In Proceedings By Lily

The benefits of chocolate in learning English

That individual work for the study of a foreign language is very important, hardly anyone doubts. But sometimes it’s so hard to make myself. Therefore, when choosing a book or a movie in English, make sure that they will be really interesting. In this article I want to introduce you to the wonderful world of confectionery Joan Harris in the book «Chocolat», as well as the movie, which was filmed on the story of this famous novel. Please note that the material in this article is recommended for learners of English to Intermediate level and above.

First, a brief comment about the name — it is particularly attentive readers might think that the word mistake. Nevertheless, the book is really called «Chocolat», rather than «ChocolatE», as the title the author used the French word chocolat, which is pronounced like sho — co — la. The original book was written in English, but French words are fairly common in the names, especially when it comes to a variety of sweets.

A few words about the author. Joanne Harris — modern British writer. She was born in 1964 in the family of an Englishman and a Frenchwoman. Some argue that the girl was born in a candy store his grandfather (grandfather’s sweet shop). In fact, it happened in a temporary hospital across the street (temporary hospital across the road). Nevertheless, it is impossible not to draw parallels. Which you can understand a little later, having become acquainted with the content of the already mentioned book. 🙂 First language was French, Joan, but she writes in English. Yet France is very often present in her work.

The plot (plot) of the book «Chocolate» is built around the mother, Vianna Roche (Vianne Rocher), and her daughter Anuk (Anouk), who come to the small French town Lanskne-sous-Tann (Lansquenet-sous-Tannes) on the day of the carnival (Shrove Tuesday — the last day of Maslenitsa Catholics) before the start of Lent (Lent). Mademoiselle Roche had to travel a lot and see different countries before the birth of the girl, and with her. But this time they decide to stay in Lanskne and perhaps gain his home there. Vian opens confectionery (shocolaterie), which produces and sells excellent chocolates, pastries, cakes and fragrant coffee. But how will they this conservative town that «alien, everything is new …»? Moreover, the Vian — a single woman with a child does not attend church, and even rumors that the eternally smiling, affable Mademoiselle — a real witch (witch)!

Interestingly, Joanne began writing «Chocolate» when her daughter Anushke (Anoucka) was three years. The girl is one of the main characters of the book. The novel is dedicated to my great-grandmother, Joan (is dedicated to Joanne’s great grandmother). She is the prototype of one of the heroines of the book — Armande (Armande).

In the book we meet a lot of other interesting characters (sharacters), typical for the society of our day. Viani is opposed to the image of the image of the local priest, Francis Reynaud (Francis Reynaud). In Mademoiselle Roche sees a threat to his little flock. And Vian with horror realizes that Francis — a Black Man (Black Man). It symbolizes the constant fear that steals a sense of joy and peace. Everyone has a black person, and each does it mean something else. Events in the novel (novel) tells behalf and on behalf of Vian Francis turns. This allows us to compare two completely different outlook. I will not dwell on other characters, though all of them are interesting in their own way and very picturesque.

The novel satirizes the false moralism, prejudices towards other people just because they are somewhat different; and vice versa: the courage to be yourself, no matter what, is extolled as one of the main human dignity. Another interesting theme of the novel — it is the fear of the people to change their lives, and doomed to failure attempt to escape from ourselves. Thus, despite the fact that the novel can rightly be called a fairy tale, there is something to ponder.

Well, as you know, the whole point in detail. A part of the novel «Chocolate» very tasty! USA Today newspaper in his review of the book, wrote: «Delectable (charming) … delicious enough to satisfy any sweet tooth (sweet tooth) and spare you the calories of dessert ([Book] adorable … adorable so that will satisfy any sweet tooth, but This will avoid extra calories a conventional dessert). With regard to calories, it is unlikely, of course. Most likely, between reading would have to run for dessert. Perfectly mastered the art of speech, the author can describe the taste and smell is so bright that you’ve literally begin to feel hungry. So it is more appropriate to review the German edition of Welt am Sonntag: «Dieser Roman macht Appetit auf Leckereien!» (This novel is an appetite for delicacies).

