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Travail effectué en anglais par le groupe de 1LV2

17 Mars 2010 , Rédigé par profs Publié dans #Hélène Berr

Les productions suivantes ont été réalisées en classe d’anglais par les 1LV2, à partir de sujets qui leur ont été soumis. Merci aux élèves pour leur investissement dans cette tâche !

P. Vautier

1) In what circumstances does Hélène Berr use English words and expressions?


By Léo ROBIN (1ES2)

Stéphane TZVETKOV (1S2)

Matthieu CREMERS (1S2)


We can see in Hélène Berr's diary that she often uses English expressions. She writes some words in English which better correspond to what she feels. Sometimes she writes expressions which only exist in English like "pot black Tuesday"; "a wild flame of joy" or "hot and bothered". Hélène Berr studied English at the university so she had a very good standard and sometimes some words come to her in English before French. A little bit like everyone because sometimes we use some English expressions too.



2) Think about English words that you like using in daily life. Why do you use them?


By Pierre GAFFURI (1S2)

Mathieu LLEU (1S2)

Damien NICOLAS (1ES2)


Sometimes an English word represents the meaning that we want to express better than a French word. That’s Helene Berr’s opinion too, because in her diary, she used some English expressions that represent the meaning of her feelings better. For example, she used the English expression “I knew that bad things were at the back of my mind” and she can’t really translate that in French.


There are many expressions that we often hear in English like “All right”, “Come on” or “Do you know what I mean?”


Moreover, we often use expressions that we hear in a movie or in a song to express a feeling. For example “REDRUM” that we find in the movie The Shining.  Or the sentences “may the force be with you” or “I have a bad feeling” in Star Wars.


And there are many words which have a better pronunciation in English than in French. And their tone is classier in English. It’s the case of the word “nice” which is translated in French by “sympa” or “agréable”.



3) Explain the meaning of the following quote from Keats's Hyperion. What is your opinion of it?

Since every man whose soul is not a clod

Hath visions, and would speak, if he had loved

And been well nurtured in his mother-tongue.”


By Mégane JOUBERT (1L)


Sarah MARTIN (1L)

Sandra BRETTE-NGAH (1S2)


This quotation by John Keats means that every person would speak if they had the capacity to express themselves clearly and to be understood. In Hélène Berr’s diary, she uses it to say that everybody could potentially do like her, write a diary, and if not everybody does it, it is because of the manner of writing, of arguing and of explaining things. Writing is for her a duty because she has this gift to know how to tell the facts.


It’s true that the lack of words can prevent a person from being understood, from clearly expressing their point of view and their arguments and that it is not in everybody’s capacity to know how to express themselves well. But it is necessary to feel the will to speak or even write because people sometimes prefer keeping silent even if they have defensible arguments. They don’t see the point of speaking about it, of sharing their ideas or trying to share what they think and feel. In the case of Hélène Berr, some people can be afraid of speaking about it.



4) Think about a writer (or another type of artist) whose work means a lot to you.

By Nicolas HERON (1S2)


I think that there is a similarity between Hélène Berr's feelings with her readings and writings, and me with the Guignols de l'info.


I like the authors of the Guignols de l'info because I like their caustic humour. A good sketch of the Guignols de l'info cheers me up. They see the world with a critical eye and they are a little cheeky, the way I would like to be. They caricature everybody in their show. When I feel sad, I watch them.


Hélène Berr wrote in her diary when she felt sad. Hélène Berr's Diary and the Guignols de l'info allow not think about other things.



5) Subject proposed : Think about an extract from a novel, a song etc. which often matters to you and comes to your mind.

Subject treated : What other literary work makes you think of Hélène Berr's Diary?



Romain FOUCAULT (1ES2)

Emmanuel GOURAUD (1ES2)



Hélène Berr's Diary reminds us of another diary. It’s Etty Hillesum's Diary. Etty Hillesum (January 1914 – November 1943) was a young Jewish woman and writer whose letters and diary written between 1941 and 1943 describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation.


At the beginning of the diary Etty lived in Amsterdam where she obtained a masters degree in law in 1939. She began studying Russian, but she had to stop her studies, because of the war. In the diary, Etty Hillesum speaks about the limitation of the rights of the Jews, the persecution of the Jews… She evokes her spiritual evolution. The reading, the writing and the prayer approach Etty to Christianity. She kept her love of life, while men were committing odious crimes.


The two diaries are written during the German occupation by Jewish women. Both contain a philosophical judgment on this tragic event. Etty and Hélène died in concentration camps. The two books have the same edition : “Points”. Hélène and Etty are alike physically and spiritually. There are many other diaries which were written during the persecution of the Jews.



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