Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lesson #143 Some Adjectives

Some adjectives are spelled and pronounced differently depending on whether the noun it's describing is male or female*.

Adjectives for male words:
grand (grahn) -big
prochain (proh shayn) -next
noir (noh wah) -black
petit (peh tee) -little, small
heureax (urr roh) -happy

Adjectives for female words:
grande (grahnd) -big
prochaine (proh shayn) -next
noire (noh wahr) -black
petite (peh teet) -little, small
heureuse (urr rooz) -happy

In French, nouns are considered either male or female and have nothing to do with whether or not the nouns are used by a man or a woman. This will always be one of the tough things about learning French. Don't stress too much on trying to remember if a noun is male or female. This will come with regular practice of them.

As for the adjectives above...
une grande maison (oon grahnd may zohn) -a big house (female)
le livre noir (leh lee vruh noh wah) -the black book (male)
l'homme heureax (lohm urr roh) -the happy man
la femme heureuse (lah fehm urr rooz) -the happy woman

A Must Read - A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast is a set of memoirs by American author Ernest Hemingway about his years inParis as part of the American expatriate circle of writers in the 1920s. In addition to painting a picture of Hemingway's time as a struggling young writer, the book also sketches the story of Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley.

A Moveable Feast is considered by many to contain some of his best writing. Some of the prominent people to make an appearance in the book include Aleister Crowley, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald,Ford Madox Ford, Hilaire Belloc, Pascin, John Dos Passos, James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. The book was edited by Ernest's fourth wife, Mary Hemingway, and published in 1964, four years after Hemingway's death.

The book contains Hemingway's personal accounts, observations, and stories of his experience in 1920s Paris. He provides the detail of specific addresses of cafes, bars, hotels, and apartments that still can be found in modern day Paris. The title was suggested by Hemingway's friend A.E. Hotchner, author of Papa Hemingway, and comes from a conversation the two once had about the city during Hotchner's first visits there:

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lesson # 143 -French Expressions

tout à coup... (toot ah koo) -all of a sudden...
petit à petit (peh teet ah peh tee) -little by little
par contre... (pahr kohn truh) -on the other hand...
assez souvent... (ah say soo vahn) -quite often...
Je ferrai mon possible (zhuh feh ray mohn pah see bluh) - I will do my best

Friday, February 12, 2010

No Shock

London, England (CNN) -- Bindi Dupouy, an Australian living in Paris, and her French husband, just had their first child, a son born in the country.

Dupouy, a 28-year-old lawyer, got almost five months paid maternity leave from her company for the birth. She can take another seven months off beyond that -- a year total -- unpaid, if she wants, with her job guaranteed under French law.

When her son Louis was born, healthy and by way of a normal delivery, she got to stay in her local French hospital, around the corner from where she lives, for five full days, to rest.

Welcome to France, voted the best place in the world to live for the fifth year in a row by International Living magazine, which has been analyzing data and publishing its annual Quality of Life Index for 30 years.

One of the reasons France keeps winning the ranking is its world-class health care system, which Dupouy just experienced first-hand. What expecting mums like treasures here," Dupouy told CNN from her Paris apartment. "They take really good care of you. The health care system is just amazing." She said she wouldn't have gotten the same maternity leave -- or care -- back home in Australia.

At her job, Dupouy also gets seven weeks paid vacation a year, although it's her first job as an attorney since graduating with a law degree in Australia. She doesn't think twice about taking the Metro across town -- for just $1.37 a ride -- to visit a friend. Or she picks up a rental bike at one of the many computerized bike hire racks in town to get around.

France scores high marks across the board in the survey, which is done every January, from health care (100 points) to infrastructure (92 points) to safety and risk (100 points).

"No surprise," said the magazine in its report. "Its (France's) tiresome bureaucracy and high taxes are outweighed by an unsurpassable quality of life, including the world's best health care."

