very good at facilitating conversation." Contact Fabienne Spier (fabienne922@gmail.com) directly with any questions. Book soon!
  Burgundy Dinner As Lincoln Fundraiser: On March 1, 2015, longtime Alliance member Meri Kemp is hosting a fundraising dinner which will directly benefit Lincoln High School's new culinary arts program. Click here for the flyer and contact Meri directly to sign up for this prestigious event that benefits a very good cause.  
  Member Ad: Famille cherche un(e) enseignant(e) de langue maternelle française pour donner des cours de français à un petit garçon qui aura 6 ans en juin. Environ 2 heures par jour, 2 à 4 fois par semaine, après l'école (vers 14h30) dans le quartier Holgate-Cesar Chavez. Le petit garçon a déjà une base de français et il parle assez bien la langue. Les responsabilités (à convenir) pourraient inclure d'aller chercher l'enfant à l'école, de lui donner des leçons formelles (lecture, écriture, etc.) et de pratiquer la conversation informelle en français. Salaire compétitif. Veuillez contacter Diane Henkels, 541-270-600 ou par courrier électronique: dhenkels@actionnet.net.
  Francophiles in the Pearl: A quick walk around Portland's Pearl shows there are indeed some Francophiles. Below at left is a shop window with a French book, scarf and an Eiffel tower. The other is a sandwich board with a sense of humor ("If you can't say something nice, say it in French"). Can you name the businesses? Email your answers to newsletter@afportland.org. The first person to guess both correctly will get a prize of a one year of membership in the Alliance (or a one-year extension of an existing membership).
  Biarritz Update: The owner of the beautiful Biarritz property in the previous bulletin would like to thank everyone who offered a home exchange and explains that she'd prefer to do a paid rental at this point. Finally, she provides an updated email address which is patricia.daucourt@numericable.fr.

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