Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lesson #60 - "Aller" -To Go

The verb "aller" (ah lay) -to go

Je vais (zhuh vay) - I go, I am going
tu vas (too vah) -you go, you are going (informal)
il va (eel vah) -he goes, he is going
elle va (ell vah) -she goes, she is going
nous allons (nooz ah lohn) -we go, we are going
vous allez (vooz ah lay) -you go, you are going (formal)
ils vont (eel vohn) -they go, they are going (male group or mixed group)
elles vont (ell vohn) -they go, they are going (an all female group)

Je vais à Paris (zhuh vay ah pah ree) -I am going to Paris.
tu vas à Paris (too vah ah pah ree) -you are going to Paris (speaking to a friend or family member)
il va à Paris (eel vah ah pah ree) -He is going to Paris
elle va à Paris (ell vah ah pah ree) -She is going to Paris
nous allons à Paris (nooz ah lohn ah pah ree) -We are going to Paris
vous allez à Paris (vooz ah lay ah pah ree) -You are going to Paris (speaking to someone you do not know well)
ils vont à Paris (eel vahnt ah pah ree) -They are going to Paris (speaking of an all male or mixed male and female group)
elles vont à Paris (ell vahnt ah pah ree) -They are going to Paris (speaking of an all female group)

Children's Word of the Day - Lightbulb

Kids, when you see a lightbulb, point to it and say, "une ampoule"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Corto Maltese - French Comic Book

Corto Maltese is a comics series featuring an eponymous character, a complex sailor-adventurer. It was created by Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt in 1967. The Corto Maltese series has been translated into many languages and is known worldwide.

Corto Maltese (possibly derived from the Venetian Courtyard of the Maltese) is a laconic sea captain adventuring during the early 20th century (1900-1920s). A "rogue with a heart of gold," he is tolerant and sympathetic to the underdog. Born in Valletta on July 101887, he is a son of a British sailor from Cornwall and a gypsy Andalusian prostitute known as "La Niña de Gibraltar". As a boy growing up in the Jewish quarter ofCórdoba, Maltese realised he had no fate line on his palm and therefore carved his own with a razor, determining that his fate was his to choose. Although maintaining a neutral pose, Corto instinctively supports the disadvantaged and oppressed.

The character embodies the author's skepticism of national, ideological, and religious assertions. Corto befriends people from all walks of life, including the murderous Russian Rasputin (no relation with the historical figure, apart from physical resemblance and some characteristic attributes), British heir Tristan Bantam, Voodoo priestess Gold Mouth and Czech academic Jeremiah Steiner. He also knows and meets various historical figures, including Jack LondonErnest HemingwayHerman HesseButch CassidyWhite Russian generalRoman Ungern von Sternberg and Enver Pasha of Turkey. His acquaintances treat him with great respect, as when a telephone call to Joseph Stalin frees him from arrest when he is threatened with execution on the border of Turkey and Armenia.

Corto Maltese stories range from straight historical adventure stories to occult dream sequences. He is present when Red Baron is shot down, helps the Jivaros in South America, and flees Fascists in Venice, but also unwittingly helps Merlin and Oberon to defend Britain and visits thelost continent of Mu.

Children's Word of the Day - Head

Kids, point to your head and say "la tête"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Children's Word of the Day - Knight

Kids, when you see a picture of a knight, or see one in the museum, point to it and say "un chevalier"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Francis Cabrel -French Singer

Francis Cabrel (born 23 November 1953 in Agen, France) is a French singer-songwriter and guitarist. Inspired heavily by Bob Dylan, he has released a number of albums falling mostly within the realm of folk, with occasional forays into blues or country. Several of his songs, such as "L'encre de tes yeux" and "Petite Marie" have become enduring favorites in French music. 
As a shy teenager, Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" inspired him to pick up a guitar and start writing his own songs. At 16, enthralled by music, he started to sing the songs of Neil Young,Leonard Cohen and Dylan. He also learned English by translating the lyrics. He would later say that his guitar enabled him to appear more interesting to others.

Expelled from secondary school in Agen for lack of discipline, he went to work in a shoe shop while playing gigs with a group named "Ray Frank and Jazzmen," which later became known as "les Gaulois" because every member of the band had a moustache. Indeed, at that time, Cabrel's appearance was that of a hippie, with long hair and a moustache.

