Friday, October 31, 2008

Musée du Cinema - Henri Langlois

This one of the places you should vist in Paris if you are a film buff like myself.

Created in 1972, the museum presents "the living history of moving pictures, from their origins to the present day and in all countries". Posters, photographs, manuscripts, costumes and cameras presented in a scenery recreating the magic of the film studios. So if seeing the Mona Lisa isn't your cup of tea, you might be interested in seeing the maniquin used as the dead mother in "Psycho".
Now maybe someone out there can tell us if it is still in existance, because one article I read says it was destroyed by a fire in 1997, but I came across websites that list it & the times it is open.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

French Singer?

Bruce Springsteen? D'accord,  so he's not a french singer. But anyone who knows me, knows he's the best singer, musician, songwriter, perfomer, that I have ever seen (31 times total).
I stumbled across several articles recently about how he played in Paris cet été, also back in 2005 & 1985. From the videos I watched on youtube, I can tell the parisian fans are just as fou as the New York & New Jersey fans from back home. I would have liked to have put un of those videos here, but they were all from hand held camcorders at the concerts, so they are not very good quality. So I posted this video from NY for all you other Bruce fans out there. 

He did start out his concert in Paris by saying "Je veux vous donner mon meilleur" (zhuh vuh voodoh nay mohn meel yure) -I want to give you my best.

cet été (seht ay tay) -this summer         un (uhn) -one           fou (foo) -crazy
 D'accord -(dah kore) -okay

Lesson # 29 - More Stores & Shops

More shops & stores to use with the phrases:
Je cherche... (zhuh shehrsh) I am looking for...
Où est......... près d'ici (ooh ay) Where is.......... near here

un nettoyage à sec (neh twah yahzh) -a dry cleaners
un fleuriste (uhn flewr reest) -a florist
un fruitier (uhn froo tee yay) -a fruit vendor)
une lavarie automatique (uhn lah vah rie awe toh mah teek) -a laundromat
un coiffeur (uhn kwah fir) -a hairdressers

More numbers:
100,000 cent mille (sahnt meel)
1,000,000 un million (uhn meel eeh yon)

Lesson # 30 will be on 11/2

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Favorite French Food Is...

believe it or not...Pizza

Unfortunately mon médecin has told me to watch my cholesterol now that I'm getting up into my senile ans. (As long as I can still work my Ipod I think I'm ok). I used to live on pizza. Back in the Bronx, I used to have at least one slice from my favorite pizza place, which was right across la rue from my apartment. The owner's name was Frankie, and I'm sure he went out of business when I moved to California. 

Anyway... I know I will be eating a lot of pain et frommage if and when I go to France, but I'm not much of a gourmet (much to the dismay of ma copine, who is an excellent cook and her talents are wasted on me. Quel dommage! Aside from the breads and cheeses there, I will be hunting down the pizza places there. (I figure being close to Italy, they must have some good places.

One of the places I was reading about was a place called Pizza Pino. A lot of travelers have recommended it on several websites. 

Pizza Pino
57 bd Montparnasse
75006 Paris
Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenüe
Prix of eggplant parmigiana: 10.80 euros
Prix of an espresso: 2.00 euros

If any other people know of other good pizza in Paris, let me know. .A tout à l'huere

mon médecin -(mohn may day sin)- my doctor         ans (ahn) -years
A tout à l'huere -(ah toot ah lure) -see you later  Prix (pree) -price
Quel dommage (kell doh mazh) What a pity!            ma copine (mah koh peen) -my girfriend
pain et frommage  (pan ay froh mazh) -bread & cheese     la rue (lah roo) -the street

Must See French Film - Diary Of A Chambermaid

Diary of a Chambermaid (Le Journal d'une Femme de Chambre) is a 1964 french film made by Spanish-born filmmaker Luis Buñuel mais lacks the surrealist imagery of his autre films. It stars Jeanne Moreau as a chambermaid qui discovers her ability to influence the lives of her masters.