Below you will find the names of some of these sweets, as well as other words that are used in the book. This small glossary is especially useful when you read the book and will introduce all the luxury chocolate palette Mademoiselle Rocher.

Peanut brittle Arahis sugar
Nougatine Nougat in chocolate (European version of the Peanut brittle, but instead of peanuts — almonds)
(In the book mentioned Gingerbread house)
Florentine Crackling biscuits. There are many variations, but the nuts and candied fruits — classic ingredients
Candied fruit Candied fruits (fruit cooked in sugar syrup)
Mendiant Traditional French sweets in the form of a chocolate disc with dried fruits and nuts.
Truffle Truffle
Cluster Chocolate candies with nuts and caramel
Croissant Croissant
Apricot hearts Cookies with apricot filling
Chocolate candies with different creams, fillings and nut butter in the middle
Marzipan fruits Marzipans
Coconut mice Sweets with taste kokoca in the form of a mouse
Pancakes Pancakes
Couverture Glaze
Crème Cream Liqueur
Shocolate curls Chocolate chips, chocolate coils
Frothy The foam, foam
(orange, lemon zest)
(e.g., lemon, orange)
Cinnamon Cinnamon
Vanilla Vanilla
Almond Almonds

The book is often referred favorite hot chocolate Vian Roche, which she made quite unusual — with the addition of chili peppers. On its website, Joanne Harris offers us this recipe for Chocolate:

Vianne’s Spiced Hot Chocolate (Serves 2)

Chile may have lost favor as an ingredient in chocolate dishes in Europe, but for me this sweet, spiced version of hot chocolate is the best morning drink: rich, dark, and invigorating enough to keep me going until lunchtime.

  • 1 2/3 cups milk 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise 1/2 cinnamon stick 1 hot red chile, halved and seeded 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet (70 percent) chocolate Brown sugar to taste (optional)
  • Whipped cream, chocolate curls, cognac, or Amaretto, to serve

Place the milk in a saucepan, add the vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and chile, and gently bring it to a shivering simmer for 1 minute. Grate the chocolate and whisk it in until it melts. If you must, then add brown sugar, but do try without it. Take off the heat and allow it to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla, cinnamon, and chile. Return to the heat and bring gently back to a simmer. Serve in mugs topped with whipped cream, chocolate curls, or a dash of cognac or Amaretto.

Words that may be unfamiliar to you:

  • Serves 2 — 2 servings.
  • Chile — chili.
  • To lose favour — loose arrangement.
  • Spiced — spicy, flavored with spices.
  • Invigorating — energizing, invigorating.
  • Vanilla bean — vanilla bean.
  • To cut lengthwise — cut lengthwise.
  • It halved and seeded — cut in half and without pips.
  • Ounce — ounce (unit of weight = 28.3 g).
  • To taste — the taste.
  • A saucepan — pan.
  • Shivering simmer — simmer.
  • Gently bring to a shivering simmer — bring to a boil over low heat.
  • To grate — rub (grated).
  • To whisk — churn.
  • To infuse — insist.
  • To take off the heat / to return to the heat — remove from heat / put back on the fire.
  • Whipped cream — whipped cream.
  • Dash of cognac — a little brandy.

And finally, a few words about the film. The film «Chocolat» based on the novel by Joanne Harris, was directed by Lasse Hallström in 2000. Starring in the film performed by Julien Binoche (Vianne Rocher) and Johnny Depp (Roux). In 2001 the film was nominated for an Academy Award in five categories and received three awards: the award «Bogey Award», prize «Audience Award» (Juliette Binoche), a premium «Guild Film Award — Gold» (Lasse Hallström).

The eternal dilemma of «What is better: a movie or book?» There were also «Chocolate». Immediately it should be noted that between the film and the book has a lot of tangible differences that make them two separate works of art, worthy of attention. Choose what you closer, and remember that this is not only interesting, but also useful for improving your English skills match!

We bring you the trailer for the film:



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