In 1974 he took part in a song contest organised by Sud Radio and performed in front of a panel of judges, which included Daniel and Richard Seff. With his own song "Petite Marie", dedicated to his wife Mariette, he won the contest and was signed to a record deal by CBS.

In 1977, during CBS' "New French Song" campaign, his first record "Ma ville" was released. However, he quickly realized that CBS, having tampered with the accent of his singing voice on "Petite Marie", had thus interfered with the expression of his true personality. That version of the song is disavowed by Cabrel today.

Children's Color of the Week -Red

Kids' when you see the color red, point to it and say "rouge"

For the upcoming weeks, every Tuesday I will post a different color for children to learn.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Now This Show I Might Watch

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – A French reality series billed as "the ultimate kissing contest" is being reworked for North American audiences.
RDF USA has acquired rights to the unscripted format "French Kiss" from Adventure Line Prods.

In the original, five French men were dropped in Miami and challenged to kiss as many women as possible. With no money and almost no possessions, they tried to stay presentable and win a cash prize. (My girfriend says this would be easy for a Frenchman)

Details of the stateside version are being kept under wraps, but producers said they want to heighten the stakes.

If they are looking for American men to kiss french women in Paris, I'll volunteer.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres -French Painter

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (29 August 1780 – 14 January 1867) was a French Neoclassical painter. Although he considered himself a painter of history in the tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David, by the end of his life it was Ingres' portraits, both painted and drawn, that were recognized as his greatest legacy.
Having been awarded first prize in drawing by the Académie Royale de Peinture, in August 1797 he traveled to Paris to study with Jacques-Louis David, France's—and Europe's—leading painter during the revolutionary period, in whose studio he remained for four years. Ingres followed his master's neoclassical example but revealed, according to David, "a tendency toward exaggeration in his studies." He was admitted to the Painting Department of the École des Beaux-Arts in October 1799, and won, after tying for second place in 1800, the Grand Prix de Rome in 1801 for hisAmbassadors of Agamemnon in the tent of Achilles.

Children's Word of the Day -Church Bell

Kids, when you see a church bell, point to it and say, "une cloche d'église"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Must See French Film - Grand Illusion

Two French soldiers -- blue-collar Maréchal (Jean Gain) and genteel de Boieldieu (Pierre Fresnay) -- strive to overcome their differences while plotting their escape from a German prison camp during World War I. Meanwhile, de Boieldieu finds a kindred spirit among his captors in a patrician German officer (Erich von Stroheim). Directed by Jean Renoir, the film is one of the first prison-break movies ever made and is considered a genre classic.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

La Sainte-Chapelle

La Sainte-Chapelle (EnglishThe Holy Chapel) is a Gothic chapel on the Île de la Cité in the heart of ParisFrance. It is perhaps the high point of the full tide of the rayonnante period of Gothic architecture.
The Sainte-Chapelle, the palatine chapel in the courtyard of the royal palace on the Île de la Cité, was built to house precious relics: Christ's crown of thorns, the Image of Edessa and thirty other relics of Christ that had been in the possession of Louis IX since August 1239, when it arrived from Venice in the hands of two Dominican friars. Unlike many devout aristocrats, who swiped relics, the saintly Louis bought his precious relics of the Passion, purchased from the Latin emperor at ConstantinopleBaldwin II, for the exorbitant sum of 135,000 livres, which was paid to the Venetians, to whom it had been pawned. The entire chapel, by contrast, cost 40,000 livres to build and until it was complete the relics were housed at chapels at the Château de Vincennes and a specially-built chapel at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In 1241 a piece of the True Cross was added, and other relics. Thus the building in Paris, consecrated 26 April 1248, was like a precious reliquary: even the stonework was painted, with medallions of saints and martyrs in the quatrefoils of the dado arcade, which was hung with rich textiles.
Much of the chapel as it appears today is a recreation, although nearly two-thirds of the windows are authentic. The chapel suffered its most grievous destruction in the late eighteenth century, during theFrench Revolution, when the steeple and baldachin were removed, the relics dispersed (though some survive as the "relics of Sainte-Chapelle" at Notre Dame de Paris), and various reliquaries, including the grande châsse, were melted down. The Sainte-Chapelle was requisitioned as an archival depository in 1803. Two meters' worth of glass was removed to facilitate working light, and destroyed or loosed upon the market. Its well-documented restoration, completed under the direction ofEugène Viollet-le-Duc in 1855, was regarded as exemplary by contemporaries and is faithful to the original drawings and descriptions of the chapel that survive.

