Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Maurice Jarre -French Composer Passes Away

Maurice Jarre (13 September 1924 – 29 March 2009) was a French composer and conductor. Although he composed several concert works, he is best known for his film scores for motion pictures, particularly those of David LeanLawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago(1965), and A Passage to India (1984). All three of these scores won Academy Awards. Other notable scores of his include The Message (1976), Dead Poets Society (1989) and Ghost (1990). Jarre was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Children's Word of the Day -Steak

Kids, when you see a steak, point to it and say, "un bifteck"

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Riké -French Singer

Riké, a french singer who used to be in the group "Sinsemilia" (Sinsemilia, also known as Sinsé, is a reggae band that was formed in Grenoble in 1990. The name of the group is very similar to the cannabis plants "sensimilia, which are the female plants that have not been fertilized by a male plant and thus without seeds).
In June 2003, Riké released a solo album called Air frais ("Fresh Air"), with more traditional French music. The lyrics of this album were written by Mike, Riké's childhood friend. The lyrics are considered by many to be moving, and are less politically engaged than the group's albums. The song Reveillez-Vous features Tiken Jah Fakoly. Riké hopes to continue his solo career, without forgetting Sinsemilia which remains dear to him. Riké released a single after Air Frais with the song Allez Savoir Pourquoi, which is of the "hardline" variety, a musical style that draws more and more than singer after his latest interviews. His second album Vivons! was released on January 29, 2007.

Children's Word of the Day

Kids, when you see an eagle, point to it and say, "un aigle"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Answer to Yesterday's Guess Who

Emmanuelle Béart -French Actress
Béart obtained an acting role in the 1976 film 
Tomorrow's Children. In her teens she appeared in bit parts in television then went to MontrealCanada to work as a nanny before returning to France the following year to attend drama school in Paris. A short time later she was cast in her first adult role in a film, and in 1986 she achieved fame with her role opposite Yves Montand, in the filmManon des Sources. For her performance, she won the 1987 César Award for "Best Supporting Actress". She also won a "Best Actress" award at the Moscow International Film Festival for her starring role in the 1995 film, A French Woman.

Children's Word of the Day - A Drop

Kids, when you see a drop, point to it and say "une goutte"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guess Who

Guess who this famous french person is.

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Online Apartment Bookings


I've been contacted by Andrea Vian who works for a company called "Way To Stay.com" It's an agency that book apartment rentals for when you visit Paris. I tried to see what the rental prices were for several ties during the year, and they seemed very reasonable, much better than hotel prices. You might want to give this sight a look if you are thinking of taking a vacation to France. Several apartments were being listed as 33 - 47 Euros a night per person. That's about $44 - $63 a night per person. Not bad.

Quick Phrase of the Day -When One Thinks Of France...

Quand on pense à la France on pense à un pays avec une bonne cuisine et des vins excellents -When one thinks of France, one thinks of a country with good food and excellent wines.

Since this is a long phrase, we are going to break it down:
Quand on pense à la France (kahn ohn pahnce ah lah frahnce) -when one thinks of France
on pense à un pays (ahn pahnce ah uhn pay) one thinks of a country
avec une bonne cuisine (ah vehk oon bohn kwee zeen) with good food
et des vins excellents (ay day vahn ehk sell ahnt) and excellent wines

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

This is a very long phrase to study, so there will be no extra vocabulary word for today.

Children's Word of the Day - Arm

Kids, point to your arm and say, "mon bras"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Almira Skripchenko -Top French Chess Player

Almira Skripchenko  (born 17 February 1976) is a French chess player who has achieved the FIDE Woman Grandmaster title. She won the second European Open Women's Chess Championship  in 2001.

She was born in Chişinău,  Moldova. The daughter of a Russian father and an Armenian mother, both pedagogues and chess  coaches, Skripchenko started playing chess when she was 6 years old.

In 1991, Moldova became independent from the Soviet  Union. This meant that Skripchenko could take part for the first time in the World  Youth Chess Championships. She was soon crowned champion at Under -16 level (1992, Duisburg, Germany) and in 1993,took  the bronze at Under-18. She married French  Grandmaster Joel Lautier in 1997 and consequently  moved to live in France. Despite separating from Lautier in 2003, she became a French citizen in 2001 and continued to make France her home. Skripchenko then married  French Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet and in January 2007, gave birth to a daughter.