The film presents itself as the diary of Mademoiselle Célestine R., a chambermaid. Her first employer fetishizes her boots, and she later discovers the elderly man dead, avec un of her boots stuffed into his mouth. Later on, Célestine becomes the maid of a bourgeoiscouple and is perfectly aware that elle is entangled in the power struggles of their marriage. Célestine ends by becoming a bourgeois café hostess, a materialist who mistreats her servants in turn.

mais (may) -but
autre (owe truh) -other
qui (kee) -who
avec (ah vehk) -with
un (uhn) -one
elle (ell) -she

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Answer To Yesterday's Guess Who


Anne Parillaud (born 6 May 1960 in Paris) is a French actress. She is best known here in America for "La Femme Nikita" and "Innocent Blood". But a very underated film I would recommend is "Sex Is Comedy", in which she plays a director who's having trouble filming a sex scene with two actors who can not stand each other. 

Vocabulary Word of the Day - New Shoes

Okay, I'm a man, so I don't really understand the love affair women have with shoes (I am perfectly happy with my one pair of sneakers and one pair of dress shoes that I have). But figuring if you are going to vacation in France, most women are going to want to buy some shoes there. So here's a word you will want to know:

De nouvelles chaussures
(deh noo vehl show soor) -new shoes
Je voudrais acheter de nouvelles chaussures (zhuh voo dray ah shah tay deh noo vell show soor)- I would like to buy some new shoes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween in France

(Excerpts courtesy Of
How did Halloween get to France?
The French had been hearing about Halloween from foreign residents and tourists and in their English classes for years before the holiday ever showed its (masked) face in France. In 1982, the American Dream bar/restaurant in Paris began celebrating Halloween. At first it had to explain the holiday to each customer, mais since about 1995, French customers have tended to be more and more familiar with Halloween.

Trick-or-treating is getting to be more common. It started out magasin-to-magasin, rather than maison-to-maison, but the latter is picking up. However, Halloween occurs during the mid-season school break, which slows it down a bit.

Halloween in France is rather controversial, due to the perception of corporate and cultural influence, as well as the fact that it is not a typical French holiday and some people still don't understand what is being celebrated. Because Halloween is seen as an American celebration, some French people refuse to enjoy it, having decided to include it in their anti-American boycott. It's too early to tell whether Halloween will develop into a long-term tradition; once the novelty wears off, it may turn out to be just a fad.

ans (ahn) -years              restaurant (rehs toh rahnt) -restaurant                 mais (may) -but
magasin (mah gah zahn) -shop, store       maison (may zahn) -house       

Guess Who?

Guess who this famous french person is.
Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Charles Aznavour

This is probably the only french singer I knew growing up. Now this is in the olden days when there was not digital television or the internet, so the only international artists we ever saw was on American programs (Ed Sullivan, Hollywood Palace, Johnny Carsen, etc.)

Charles Aznavour  was one of the few international singers we were able to see on TV. But of course I was into the Beatles & Rock & Roll, so I didn't appreciate all this other wonderful music like I do today.

Mourir d'aimer Charles Aznavour

Vocabulary Word of the Day -Handicap Access

l'accés aux handicapés (lahk say oh hahn dee kah pay) -handicap access

Ce bâtiment a l'accés aux handicapés (seh baht tuh mahnt ah lahk say oh hahn dee kah pay- This building has handicap access?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Answer To Yesterday's Guess Who

Daniel Auteuil (born 24 January 1950) is a

 French actor.

He was born in AlgiersAlgeria, to French parents who were both opera singers. His starring role in Jean de Florette brought him international recognition, and he is now one of the best known and most popular actors in France.

Here in America there is a trivia jeu based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is the center of the Hollywood universe (any actor can be linked to him through six films, It's called the kevin Bacon jeu).