Children's Word of the Day - Library

Kids, when you go to the library, say "la bibliothèque"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lesson # 58 -Where Are They?

Où sont-ils (ooh sohn teel) -Where are they?

ils sont chez moi (eel sohn shay mwah) -They are at my house
ils sont chez toi (eel sohn shay twah) -They are at your house (speaking to a friend or family member)
ils sont chez lui (ell sohn shay loo ee) -They are at his house
ils sont chez elle (ell sohn shayz ell) -They are at her house
ils sont chez nous (ell sohn shay noo) -They are at our house
ils sont chez vous (ell sohn shay voo) -They are at your house (speaking to some you do not know well)
ils sont chez eux (ell sohn shayz ew) -They are at their house (speaking of a male group or a mixed group of male & females)
elles sont chez elles (ell sohn shay ell) -They are at their house (speaking of a group of females only)

We are posting the numbers lessons again for all the newcomers & as a review for all of  you who already read the original lessons.

More numbers:
61 soixante et un (swah zahnt ay uhn), 62 soixante-deux (swah zahnt duh), 63 soixante-trois (swah zahnt twah), 64 soixante-quatre (swah zahnt kah truh), 65 soixante-cinq (swah zahnt sank)

Lesson #59 will be on Mardi, le vingt-quatre février (Tuesday, February 24)

Pet Names (not animals)

Chérie’ still top pet name list

THE TRADITIONAL mon chéri / ma chérie has topped a poll of favourite pet names, just before Valentine’s Day. 

A survey by TNS-Sofres also found a vast array of other ways to address a partner, including “mon coeur” (9%), “mon bébé” (8% and particularly popular with the under 25s), “mon amour” (6%) “ma puce”, “doudou”, “biche”, “minou” , “mon canard” which rougly translate as my love, my honey, my sweet, darling, kitten and my duck. 

More unusual names include objects like “boule” or “pitchoune,” which means petite in Provencal. 

Around 59% of those polled admitted they used a pet name for their lover but eight out of ten just use their normal name. 

Children's Word of the Day -Mirror

Kids, when you see a mirror, point to it and say "un mirroir".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jeanne Moreau -French Actress

Jeanne Moreau (born 23 January, 1928) is a BAFTAand César Awards-winning French actressscreenwriter and director.

She worked with many of the best known New Wave and avant-garde directors. François Truffaut's explosive New Wave film Jules et Jim (1962), her biggest international success, is centred on her magnetic starring role, and is perhaps her most famous film. She has also worked with a number of other notable directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni (La notte and Beyond the Clouds), Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman), Orson Welles (Chimes at Midnight), Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid), Elia Kazan(The Last Tycoon), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle), and Wim Wenders (Until the End of the World).

Moreau has enjoyed success as a vocalist. She has released several albums and once performed with Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall. In addition to acting, Moreau has also worked behind the camera, as a writer, director and produce

Children's Word of the Day -Sink

Kids, when you go to the sink, point to it and say "le lavabo"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Georges Henri Rouault - French Artist

Georges Henri Rouault (27 May 1871 – 13 February 1958) was a French Fauvist and Expressionist painter, and printmaker in lithography and etching. Rouault was born in Paris into a poor family. His mother encouraged his love for thearts, and in 1885 the fourteen-year-old Rouault embarked on an apprenticeship as a glass painter and restorer, which lasted until 1890. This early experience as a glass painter has been suggested as a likely source of the heavy black contouring and glowing colours which characterize Rouault's mature painting style. During his apprenticeship he also attended evening classes at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1891 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the official art school of France. There he studied under Gustave Moreau and became his favorite student. Rouault's earliest works show a symbolism in the use of colour that probably reflects Moreau's influence, and when Moreau died in 1898 Rouault was nominated the curator of the Moreau Museum in Paris.
In 1907, Rouault commenced a series of paintings dedicated to courts, clowns and prostitutes. These paintings are interpreted as moral and social criticism. He became attracted to Spiritualism and the dramatic existentialism of the philosopher Jacques Maritain, who remained a close friend for the rest of his life. After that, he dedicated himself to religious subjects. Human nature was always the focus of his interest. Rouault said: "A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human."
At the end of his life he burned 300 of his pictures (estimated to be worth today about more than half a billion francs). Rouault died in Paris in 1958.