In 2001, at 25 years old, she celebrated her biggest success ever, winning the individual  ladies Europea championship. She was at this time chosen "best sportsperson in 2001 in Moldova" and decorated with the Order of National Merit in her native country. 

Living in Paris and representing France in tournaments since 2002, Skripchenko has become a noted ambassador for the game in Europe. She was the first woman to have competed in the Men's French Individual Championship (2002, 2003). In 2004, 2005 and 2006, she also won the Ladies' French Chess Championship. In team play, she won the French Nationale Chess League with celebrated club side NAO Chess Club (2003, 2004) and the German Chess Bundesliga with Werder Bremen (2005). Her career victories also include three Nationale ladies titles which she earned with Baden-Oos in 2003, 2004, and  2005.

Here's winning position from her game against Eva Repkova in the 2008 European Championships. Almira played Black.

Children's Word of the Day - Leaf

Kids when you see a leaf, point to it and say, "une feuille"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chess Anyone?

I am looking for someone living in France who wants to play a fun game of Email chess. This would be an ongoing game that I will also be posting here weekly.  The time limits would be 1 move within 5 days, that way there is no time pressure on either side. I am a novice player who is getting back into chess. Anyone who wants to play comment here or email me and we will start. -Roy

Lesson #66 -Useful Questions

Here are a few questions you should be able to say:

Qui veut le faire? (kee voo leh fehr) -Who wants to do it?
Que veut-il? (keh voo teel) -What does he want?
De quoi parlez-vous? (deh kwah pahr lay voo) -What are you talking about?
Qu'est-ce qui se passe? (kess kee seh pahce) -What's happening
À qui parles-tu? (ah kee pahrl too) -Who are you speaking to?

More numbers:
86 quatre-vingt-six (kah truh vahnt seece), 87 quatre-vingt-sept (kah truh vahnt set), 88 quatre-vingt-huit (kah truh vahnt wheat), 89 quatre-vingt-neuf (kah truh vahnt newf), 90 quatre-vingt-dix (kah truh vahnt deese)

Children's Color of the Week - Orange

Kids, when you see the color orange, point to it and say, "orange"

Previous colors:
Vert (vehr) -green
Jaune (zhawn) -yellow
Rouge (roozh) -red
Bleu (bluh) -blue

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pierre Étienne Théodore Rousseau -French Artist

Pierre Étienne Théodore Rousseau (April 151812 - December 221867), French painter of the Barbizon school, was born in Paris, of abourgeois family which included one or two artists.
Rousseau's pictures are always grave in character, with an air of exquisite melancholy which is powerfully attractive to the lover of landscapes. They are well finished when they profess to be completed pictures, but Rousseau spent so long a time in working up his subjects that his absolutely completed works are comparatively few. He left many canvases with parts of the picture realized in. detail and with the remainder somewhat vague; and also a good number of sketches and water-color drawings. His pen work in monochrome on paper is rare; it is particularly searching in quality. There are a number of fine pictures by him in the Louvre, and the Wallace collection contains one of his most important Barbizon pictures. There is also an example in the Ionides collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Children's Word of the Day - Chocolate Milk

Kids, when you have some chocolate milk, say "un lait au chocolat"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pierre Richard - French Actor

Pierre Richard (born Pierre Richard Maurice Charles Léopold Defays (originally de Fays, his grandfather changed the spelling for unknown reasons, 16 August 1934 in ValenciennesFrance) is a French actor best known for the roles of a clumsy daydreamer in comedy films. Richard is also a film director and occasional singer.
His film debut came in 1967 with a small role in Yves Robert's Alexandre le bienheureux. He directed his first feature in 1970 with Le Distrait. He worked with Robert again on Le grand blond avec une chaussure noire, and its sequel Le retour du grand blond; both these films were written by Francis Veber. Veber cast Richard when he directed his own first feature film: Le Jouet. Veber and Richard had a long and successful partnership during the 1980s, highlighted by three comedies — La ChèvreLes Compères and Les Fugitifs — which paired Richard with Gérard Depardieu. Richard again moved behind the camera to direct On peut toujours rêver (1991) and Droit dans le mur (1997).

