Belgium's Declaration of Independence

Practice listening and reading while learning about how Belgium proclaimed its independence. After you listen to the sound files, scroll down to the bilingual reader to check the French transcript and click any phrase for the translation and links to related grammar lessons.

Note: Some of the tenses in this French text and its English translation don't match! In French, we use the present tense to describe historical events like this to evoke a sense of immediacy, whereas in English, we commonly use the past tense - learn more about historical French tenses.

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Q&A relating to this exercise 6 questions, 6 answers

DanielleB1Kwiziq community member

Verb tenses

Why is this text written mostly in present tense but translated in past tense? How can we know when it's appropriate to use this technique to make our own storytelling easier?

Asked 3 weeks ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Telling a story situated in the past by using the present tense is a stylistic instrument to increase the immediacy for the reader. The temporal separation is removed and the reader feels more deeply immersed. This is also an option in English, by the way:

"You won't believe what happened to me the other day. I'm walking down the street, minding my own business, when suddenly someone taps me on the shoulder."

The first sentence sets the temporal stage, indicating that what follows took place in the past. Then the narrator switches to the present tense to draw the listener into the story.

Verb tenses

Why is this text written mostly in present tense but translated in past tense? How can we know when it's appropriate to use this technique to make our own storytelling easier?

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RobinB1Kwiziq community member

comment on the excellence of this topic

Great topic (though I had to Google "Brabant")!

Asked 1 month ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Robin,

Thank you very much for your comment. It is very much appreciated. At Kwiziq, we aim to please! 

Bonne journée!

comment on the excellence of this topic

Great topic (though I had to Google "Brabant")!

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RenjiA1Kwiziq community member

Une question, finalement

Aujourd'hui j'ai appris quelque chose nouvelle et intéressante à propos de la Belgique. Il me rappelle des révolutions de la France et de la Russe. Quelle l'histoire fascinante. Pourquoi il n'y a pas de questions de compréhension? Ils me manquent.  

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Renji,

Ces exercices sont destinés pour la lecture mais vous pourriez soumettre votre excellent suggestion en anglais par le biais de Help & Support.

En attendant , bonne continuation!

Une question, finalement

Aujourd'hui j'ai appris quelque chose nouvelle et intéressante à propos de la Belgique. Il me rappelle des révolutions de la France et de la Russe. Quelle l'histoire fascinante. Pourquoi il n'y a pas de questions de compréhension? Ils me manquent.  

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RichardA1Kwiziq community member

La même pas un question

Vous avez raison.  Quel bonne historie!

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci, Richard, de votre gentil commentaire.

Bonne Continuation!

La même pas un question

Vous avez raison.  Quel bonne historie!

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KevinB2Kwiziq community member

Pas un question

  Je suis d'accord avec Michelle. C'etait tres interessant.

Asked 5 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci Kevin, de votre gentil commentaire.

Bonne Continuation!

Pas un question

  Je suis d'accord avec Michelle. C'etait tres interessant.

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MichelleA1Kwiziq community member

Not a question but just to say what a great text, there is a lot of new language for me to learn here and its in a really interesting composition.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci, Michelle!

Your comment is very much appreciated...

Not a question but just to say what a great text, there is a lot of new language for me to learn here and its in a really interesting composition.

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