Children's Word of the Day - Bank

Kids, when you go to the bank, say "la banque"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Quick Phrase of the Day - Who Is The Man On The Right?

Qui est l'homme à droite? (kee ay lohm ah dwaht) -Who is the man on the right?

Repeat this phrase all day long till you know it by heart.

Vocabulary word of the day:
des cartes postales (day karht poh stahl) -postcards
Avez-vous des cartes postales (ah vay voo day karht poh stahl) -Do you have any postcards?

Wall-E in French

Children's Word of the Day - Blanket

Kids when you see a blanket, say "une couverture"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lesson #57 -Camping Necessities

une lampe de poche (oon lahmp deh pohsh) -a flashlight
une canne à pêche (oon kan ah pehsh) -a fishing rod
des allumettes (dayz ah loo meht) -matches
une tente (oon tente) -a tent
un sac de couchage (uhn sahk deh koo shaz) -a sleeping bag

We are posting the numbers lessons again for all the newcomers & as a review for all of  you who already read the original lessons.

More numbers:
56 cinquante-six (sank kahnt seece), 57 cinquante-sept (sank kahnt set), 58 cinquante-huit (sank kahnt wheat), 59 cinquante-neuf (sank kahnt newf), 60 soixante (swah zahnt)

Frédéric Baron - Creator of the Wall of Love

Frédéric Baron : Inventor of the Wall and collector of "I Love You".Since 1992 Frédéric Baron has collected more than 1,000 I Love Yous written in more than 300 languages and different dialects. It is in the streets of Paris that he made his tour of the world. In 1998 he wrote "The Book of I Love Yous" and distributed 50,000 free copies in France. A musician, he also recorded the magic phrase as spoken by most of the men, women and children he met. Author and composer, Frédéric Baron made his first record when he was 17 years of age, "The Key of the Sun". Since then he has written 40 love songs. In Montmartre he made his first appearances as a pianist at "Chez Ginette", "Au Tir Bouchon", and "Au Piano Bar", and it was there as well that he presented a song tour. Therefore, it is in Montmartre where he chose to create The Wall .
The Wall Of Love:

Venice has its Bridge of Sighs, Agra its Taj Mahal. Let us hope that Paris, the City of Light, is illuminated and radiant from its new jewel, LE MUR DES JE T'AIME (The Wall of I love Yous).

In a world marked by violence and dominated by individualism, walls, like frontiers, are usually made to divide and to separate people and to protect them from one another. On the contrary, The Wall is a link, a place of reconciliation, a mirror which reflects an image of love and peace.

Children's Word of the Day - Soap

Kids when you see a bar of soap, say "le savon"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bollywood in France - An Aishwarya Rai - L'Oreal Commercial

My Favorite Johnny Hallyday Song

J'aime cette chanson (zehm seht shahn ohn) -I love this song
Ok I've posted this song a long time ago, so it's time to bring it out of the archives. For those not familiar, this is a reeeaaaallly romantic song. Enjoy

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime
du bout du coeur mais le dire quand meme
un simple mot et l`aveu d`une larme aux bords tes yeux
feront de moi un homme heureux

un jour viendra tu saura toutes ces choses
qui ont fait ma vie bien plus noire que rose
tu comprendra mes pudeurs et tous ces mots qui me font peurs
que j`ai cach come un voleur

toi, c`est le ciel qui t`a envoy
vers moi pour me rapprendre aimer
et attends, et laisse faire les jours
laisse le temps au temps et a l`amour

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et j`aimerai

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime
du bout des yeux mais le dire quand meme
dans le ciel de ton regard lire ton regard est ma victoire
un jour viendra tu m`aimera

toi, c`est la vie qui t`as envoy
vers moi qui n`ai jamais fait que passer
a cot des choses essentiels
par defit pour bruler mes ailes

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et j`aimerai

attend, laisse faire les jours
laisse le temps au temps et l`amour

un jour viendra tu me dira je t`aime et je t`aimerai
je t`aimerai
je t`aimerai...

