Saturday, July 31, 2010

Claude Monet -French Painter

Claude Monet  also known as Oscar-Claude Monet or Claude Oscar Monet  was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise.

Children's Phrase of the Day -He Is Never Late

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - That's Another Matter

C'est quelque chose d'autre (say kell kuh shohz doh truh) -That's something else, that's another matter.

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

Vocabulary word of the day:
un maître d’école (uhn may truh day kohl) -a school teacher

Jules Chéret -Father of the French Poster

Jules Chéret (May 31, 1836 – September 23, 1932) was a French painter and lithographer who became a master ofposter art. Often called the father of the modern poster.
Born in Paris to a poor but creative family of artisans, a lack of finances meant Jules Chéret had a very limited education. At age thirteen, he began a three-year apprenticeship with a lithographer and then his interest in painting led him to take an art course at the École Nationale de Dessin. Like most other fledgling artists, Chéret studied the techniques of various artists, past and present, by visiting Paris museums.
As his work became more popular and his large posters displaying modestly free-spirited females found a larger audience, pundits began calling him the "father of the women's liberation." Females had previously been depicted in art as prostitutes or puritans. The women of Chéret's posters, joyous, elegant and lively - 'Cherettes', as they were popularly called — were neither. It was freeing for the women of Paris, and lead to a noticeably more open atmosphere in Paris where women were able to engage in formerly taboo activities, such as wearing low-cut bodices and smoking in public. These 'Cherettes' were widely seen and recognised, and a writer of the time said "It is difficult to conceive of Paris without its 'Cheréts.
In his old age Jules Chéret retired to the pleasant climate of theFrench Riviera at Nice. He died in 1932 at the age of ninety-six and was interred in the Cimetière Saint-Vincent in the MontmartreQuarter of Paris.
He was awarded the Légion d'honneur by the French Government in 1890 for his outstanding contributions to the graphic arts. Although his paintings earned him a certain respect, it was his work creating advertising posters, taken on just to pay his bills but eventually his dedication, for which he is remembered today.
In 1933 he was honored with a posthumous exhibition of his work at the prestigious Salon d'Automne in Paris. Over the years, Chéret's posters became much sought after by collectors from around the world. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Juliette Gréco -French Singer

Juliette Gréco (born February 7, 1927) is a French actress and popular chanson singer.
Gréco became a devotee of the bohemian fashion of some intellectuals of post-war France. She dressed generally in black and let her long, black hair hang free.
A famous description of Gréco is that her voice "encompasses millions of poems". She was known to many of the writers and artists working in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, such asJean-Paul Sartre and Boris Vian
Gréco spent the post liberation years frequenting the Saint Germain cafes, immersing herself in political and philosophical Bohemian culture. As a regular figure at legendary music and poetry venues like Le Tabou on Rue Dauphine, Greco became acquainted with Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau, even being given a role in Cocteau’s film ‘Orphee’ in 1949. During the same year, she began a new singing career with a number of well-known French writers writing lyrics – Raymond Queneau’s ‘Si Tu T’Imagines’ was one of her earliest songs to become popular.
American movie producer and studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, who was Gréco's paramour, cast her in several films from the late 1950s to early 1960s

Children's Phrase of the Day - I am Tall

Monday, July 26, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Will See You Around 7:00

Je vous verrai là vers sept heures (zhuh voo veh ray lah seht urr) -I will see you there around 7:00

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

Vocabulary word of the day:
le savon (leh sah vohn) -the soap

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Les Diaboliques -Must See French Film