"The bread, the cheese, the wine," Dan Prescher, special projects editor at the magazine, told CNN, when asked why France just keeps on winning year after year. "That weighs pretty heavily in quality of life."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lesson # 141 -Finished

Finir (fee neer) -to finish

J'ai fini (zhay fee nee) I finished
tu as fini (too ah fee nee) -you finished (when speaking to a friend or family member)
il as fini (eel ah fee nee) -he finished
elle as fini (ell ah fee nee) -she finished
nous avons fini (nooz ah vohn fee nee) we finished
vous avez fini (vooz ah vay fee nee) you finished (when speaking to someone you don't know well)
ils ont fini (eel zohn fee nee) -they finished (when speaking of an all male or mixed male & female group)
elles ont fini (ell zohn fee nee) -they finished (when speaking of an all female group)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lesson #140 -Aller

Aller (ah lay) -to go

je vais (zhuh vay) -I go, I am going
tu vas (too vah) -You go, you are going (when speaking to a friend or family member)
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 (when speaking to someone you don't know well)
ils vont (eel vohn) -they go, they are going (when speaking of an all male or mixed male & female group)
elles vont (ell vohn) -they go, they are going (when speaking of an all female group)

Children's Word of the Day -Today

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Claude Lorrain -French Artist

Claude Lorrain, traditionally just Claude in English (also Claude Gellée, his real name, or in French Claude Gellée, dit le Lorrain) (c. 1600 – 21 or 23 November 1682) was an artist of the Baroque era who was active in Italy, and is admired for his achievements in landscape painting.
In this matter of the importance of landscape, Claude was prescient. Living in a pre-Romantic era, he did not depict those uninhabited panoramas that were to be esteemed in later centuries, such as with Salvatore Rosa. He painted a pastoral world of fields and valleys not distant from castles and towns. If the ocean horizon is represented, it is from the setting of a busy port. Perhaps to feed the public need for paintings with noble themes, his pictures include demigods, heroes and saints, even though his abundant drawings and sketchbooks prove that he was more interested in scenography.

Claude was described as kind to his pupils and hard-working; keenly observant, but an unlettered man until his death. The painter Joachim von Sandrart is an authority for Claude's life (Academia Artis Pictoriae, 1683); Baldinucci, who obtained information from some of Claude's immediate survivors, relates various incidents to a different effect (Notizie dei professoni del disegno).

John Constable described Claude as "the most perfect landscape painter the world ever saw", and declared that in Claude’s landscape "all is lovely – all amiable – all is amenity and repose; the calm sunshine of the heart"

Monday, February 1, 2010

'Bad taste' cries as McDonald's moves into 'Mona Lisa' museum

Mon Dieu!
Even I am upset when I read this & I love Mcdonalds.

CNN) -- Shortly after McDonald's celebrated its 30-year presence in France, the fast-food chain is conquering one of the country's most valued cultural institutions --the Louvre. McDonald's burgers and fries will be available under the glass pyramid of the Louvre. The restaurant will be serving its fast burgers in the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall which lies under the main entrance of the museum and which still contains an ancient wall that was discovered during construction works. McDonald's plans seem to have caused more media attention abroad than in France, but for some French outlets, the idea of combining fast food and ancient art is stomach churning. The Parisian Web site "Louvre pour tous" (Louvre for everyone) describes the company's plans to open a restaurant in the prestigious museum as "bad taste" and blamed the Louvre's directors for failing to prevent what could result in "fragrances of fries drifting under Mona Lisa's nose". Marion Benaiteau, spokeswoman for the museum, told CNN it was not their decision and declined to comment further on the issue. The Carrousel du Louvre mall is managed by Unibail-Rodamco, Europe's largest property company, and not the museum itself. The mall, which is situated next to the most visited museum in the world, counts 8.3 million visitors a year and enjoyed a total gross sales of $75 million in 2008. Le Parisien, a daily newspaper described the difference between McDonald's and the Louvre by comparing Ronald McDonald, the restaurant's clown character, to Venus de Milo, the famous ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite, which is on display at the Louvre. McDonald's sees the opening of its new restaurant next to the home of Mona Lisa as nothing out of the ordinary. "There are already many other restaurants in the mall, so we will only be one of the many restaurants that offer visitors their products." said a spokeswoman for McDonald's in France, who declined to be named. "There's even a Starbucks," she added. Museum lovers in France are shocked about the news, but not surprised, one told CNN. "Museums have to offer services like restaurants and boutiques, it's completely normal," Jean-Michel Raingeard, President of the Federation of French Friends of Museums told CNN. What worries him, however, is the choice of shops. "Museum directors seem to care more about the number of people they attract rather than the quality of people. Should a museum be a museum or an amusement park?" asks Jean Michel Raingeard, who is also the European Vice President for The World Federation of Friends of Museums. Criticism, though fierce, has not halted the plans: construction work will start soon and the restaurant should be open "by the end of the year," Mcdonald's said. The menu will also very likely stay the same. "McDonald's functions the same way in all of France, so there will probably be no special menus," the spokeswoman said.