Jean Gabin -French Actor & War Hero

Born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, he grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oisedépartement, about 22 mi (35 km) north of Paris. The son of cabaret entertainers, he worked as a laborer, but at age 19 entered show business with a bit part in a Folies Bergères production. He continued performing in a variety of minor roles before going into the military.

After completing his military service, Gabin returned to the entertainment business, working under the stage name of Jean Gabin at whatever was offered in the Parisian music halls and operettas imitating the singing style of Maurice Chevalier which was the rage at the time. He was part of a troupe that toured South America and upon returning to France found work at the Moulin Rouge. His performances started getting noticed and better stage roles came along that led to parts in two silent films in 1928.

Two years later, he easily made the transition to talkies in a 1930 Pathé Frères production titled Chacun sa Chance. Playing secondary roles, Gabin made more than a dozen films over the next four years, including films directed by Maurice and Jacques Tourneur. However, he only gained real recognition for his performance in Maria Chapdelaine, a 1934 production directed by Julien Duvivier. Cast as a romantic hero in a 1936 war drama titled La Bandera, this second Duvivier-directed film established Gabin as a major star. The following year, he teamed up with Duvivier again, this time in the highly successful Pépé le Moko that became one of the top Grossing Films of 1937 worldwide; its popularity brought Gabin international recognition. That same year, he starred in the Jean Renoir masterpiece La Grande Illusion, an anti-war film that was a huge box office success and given universal critical acclaim, even running at a New York City theatre for an unprecedented six months. This was followed by another one of Renoir's great successes: La Bête Humaine (The Human Beast), a film noir tragedy based on the novel byÉmile Zola and starring Gabin and Simone Simon, as well as Le Quai Des Brumes (Port of Shadows), one of director Marcel Carné's most acclaimed films.

Flooded with offers from Hollywood, for a time Gabin turned them all down until the outbreak of World War II. Following the German occupation of France, he joined Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier in the United States. Divorced from his second wife in 1939, during his time in Hollywood, Gabin began a torrid romance with actress Marlene Dietrich. However, his films in America proved less than successful.

A difficult personality, he did serious damage to his Hollywood career while working for RKO Pictures. Scheduled to star in an RKO film, at the last minute he demanded Dietrich be given the co-starring role. The studio refused. After Gabin remained steadfast in his demand, he was fired, and the film project was shelved.

Undaunted, Jean Gabin joined General Charles de Gaulle's Free French Forces and earned the Médaille Militaire and a Croix de Guerre for his wartime valor fighting with the Allies in North Africa. Following D-Day, Gabin was part of the military contingent that entered a liberated Paris. Captured on film by the media is a scene where an anxious Marlene Dietrich is waiting in the crowd when she spots Gabin onboard a battle tank and rushes to him.

In 1946, Gabin was hired by Marcel Carné to star in the film, Les Portes de la Nuit, but his conduct got him fired again. He then found a French producer and director willing to cast him and Marlene Dietrich together, but their film Martin Roumagnac was not a success and their personal relationship soon ended. Following another box office failure in 1947, Gabin returned to the stage, but there too, the production was another financial disaster. Nevertheless, he was cast in the lead role of the 1949 René Clément film Au-Delà Des Grilles that won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Despite this recognition, the film did not do well at the French box office, and the next five years brought little more than repeated box office failures.

Gabin's career seemed headed for oblivion. However, he made a comeback in the 1954 film, Touchez pas au grisbi. Directed by Jacques Becker, his performance earned him critical acclaim, and the film was a very profitable international success. Later, worked once again with Jean Renoir in French Cacan, with Maria Felix and Françoise Arnauld. Over the next twenty years, Gabin made close to 50 more films, most of them very successful commercially and critically, including many for Gafer Films, his production partnership with fellow actor Fernandel.

His co-stars included leading figures of post-war cinema such as Brigitte Bardot (En cas de malheur), Alain Delon (Le Clan des Siciliens andDeux hommes dans la ville) and Jean-Paul Belmondo (Un singe en hiver).

Gabin died of a heart attack in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. His body was cremated and with full military honours, his ashes were dispersed into the sea from a military ship.

Considered one of the great stars of French cinema, he was made a member of the Legion of Honor. The Musée Jean Gabin in his native town, Mériel, contains his story and features his war and film memorabilia.