Children's Word of the Day- Bee

Kids, when you see a bee, point to it and say, "une abeille"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Village of L'Estaque

L'Estaque is a small French fishing village just west of Marseille. Administratively, it belongs to the commune of Marseille.

Many artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods visited or resided there or in the surrounding area. Many of them painted scenes of the village, the road leading to the village, and the view of the Bay from the village. Notably, Paul Cézanne painted many views of the water from his room in L'Estaque, showing the changing seasons, the shifting light of day, and the changes in the village itself over time.

Children's Word of the Day - Necklace

Kids, when you see a necklace, point to it and say, "un collier"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lesson # 65 -Useful Phrases

s'il vous plaît (see voo play) -Please  *(the most important phrase you should always use)
merci beaucoup (mehr see boh koo) -thank you very much
de rien (deh ree yehn) -you're welcome (literally translates to "it's nothing")
pas de quoi (pah deh kwah) -don't mention it
pardonnez-moi, pardon, excusez-moi (pahr dohn ay mwah, pahr dohn, ehks skewz ay mwah) -pardon me, excuse me (all 3 can be used, but you can just say "pardon")
je suis désolé (zhuh swee day zole lay) I am sorry (if you are a man speaking)
je suis désolée (zhuh swee day zole lay) I am sorry (if you are a woman speaking)
à votre santé (ah voh truh sahn tay) -Cheers!, to your health (a toast)

More numbers:
81 quatre-vingt-un (kah truh vahnt uhn), 82 quatre-vingt-deux (kat truh vahnt duh), 83 quatre-vingt-trois (kah truh vahnt twah), 84 quatre-vingt-quatre (kah truh vahnt kah truh), 85 quatre-vingt-cinq (kah truh vahnt sank)


Picard is a language closely related to French, and as such is one of the larger group ofRomance languages. It is spoken in two regions in the far north of France – Nord-Pas-de-Calaisand Picardy – and in parts of the Belgian region Wallonia (but is clearly distinct from the Walloon language).

Picard is known by several different names. Residents of Picardie call it picard; but in Nord-Pas-de-Calais its dialects are more commonly known as chti or chtimi, in and around the towns ofValenciennes and Lille as rouchi; or simply as patois by Northerners in general. Linguists group all of these under the name Picard. In general the variety spoken in Picardy is understood by speakers in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, and vice versa.

Picard is not taught in French schools (apart from a few one-off and isolated courses) and is generally only spoken among friends or family members. It has nevertheless been the object of university research in Lille and Amiens. Since people are nowadays able to move around France more easily than in past centuries, the different varieties of Picard are converging and becoming more similar. In its daily use, Picard is tending to lose its distinctive features and may be confused with regional French. At the same time, even though most Northerners can understand Picard today, fewer and fewer are able to speak it, and people who speak Picard as their first language are increasingly rare, particularly under age 50.

However, Picard is far from dead and constitutes a lively and large part of the daily life andfolklore of the region

The 2008 film "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis", starring comedian Dany Boon deals with Ch'ti language and culture and the perceptions of the region by outsiders.

Children's Word of the Day - Mask

Kids, when you see a mask, point to it and say, "un masque"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Georges Brassens -French Singer

Georges Brassens (22 October 1921 - 29 October 1981) was a French singer-songwriter.

Georges Brassens was born in Sète (then called Cette), a town in southern France nearMontpellier. Now an iconic figure in France, he achieved fame through his simple, elegant songs and articulate, diverse lyrics; indeed, he is considered one of France's most accomplished postwar poets. He has also set to music poems by both well-known and relatively obscure poets, including Louis Aragon (Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux), Victor HugoJean Richepin,François Villon, and Guillaume Apollinaire.

