Bonjour 2012 part 2- Are you smarter than a French 19 year old?

OK readers…2011 was a year in which a lot happened around the world. Let’s see how you do on the news quiz I adapted for my second-year community college international trade students!

The Canadian questions at the bottom are just for you. Answers are all the way at the bottom.

A powerful earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan in March. Which power plant was at the centre of the subsequent nuclear disaster?

A  Fukushima Daini

B  Sendai

C  Onagawa

D  Fukushima Daichi

Osama bin Laden’s death marked a major national security achievement for US President Barack Obama. Where was the al-Qaeda leader hiding?

A Afghanistan

B  Pakistan

C  Yemen

D  Iraq

A 90-year-old preacher in the United States caused a stir when he predicted the end of the world on what date?

A  Feb. 14

B  Dec. 31

C  May 21

D Oct. 31

Which celebrity couple did not split in 2011?

A Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore

B  Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzennegger

C  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

D   Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

Apple co-founder and technology icon Steve Jobs died this fall…of what?

A   Lung cancer

B  Stroke

C  Pancreatic cancer

D  Heart disease

The “wedding of the century” between Catherine Middleton and Prince William drew hundreds of thousands of people to London. When did the two start dating?

A  1996

B  2002

C  2010

D  2005

Which of these leaders was forced out of office by popular protest and then put on trial?

A  Hosni Mubarak of Egypt

B  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran

C  Bashar al-Assad of Syria

D  George Papandreou of Greece

Which Republican candidate for the US presidency dropped out of the race due to a sex scandal?

A  Mitt Romney

B  Herman Cain

C  Sarah Palin

D  Newt Gingrich

A NATO bombing campaign against what country ended when that country’s longtime leader was killed?

A  Tunisia

B  Yemen

C  Egypt

D  Libya

The deadliest hurricane to hit the United States this year was named:

A  Irene

B  Lee

C  Carl

D  Katrina

A member of the U.S. Congress was shot in the head at a rally in January and nearly killed. What state was this in?

A  Arizona

B  Washington, D.C.

C  Texas

D  New Hampshire

All of these countries were the scene of rioting at some point in 2011. Where were the riots NOT related to a political issue?

A  Syria

B  Canada

C  Yemen

D  England

Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist, shot and killed 77 people in Norway this July. In what city did the massacre take place?

A  Oslo

B  Stavanger

C  Bergen

D  Trondheim

Who is no longer a candidate for the French presidency?

A  Marine Le Pen

B  François Hollande

C  Nicolas Sarkozy

D  Martine Aubry

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died in December. He had three sons. What is the name of the son who succeeded him?

A  Kim Jong Nam

B  Kim Jong Un

C  Kim Il Sung

D  Kim Jong Il, Jr.

A central figure in the overthrow of Communism in Eastern Europe also died this year. Who was it?

A  Mikhail Gorbachev

B   Lech Walesa

C  Vaclav Havel

D  Erich Honecker

Which formerly popular Eastern European leader became the target of protests after a suspicious election?

A  Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus

B  Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine

C  Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic

D  Vladimir Putin of Russia

Speaking of elections, which resource-rich African country held a (disputed) presidential election this fall?

A  Cote d’Ivoire

B  Democratic Republic of Congo

C Burundi

D  Namibia

Which  East African country was NOT affected by a famine that killed hundreds of thousands of people this year?

A  Kenya

B  Rwanda

C  Somalia

D  Djibouti

The World Cup of women’s football was held this year in Germany. Who won?

A  Germany

B  France

C Japan

D the United States


Former NDP leader Jack Layton died this September after leading his party to Official Opposition status in the May 2 election. The “Orange Wave” caused serious damage for:

A   Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals

B  Elizabeth May’s Greens

C  Gilles Duceppe’s Bloc Québécois

D  Both A and C

The Montreal Canadiens have angered quite a few fans this winter by:

A  Not winning very many games

B  Hiring a coach who does not speak French

C  Trading away goaltender Carey Price

D  Both A and B

What Native community declared a state of emergency this year, suffering from a lack of livable housing and clean running water?

A  Pangnirtung

B  Nanaimo

C  Iqaluit

D  Attawapiskat

Quebec writer Gil Courtemanche died this spring. His best-known novel is a love story set during the Rwandan genocide. The book and the movie were both called:

A  Parfois en avril

B  J’ai serré la main du diable

C  Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali

D Les invasions barbares

How many NHL teams are now from Canadian cities ?

A  5

B  6

C  7

D  8

Questions 1-12  adapted from USA Today


  1. D
  2. B
  3. C
  4. C
  5. C
  6. B
  7. A
  8. B
  9. D
  10. A
  11. A
  12. B
  13. A
  14. A
  15. B
  16. C
  17. D
  18. B
  19. B
  20. C
  21. D
  22. D
  23. D
  24. C
  25. C

Are you smarter than a French 19-year-old? The highest score my second-year international trade BTS (CEGEP) students got was 12/20. My own score was 19/20; I had no idea when William and Kate started dating.

About msmarguerite

Young Quebec City-based freelance journalist. once and future nomad. I blog about life, about travel, about things I notice and every so often about work. I enjoy language learning, singing, swing dancing, skating and...other stuff, sometimes. My heart is somewhere in East Africa, Haiti or Eastern Europe. English, français, русский, malo slovensko, un poco de espanol, um pouco de português ndiga ikirundi, mwen ap aprann kreyòl...
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2 Responses to Bonjour 2012 part 2- Are you smarter than a French 19 year old?

  1. msmarguerite says:

    Leave your scores in the comment field!

  2. Pascal Loser says:

    15/20 plus 3/5 of the Canadian ones. Glad to be smarter than a French 19 year old 🙂

    Happy New Year from Switzerland!

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