Well I'm convinced the Daniel Auteuil is the French equivelent, parce que it seems he's been in so many modern films en France.

six films (seece feelm) 6 films

jeu (zhoo) -game

parce que (parce kuh) -because

en France (ahn frahnce) -in France

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vocabulary Words of the Day -Parts Of The Head

Usually we have only 1 vocabulary word of the day, but today we have a special visitor helping us.

Our guest teacher today is Jean Reno. He will describe to us the parts of the head.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rounding Out The Family - Françoise Hardy

Last semaine we did Father & son singers Jacques Dutronc & Thomas Dutronc. It's time to give femme et mère Françoise Hardy her own post.

Françoise Madeleine Hardy (born January 171944 in Paris) is a French singeractress and astrologer. Hardy is an iconic figure in fashion, musique style and personality in the Francophile world.

Hardy sings in FrenchEnglishItalianSpanish, and German.

In 1981, she married her long-time companion Jacques Dutronc, with whom she had had a fils, Thomas Dutronc, in 1973. In 1994, elle collaborated with the British pop group Blur for their "La Comedie" version of To The End. In May 2000, elle made a comeback avec the album Clair Obscur. Her fils played guitar and her mari sang the duet "Puisque Vous Partez En Voyage. Hardy lives near Paris and Dutronc lives in MonticelloCorsica, although they remain a couple.

semaine (seh mahn) -week
femme et mère (fehm ay mehr) -wife & mother
musique (mew zeek) -music
fils (feece) -son
elle (ell) -she
avec (ah vehk) -with
mari (mah ree) -husband

"Mon Amie La Rose" Francoise Hardy

Vocabulary Word Of The Day - Umbrella

Le parapluie (lah pah rah ploo eeh) - The umbrella
J'aurai besoin d'un parapluie (zhoor ay beh swan duhn pah rah ploo eeh) -I will need an umbrella

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Famous French Poet - François Villon

François Villon (c. 1431 – after 5 January 1463) was a French poet, thief, and vagabond. He is perhaps best known for his Testamentsand his Ballade des Pendus, written while in prison. The question "Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?", taken from the Ballade des dames du temps jadis and translated by Dante Gabriel Rossetti as "Where are the snows of yesteryear?", is one of the most famous lines of translated secular poetry in the English-speaking world.

Villon's real surname has been a matter of some dispute; he has been called François de Montcorbier and François Des Loges and other names, though in literature Villon is the sole name used. Villon was a person of loose life, and that he continued, throughout his recorded life, a reckless way of living among the wilder youth of the University of Paris

In 1460, at the age of thirty, Villon composed the works which he named Le grand testament (1461-1462). This "testament" has generally been judged Villon's greatest work, and there is evidence in the work itself that Villon felt the same.

The verses of the Grand testament are marked by the immediate prospect of death by hanging and frequently describe other forms of misery and death. It mixes reflections on the passing of time, bitter derision, invective, and religious fervor. This mixed tone of tragic sincerity stands in contrast to the other poets of the time.

In 1462, he was living in the cloisters of Saint-Benoît and in November, he was imprisoned for theft in the fortress that stood at today's Place du Châtelet in Paris. In default of evidence, the old charges of previous thefts were revived, and even a royal pardon did not bar the demand for restitution. Bail was accepted,however, Villon fell promptly into a street quarrel. He was arrested, tortured and condemned to be hanged but the sentence was commuted to banishment by the parlement on January 5,1463. The actual outcome is unknown. But from this time François Villon disappears from history.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Notre Dame update

Catherine Delors wrote to us with a little note about the posting yesterday:

"The 19th century restoration work by Viollet-le-Duc has been questioned in terms of historical accuracy. It remains that Notre-Dame is probably, with the secular Eiffel Tower, the most beloved and beautiful of Paris monuments. This is one of the topics on which Parisians and tourists agree."

Thanks Catherine for the info.

I also reccomend her site "Versailles and more" as a source of great information on the history of France.

