France: Bardot and Platini on test for immigrants

60 questions on general culture 'to become French'

01 February, 20:49

The Arc of Triumph in Paris The Arc of Triumph in Paris

(ANSAmed) - PARIS - Brigitte Bardot, Michel Platini and Napoleon: to become French, from July 1 it will no longer be enough to know the language, but one will also have to pass a test on history and general culture. In line with the latest directive issued by the Interior Ministry for immigrant naturalization procedures, a group of historians and experts, including the university professors Emmanuel de Waresquiel and Bruno Laurioux, have already prepared a package of multiple-choice questions on the history of France, its literature, geography, monuments and founding principles of the French Republic and Europe. Candidates will be asked at least ten during the exam in the prefect's office, and to pass one needs to answer at least 80% correctly. ''The questions are not difficult ones for which one might need encyclopedic knowledge,'' noted the ministry, ''they intend simply to verify that those wanting to become French have a high enough level of culture to feel close to the founding principles of our collective memory.'' The questions will be modified every year to prevent candidates from memorizing the answers.

Among the subjects in the tests are, for example: ''Was Brigitte Bardot an actress, a designer or the first female boxing champion?'', and ''Was Michel Platini known for playing the violin, being a footballer or having played chess?''. Is the Arc of Triumph ''associated with Napoleon, General De Gaulle or Julius Cesar?'' There are also references to the Eiffel Tower, the Bastille, chanson francaise, women's voting rights, the European Parliament, religious wars and the State's powers. The decree just published by the ministry ''on the level and the assessment of the knowledge of French history, culture and society required of those requesting French nationality'' mentions not only knowledge of the French language, and especially ''comprehension of the language necessary for daily life and the ability to formulate coherent discourse on subjects familiar to the candidate and in the areas of their interest,'' but also ''knowledge of French history, culture and society at the same level of a French student who has finished elementary school.'' The ministry noted that this type of test is already used in Great Britain and Germany. (ANSAmed).

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