Children's Word of the Day - Button

Kids, when you see a button, point to it and say, "un bouton"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jeanne Louise Calment -The Oldest Person Ever

Jeanne Louise Calment (21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997) was a French woman with the longest confirmed lifespan in history at age 122 years 164 days (122.449 years in total). She lived in Arles, France, for her entire life, and outlived both her daughter and grandson. Because her husband was a bourgeois, she never worked, instead living a comfortable lifestyle. She became well-known from the age of 113, when the centenary of Vincent van Gogh brought reporters to Arles, as she was the last person living to have met the artist. She entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1988, and in 1995 was declared the oldest person who had ever lived, having surpassed Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan. Her lifespan has been thoroughly documented by scientific study, with more records having been produced to verify her age than for any other case.

Children's Word of the Day - Watermelon

Kids, when you see a watermelon, point to it and say, "pastèque"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alice Guy-Blaché -French Film Pioneer

Alice Guy-Blaché (July 1, 1873 – March 24, 1968) was a French pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film.

In 1894 Alice Guy was hired by Léon Gaumont to work for a still-photography company as a secretary. The company soon went out of business but Gaumont bought the defunct operations inventory and began his own company that soon became a major force in the fledgling motion picture industry in France. Alice Guy decided to join the new Gaumont Film Company, a decision that led to a pioneering career in filmmaking spanning more than twenty-five years and involving her directing, producing, writing and/or overseeing more than 700 films.

From 1896 to 1906, Alice Guy was Gaumont's head of production and is generally considered to be the first filmmaker to systematically develop narrative filmmaking. In 1906, she made The Life of Christ, a big budget production for the time, which included 300 extras. As well, she was one of the pioneers in the use of recordings in conjunction with the images on screen in Gaumont's "Chronophone" system, which used a vertical-cut disc synchronized to the film. An innovator, she employed special effects, using double exposure masking techniques and even running a film backwards.

Children's Color of the Week - Green

Kids, when you see the color green, point to it and say, "vert"
Previous colors:
Jaune (zhawn) -yellow
Rouge (roozh) -red
Bleu (bluh) -blue

Monday, March 16, 2009

Musée de la Publicité

The Musée de la Publicité is a museum of advertising history located in the Louvre's Rohan and Marsan wings, Ier arrondissement, at 107, rue de Rivoli, ParisFrance. It is open daily except Monday; an admission fee is charged.

The museum first opened in 1978 as the Musée de l’Affiche, and is now a branch of Les Arts Décoratifs focusing on advertisements. It contains about 50,000 posters dating between the 18th century and World War II, with a further 50,000 posters dating from the 1950s to the present, over 20,000 film advertisements, more than 30,000 newspaper and magazine advertisements, as well as radio advertisements and promotional items. The museum presents both temporary exhibits and rotations from its permanent collection.

PlacePalais du Louvre
AccessM� Palais-Royal (lignes 1 et 7), M� Tuileries (ligne 1)
Address107, rue de Rivoli
CityParis (France)
Phone33(0)1 44 55 57 50

Children's Word of the Day - Raincoat

Kids, when you see a raincoat, point to it and say "un imperméable"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Jacques Higelin -French Singer

Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin (born 18 October 1940 in Brou-sur-ChantereineSeine-et-MarneFrance) is a French pop singer who rose to prominence in the early 1970s. Early in his career, many of Higelin's songs were effectively blacklisted from French radio because of his controversial left wing political beliefs, and his association with socialist groups. He and his wife, Kuelan, are the parents of three children, including musician Arthur H and actor Ken Higelin.

Higelin's entertainment career began at age 14, when he left school to work as a stunt double. While playing a number of small roles in various motion pictures, Higelin was taught to play theguitar by Henri Crolla, an French-Italian jazz guitarist and film composer. By the early sixties, Higelin was attending the René Simon drama school, where he won the François Perier award.

For two years starting in 1961, Higelin served in the French military. Upon returning to France, he resumed his cinematic career, but increasingly began to focus on music over film. By the end of the decade, he was also very active in the artistic underground in Paris, and he began to channel his music towards radical militancy. He began attracting popular attention through his live concerts, typically held in smaller venues, and released his first solo album, in 1971. By the middle of the 1970s, Higelin had become one of France's most successful musicians, and he remains influential to this day.