Les Diaboliques (1954) is a black-and-white film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Simone Signoret and Véra Clouzot. The title translates as 'The Devils'. In the US release it was titled  Diabolique. It is based on the novel Celle qui n'était plus (She Who Was No More) by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac.
The film created a sensation on its original release. It has often been likened to the films of Alfred Hitchcock in that it is still creepy even when one has seen it and knows the ending. (Many sources say that Alfred Hitchcock missed out on purchasing the rights to the Boileau and Narcejac novel by just a few hours, Clouzot getting to the authors first.) The end credit contains an early example of an "anti-spoiler message", requesting the audience not to disclose the plot to others who have not seen the film.
Plot summery:
In a French provincial town, Michel Delassalle, a sadistic headmaster of a school belonging to his wife Christina, a fragile young woman with a weak heart, carries on an affair with Nicole Horner, a strong, forceful teacher who has been his mistress from the day she arrived. He has, however, treated her as badly as his wife, and the two women have been driven into an alliance against him. Together they work out an elaborate plan to rid themselves of their common tormentor. Luring him away from the school to Nocole's cheap lodging house, they induce him to drink some doctored whiskey - and drown him in a bath. The body is later wrapped in a nylon tablecloth, packed into a laundry basket, taken back to the school, and at dark tipped into the grimy water of the school swimming pool. When, shortly after, the pool is drained, watched in anguished expectation from a window by the women, no corpse is there.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Adventures of Tintin

The Adventures of Tintin (French: Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of comic strips created by Belgian artist Hergé, the pen name of Georges Remi (1907–1983). The series first appeared in French in a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle on January 10, 1929. Set in a painstakingly researched world closely mirroring our own, the series has continued as a favourite of readers and critics alike for over 70 years.
The hero of the series is Tintin, a young Belgian reporter. He is aided in his adventures from the beginning by his faithful fox terrier dog Snowy (Milou in French). Later, popular additions to the cast included the brash, cynical and grumpy Captain Haddock, the bright but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus (Professeur Tournesol) and other colourful supporting characters such as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (Dupond et Dupont).
The success of the series saw the serialised strips collected into a series of albums (24 in all), spun into a successful magazine and adapted for both film and theatre. The series is one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, with translations published in over 50 languages and more than 200 million copies of the books sold to date.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - Do You See The House On The Corner?

Voyez-vous la maison du coin? (vwah yay voo lah may zahn doo kwahn) -Do you see the house on the corner?

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

Vocabulary word of the day:
la pluie (lah ploo ee) -the rain

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lesson #175 Leaving

Je suis parti de chez moi à huit heures (zhuh swee pahr tee deh shay mwah ah weet urr) -I left my house at 8 o'clock
Nous partons demain (noo pahr tohn deh mahn) -We are leaving tomorrow
N'attendez pas la dernière minute (nah tahn day pah lah durr nee ehr mee noot) -Don't leave it to the last minute.
Voulez-vous lasser un message? (voo lay voo lah say uhn meh sahzh) -Do you want to leave a message?
Quand est-ce que vous êtes partis? (kahn ehss keh vooz eht pahr tee) -When did you leave?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Notre Dame

Notre Dame la Paris is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France, with its main entrance to the west. It is the cathedral of Paris and the seat of theArchbishop of that city. Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was restored and saved from destruction by Viollet-le-Duc, one of France's most famous architects. The name Notre Dame means "Our Lady" in French. Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Its sculptures and stained glass show the heavy influence of naturalism, giving them a more secular look that was lacking from earlier Romanesque architecture.
Notre Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttresses (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave. After the construction began and the thinner walls (popularized in the Gothic style) grew ever higher, stress fractures began to occur as the walls pushed outward. In response, the cathedral's architects built supports around the outside walls, and later additions continued as such.
The cathedral suffered desecration during the radical phase of the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. During the 19th century, an extensive restoration project was completed, returning the cathedral to its previous state.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

La Belle Et Le Bad Boy

My friends keeps telling me that I'm stuck in the 60's -80's music and that I should listen to newer music (their way of telling me I'm old? :) So they recommended I listen to this piece of music & not to dismiss it off as Rap music (which I'm not really a fan of). But after listening to this piece by Mc Solaar, I admit it's pretty good.

