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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Delivering my Speech in French - a feat for sore ears

Luce Petitjean sent me the DVD of the ceremony. Luce, who works in the mayor's office in Ceyroux, was instrumental in the planning of the event in the Ceyroux town hall on 12/4.   In the midst of all the chaos on that day, with all the last-minute details as people were arriving, within minutes of the ceremony starting,.... she took the time to help me translate my speech. This was especially difficult since some of my English phrases were complicated and did not translate well into French. 

For example I planned to say "the story of Ceyroux was ingrained in my brain". I don't think the French use that expression. Some of what I was trying to express, was confusing to Luce, to understand what I meant.  My sentences were a disordered mess. There was no elegant 1-for-1 translation.  The last-minute nature of this exasperated both of us. Luce was in a hurried state, putting out the champagne, posting the photos on display,,... etc...  While I was panicked because my yet-to-be-translated speech was locked in the office.   The only calm one was the Scottish Simonnet son who was also helping us.

The French words and phrases I was comfortable with & could easily pronounce were sometimes traded for a more proper version.  I was prepared to say "my dad told me the story of Ceyroux" as "mon pere m'a dit....". Luce changed this familiar, easy to pronounce phrase to "mon pere m'a parler".  Were those extra syllables really necessary? LOL. I do not know the subtleties of the language.  What was the difference between "dad told me" vs. "dad talked to me". 

In the end, I did not have time to practice using these French phrases. So it was clumsy and my accent was painful to listen to.  I should have apologized to the audience.  Luckily, Luce & Mr. Benguigui were at my side to help when I got stuck midway.

The DVD allowed me to replay the ceremony.  I played a portion of my speech for my family. When my son heard it he agreed it was really bad,....  & he heard the good part.    Although I regret not being better prepared, I did say most of what I intended. I thanked the families: the Simonnet, Parcelier, & Daquet families. I thanked my niece Danielle for making the visit 5 years ago which  facilitated the submission process with Yad Vashem.  I was grateful to Yad Vashem for recognizing Ceyroux and the role they played.   I regret not mentioning the person who especially helped me with my speech. I hope Luce will forgive me.

From this 1-hour DVD, I can extract key speeches. So far I have created a version with just Monique's speech. Next, I will separate mine, Luce's, & Mayor Daquet's.  I hope to upload to my YouTube channel & put CC (Closed Captions) in English & French.  Is there an APP to translate audio from a DVD into text?   Google? SIRI? anyone?

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