Vocabulary Word Of The Day -The Alley

La ruelle (lah roo ell) -the alley
Allez descendre la ruelle (ah lay day sahn druh lah roo ell) -Go down the alley.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ego Moment

The title of my artwork here is "Disheveled Under A Venus Night"
In french it translates (hopefully) to:

 "Décoiffée sous une nuit de Vénus"
(day quah fee soo oon noo ee deh vay nuss)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Male & Female Words's possibly the most confusing & one of the most difficult things about learning French.

Objects (nouns) in French are either male or female. It has nothing do with whether a man uses something or a woman uses something. An object can have a male designation or a female designation. For instance "Une bicyclette" (oon bee see kleht) -a bicycle, is considered a female noun. It doesn't matter if it belongs to a man or a woman. "Un livre" (uhn lee vruh) -a book, is considered a male noun.  

There is no way to tell if a word is male or female. This knowledge only comes with practicing & looking up words in the french dictionary. This is a part of french grammer. 

Which leads us to:

"A" & "The"

This is one example where you have to know whether a word is male or female. The word for "A" in french is "un (uhn) for a male object, and "une" (oon) for a female object.
For example :

male words always use "un" before them: un livre (uhn lee vruh) "a book", un billet (uhn bee yay) "a ticket", un autobus (uhn awe toe booce) "a bus"

female words always use "une" before them: une bicyclette (oon bee see kleht) "a bicycle", une voiture (oon vwah churr) "a car", une veste (oon vehst) "a jacket"

The word for "The" is "le" for a male noun, and "la" for a female noun, as in : le livre (leh lee vruh) "the book", la bicyclette (lah bee see kleht) "the bicycle"

This is just a few reasons why you have to know if an object is male or female. There are many other grammatical reasons, but I don't want to scare you off. 

Soooooooo... If you get it wrong when you say the words, if you should put "le" in front of "bicyclette" or "une" in front of "livre", don't fret, most likely you will be still understood when you go to France. 

Lesson #25 - Do you.... (Part 2)

In lesson #24 we learned how to ask & respond to "Do you play chess, do you golf, would you like to go for a swim?" 

Today, here are more phrases you might want to know:
Voullez-vous faire du ski? (voo lay voo fair doo skee) -Would you like to go skiing?
Je veux bien faire du ski avec toi (zhuh voo bee yehn fair doo skee ah vehk twa) -I would love to go skiing with you
Voullez-vous danser? (voo lay voo dahn say) -Would you like to go dancing?
Voulez-vous déjeuner avec moi (voo lay voo day zhuh nay ah vehk mwah) Would you like to have lunch with me?
Je veux bien (zhuh voo bee yehn) I would love to

More numbers:
96 quatre-vingts-seize (kah truh vahnt sehz), 97 quatre-vingts-dix-sept (kah truh vahnt dee seht), 98 quatre-vingt-dix-huit (kah truh vahnt deece wheat), 99 quatre-vingt-dix-neuf (kah truh vahnt deece nuhf) 100 cent (sahnt) 

félicitations! (fay lee see tay shee yohn) you have learned the numbers 1-100!!!

To review all the numbers click here

Friday, October 17, 2008

Like Father Like Son - Thomas Dutronc

Last week we did a piece on the French singer Jacques Dutronc. Well our friend Isabelle let me know that he has a son who is also a singer. I checked him out on YouTube and like a lot of his music ( I think even better than his dad's). 

Unfortunately his videos on Youtube can not be copied into my site here, so on the video below you can hear his song, but there's no showing of him performing in the video. So close your eyes, relax & listen to the song.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vocabulary Word Of The Day - Shop Window

La vitrine (lah vee treen) the shop window
Je fais les vitrine (zhuh fay lay vee treen) -I am going window shopping

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Answer To Yesterday's Guess Who

Jean-Paul Belmondo (born 9 April 1933) is a French actor initially associated with the New Wave of the 1960s.
His breakthrough role was in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960), which made him a major figure in the French New Wave. Later he acted inJean-Pierre Melville's philosophical movie Leon Morin, Priest (1960), then in the Film Noir crime film The Fingerman (1963). With That Man From Rio (1965) he switched to commercial, mainstream productions, mainly comedies and action films. Until the mid-1980s, Belmondo's typical characters have been either dashing adventurers or more cynical heroes. He was one of France's biggest box-office stars until the mid-1980s. As he grew older, Belmondo preferred concentrating on his stage work, where he encountered success. 