MC Solaar is the stage name of Claude M'Barali (born March 51969), a francophone hip hop and rap artist. Solaar is one of the most internationally popular and influential French rappers.
As a rapper MC Solaar is known for his complexity, which relies on wordplay, lyricism, and philosophical inquiry. The music is based on dance rhythms.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Lesson #173 First...

premier (prehm ee ay) -first (for a male word)
première (prehm ee ehr) first (for a female word)
pour la première fois (pohr lah preh mee ehr fwah) -for the first time
tôt le matin (toh leh mah tahn) -first thing in the morning
c'est moi qui l'ai vu le premier (say mwah kee lay voo leh preh mee ay) -I saw it first
tout d'abord... (too dah bohr) -first of all...
les femmes et les enfants d'abord (lay fehm ay layz ahn fahn dah bohr) -Women & children first

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Must See French Film -A Man & A Woman

The film tells the story of a young widow, Anne (Anouk Aimée), a film script supervisor whose late husband (Pierre Barouh) was a stuntman and died in an on-set accident, and a widower, Jean-Louis (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a race car driver whose wife committed suicide after Jean-Louis was in a near fatal crash during the 24 hours of Le Mans. They meet at their respective children's school inDeauville. They share a ride home to Paris one night after Anne misses the last train, and their mutual attraction is immediate. The story follows their budding relationship over the course of several trips back to Deauville, and as they fall in love despite Anne's feelings of guilt and loss over her deceased husband. After a night together in Deauville, Anne finds herself unable to be unfaithful to the memory of her husband, and decides to leave Jean-Louis. While she is traveling back to Paris by train, Jean-Louis races to meet her at the station, and when she gets off the train she is surprised to see him there. Happy that her lover had come back for her, they embrace as the film ends, the final outcome of the relationship left open to interpretation.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day -He Is A Sore Loser

il est un mauvais joueur (eel ay moh vay zhoo urr) -He is a bad/sore loser

Vocabulary word of the day:
porc (pohrk) -pork

Espace DALÍ Montmartre

One of my favorite artists is Salvador Dali. If you are a fan of his works, you should go see this museum:

Dans le coeur of Montmartre, this musée is devoted entirely to the works of
surrealist artiste
Salvador Dali, especially to his sculptures & engravings.

Dali the Illustrator. Salvador Dalí illustrated some of the most beautiful literary, mythological and religious texts, paying homage to Dante, Rabelais, Cervantes, Lewis Carroll, Malraux, and many autre masterpieces of the literature. Dalí produced his first illustrations in Paris for the literary publications of the surrealists. 

If "surrealist" means more realistic, super-, supra-, and hyper-realistic, the realist to the hilt, then Dali is a surrealist. Unlike his systematic detractors, Dali had already made un nom in Spain before arriving in Paris in 1929. Il even craved out his own niche with just four simple words : “Le Surréalisme, c’est moi!” 

dans le coeur (dahn luh koor) -in the heart         musée (mew zhay) -museum
artiste (ahr teest) -artist          autre (oh truh) -other            un nom (uhn nahm) -a name
il (eel) -he    

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Métro, Boulot, Dodo

In English, we have a saying "same old same old" which is a reply to anyone asking "How's it going?" or "How are things?" It is a way of saying that there is nothing different. It is the same dull thing everyday. The French have a saying that is:

Métro, Boulot, Dodo (meh troh boo loh doh doh) which is their way of saying the same humdrum thing everyday or that you are too busy to do anything. It literally translates to "I Commute, I Work, I Sleep" 

Métro -obviously means "subway" (the commute)
Boulot -means "job" or "work"
Dodo -is a childlike way of say "sleep" (sort of tranlslating to beddy-bie)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

French Coffee

From what I have read, coffee is different in France. While I am not a coffee drinker, I do like an occaisional frappaccino. So if & when I go to Paris I will experiment & try several types of coffee to see if I like them.

Café (kah fay) is plain coffee with nothing added, but is stronger because it is brewed like espresso.
Café au lait (kah fay oh lay) is a very popular French coffee style. In France, this is simply coffee with steamed milk, and it is terrific.
Café crème (kah fay krehm) is coffee served in a large cup with hot cream.
Café Décafféiné (kah fay day kah fah nay) is obviously, decaffeinated coffee. You will still need to tell them you want milk or cream with your coffee.
Café Noisette (kah fay nwah zett) is espresso with a tiny bit of cream in it. It is called "noisette," which is French for hazelnut, because of the dark color.
Café Americain (kah fay ah mehr ree kahn) is regular coffee similar to traditional American coffee. (Why would anyone drink this in Paris???
Café Léger (kah fay lay zhay) is espresso with double the water.
Chocolat chaud - (shaw koh lah shoh) - hot chocolate