This text comes from “Virtual Tourist”, a web site for travelers



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Comprehension (80 pts)

1/ Where does this text come from? (3 pts)



This text comes from “Virtual Tourist”, a web site for travelers.

2/ Which city is it about? (3 pts)



It’s about Mumbai, the largest city in India.

3/ What impressions does the author give of this city? Circle the appropriate adjectives (you don’t need to justify your answer): (7 + 1 bonus)



Busy / Calm / Chaotic / Detestable / Diverse / Homogeneous / Likeable / Lively / Modern / Monotonous / Old-fashioned

4/ Choose what each part is about. Underline the good answer. (6 pts)

A/The first part (l.1→l.11) is mainly about: the cost of living / the variety of things to do / the different animals / the different people in Mumbai. (2 pts)

B/The second part (l.12→l.33) is mainly about Mumbai’s: history / languages / people / contrasts / all of these. (2 pts)

C/The final part (l.34→l.37) contains information of interest to: tourists / Mumbai’s residents / immigrants / business-people. (2 pts)

5/ City words. Find translations for the following words in the article. (6 pts)



Part 1:

Banlieue : suburbs Embouteillage : traffic jam

Agglomération : metropolitan Autoroute urbaine : expressway

Immobilier: real estate



Part 2:

Gratte-ciel: skyscraper Bureau : office

Commerçant: trader Port: harbour

Tour d’habitation: high-rise (apartments) Taudis: slums



Part 3:

Mendiants: beggars

6/Mumbai’s past. (3 pts)

a/ Who were the original inhabitants of Mumbai?



The original inhabitants of Mumbai were the native koli fisher-folk.

b/ Which Europeans invaded Mumbai? (4 pts)



Mumbai was first invaded by the Portuguese and then the British.

c/ Explain why so many Mumbai residents can speak or at least understand English. (6 pts)



Mumbai was colonized by the British and became a part of the British Empire. So many people learnt and continue to learn English. Indeed, it is still the main language in offices and schools.

7/ A “melting pot” (l.22).

a/ Find a French term in the text which is an equivalent for “melting pot”. (1 pt)

Melting pot = pot pourri

b/ Which other city does the author refer to as a “melting pot”? (2 pts)

melting pot” also refers to New York.

c/ Explain why Mumbai is a melting pot. (5 pts)

Like New York, Mumbai is a melting pot or mixture of different peoples, cultures and languages. The author also points out the contrasts in living conditions, forms of transport and things to do in Mumbai which also contribute to its melting pot or pot-pourri reputation.

8/ Mumbai and animals.

a/ Which animals are mentioned in the text? (5 pts)

The animals mentioned in the text are elephants, horses, camels and cows.

b/ Where could you find these animals in Mumbai? (5 pts)



You could find elephants in an “uptown suburb”, horses and camels on a “suburban beach” and cows on an “expressway” or in the “streets”.

c/ Use the context to guess the meaning of : (4 pts)

rides (l.1, 5): promenades / tours lazy (l.9) : paresseux

wandering (l.24): errant drawn (l.31) : tiré (par des chevaux)



d/ Explain why the author makes so many mentions of animals. (5 pts)

He wants to show how varied Mumbai is compared to other cities (outside India, at least). Mumbai does have traffic jams, skyscrapers, offices and schools but it also has exotic animals (and no doubt exotic people and buildings too).

9/ Would you prefer to visit Mumbai or New York? Explain why. (100-150 words). (Count and give the number of words used at the end of your essay). (15 pts)


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