Lesson #24 -Do You Play... (Part 1)

In lesson #23 we learn some tennis terms. Here are some other words & phrases you might want to know about other games:

Jouez-vous aux échecs? ( zhoo ay vooze ohz ay shehk) Do you play chess?
Je joue aux échecs (zhuh zhoo oze ay shehk) -I play chess
Je ne joue pas aux échecs (zhuh neh zhoo pahz ohz ay shehk) -I do not play chess.

Jouez-vous au golf? (ah vay voo deh gahlf) -Do you golf?
Je joue au golf (zhuh gahlf) -I golf
Je ne joue pas au golf (zhuh neh swee pah doo gahlf) -I do not golf

Voullez-vous aller nager (voo lay voo ah lay nah zhay) -Do you want to go swimming?
Oui (wee) -Yes (an obvious response)
Je ne nage pas (zhuh neh nazh pah) -I don't swim
Je ne sais pas nager (zhuh neh say pahz ah nah zhay) -I don't know how to swim

A big merci beaucoup to Isabelle from France for help on this post.

Part 2 will be in Lesson #25 on 10/18

Since the 90's numbers are the tough ones, we shall review those nubers that were posted in the last lesson again for review:
91 quatre-vingt-onze (kah truh vahnt ownz), 92 quatre-vingt-douze (kah truh vahnt dooz), 93 quatre-vingt-treize (kah truh vahnt trehz), 94 quatre-vingt-quatorze (kah truh vahnt kah torz), 95 quatre-vingt-quinze (kah tru vahnt kahnz)

As you see these numbers in the 90's are a combination of 80 (quatre-vingt) & 12, 13, 14 etc.
So 91 is said in french as 80+11, 92 is 80+12 and so on.

Monday, October 13, 2008

French Singer - Émilie Simon

I stumbled across this singer & video today under a site that considered this one of the sexiest french videos around. It is also very artisitically done & should appeal to the surrealist fans out there too.

Émilie Simon, the daughter of a sound engineer, grew up in Montpellier, France. She studied lyric singing at a Conservatoire for seven years before studying ancient music at the Sorbonne and later electronic music. She tried her hand at jazz and rock until finally turning herself towards electronic music. She concluded her advanced studies, obtaining her DEA in contemporary music.

Simon writes, composes, and sings in all of her albums. She is also familiar with recording equipment, often adding her personal touch into arrangements and production. She programs and edits the sound effects in most of her songs. Emilie Simon continues to expand her fame throughout the nation.

Emilie Simon - Fleur de Saison

Gothic Architecture Began In France

Gothic art and architecture were products of a Medieval art movement that lasted about three hundred years. It began in France, developing from the Romanesque period in the mid-twelfth century. By the late fourteenth century, it had evolved toward a more secular and natural style known as, International Gothic, which continued until the late fifteenth century, when it evolved further, into Renaissance art. The primary Gothic art media were sculpturepanel paintingstained glassfresco, and illuminated manuscript.
Gothic architecture was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Île-de-France, when Abbot Suger built the abbey at St. Denis, around 1140, considered the first Gothic building, and soon afterward, the Chartres Cathedral, arpund 1145. Prior to this, there had been no sculpture tradition in Ile-de-France, so sculptors were brought in from Burgundy, who created the revolutionary figures acting as columns in the Western  Portal of Chartres Cathedral it was an entirely new invention in French art, and would provide the model for a generation of sculptors. Other notable Gothic churches in France include Bourges CathedralAmiens CathedralNotre-Dame de LaonNotre Dame in ParisReims Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle in ParisStrasbourg Cathedral