Monday, August 30, 2010


Yesterday we posted Jus d'orange -orange juice

One of our friends here pointed out that the pronunciation should be (zhoo doh ranzh) not "zhooce" as I had on the post. Thanks for the correction!

Children's Word of the Day - Birthday Party

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Sentence You Need To Know

A must have phrase if you are traveling in France:

Comment dit-on en français? (koh moh dee tohn ______ ahn frahn say) -How do say _______ in French?

Insert what ever English words into the blank phrase.

Véronique Sanson -French Singer

Véronique Sanson (full name, Veronique Marie Line Sanson, according to the ASCAP Songwriter's Database) (born April 24, 1949, in Boulogne, near Paris, France) is a Frenchsinger-songwriter with an avid following in her native country.
She brings a very personal vocal style to the singing of French pop songs: her voice has a very strong vibrato. Still nowadays Véronique Sanson is considered as one of the most talented French songwriter, and each of her appearance in the media is an event.
In 1972, her breakthrough album (Amoureuse) was reviewed by many critics as a revolution, and Véronique Sanson became one of the very first French female singer-songwriter to break into stardom.
For more than 30 years, Véronique Sanson has undoubtedly been a prominent artist in her native country. Despite a tumultuous love life and difficulties to overcome her alcoholism, she has never failed in her artistic career, with an impressive series of hits, sold-out concerts, and platinum albums.

Children's Word of the Day - Orange Juice

Friday, August 27, 2010

France Gall - Popular French Yé-Yé Singer

France Gall (born Isabelle Genevieve Marie Anne Gall on October 9, 1947 in Paris) is a popular French yé-yé singer.

The first airplay of France's first single "Ne sois pas si bête" ("Don't Be So Stupid"), occurred on her 16th birthday. It was released in November and became a hit. Serge Gainsbourg, whose career was faltering, was asked by her manager to write songs for Gall. Gainsbourg's "N'écoute pas les idoles" ("Don't listen to the idols") became Gall's second single; it reached the top of the French charts in March 1964.

In addition to songs written by her father, Gall's success in the 1960s was built on songs written by some of the biggest names among French composers and lyricists: Gérard Bourgeois, Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, Vline Buggy Pierre Cour, Joe Dassin, Jacques Datin, Pierre Delanoë, Jean Dréjac, Alain Goraguer, Hubert Giraud, Georges Liferman, Guy Magenta, Eddy Marnay, Jean-Michel Rivat, Jean-Max Rivière, Frank Thomas, Maurice Vidalin, André Popp, Gilles Thibaut, and Jean Wiener.

The yé-yé movement had its origins in the radio programme "Salut les copains", created by Lucien Morisse and hosted by Daniel Philippacci, which was first aired in December 1959. This program became an immediate success and one of its sections ("le chouchou de la semaine" / "this week's sweetheart") turned to be the starting point for most yé-yé singers. Any song that was presented as a chouchou went straight to the first places in the charts.
Yé-yé music was new in a number of ways: first, it was the only musical movement so far to be spear-headed by females; second, it was a mostly European thing (although it grew very popular in Japan and there is even a Japanese version of the 1965 Eurovision-winning song "Poupée de cire, poupée de son" composed by Serge Gainsbourg and performed by France Gall). Yé-yé girls were young (France herself was only 16 when she released her first album, 18 when she won the Eurovision song contest for Luxembourg) and innocent (most of their songs talked of finding the first love, such as Francoise Hardy's "Tous les garcons et les filles"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

File:A souffle.jpgBreathless (French: À bout de souffle; literally "at breath's end") is a 1960 French drama film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Godard's first feature-length film is among the inaugural films of the French New Wave. It was derived from a scenario by fellow New Wave director, François Truffaut. The film was released the year after Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour. Together the three films brought international acclaim to the nouvelle vague. At the time, Breathless attracted much attention for its bold visual style and the innovative editing use of jump cuts. A fully restored version of the film was released in the U.S. in May 2010; the New York Times called the new print "immaculate and glowing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

François-Marie Arouet -also known as...

François-Marie Arouet was a French philosopher. He was born in 1694 and died in 1778.
Voltaire did not like France at the time because he thought that it was old fashioned. He also did not like the church and thought that people should be allowed to believe what they want. However he did not likedemocracy either and thought that a country needed to be lead by a wise and strong king. Voltaire had to live in exile in England for three years from 1726 to 1729 where these ideas were more common. He liked the philosophy of John Locke.
Voltaire was also a writer. He wrote many books, poems and plays, some of which are still liked today. A lot of his work was against France and the Church. This meant that he was unpopular at first but became more popular towards the time of the French Revolution. When he died, aged 83, Voltaire was a hero of French people. He also studied science and wrote a lot about people and places he knew.
Voltaire believed in God but did not believe in any kind of god, like the Christian god. This is called Deism. When he died in Paris, Voltaire was not allowed to be buried in a church because he did not believe in the Christian god.

His most well known work is "Candide"
Candide is known for its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. It parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory.
As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it; most notably, Leonard Bernstein produced a 1956 comic operetta whose libretto is closely based on the novella.

Numbers for Children to Learn

Monday, August 23, 2010

Toulouse-Lautrec -French Artist

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French post impressionist painter, lithographer, and illustrator, who documented the bohemian nightlife of late-19th-century Paris.

Toulouse-Lautrec was born in Albi into one of the oldest aristocratic families. Henri was weak and often sick. By the time he was 10 he had begun to draw and paint. At 12 young Toulouse-Lautrec broke his left leg and at 14 his right leg. The bones failed to heal properly, and his legs stopped growing. He reached young adulthood with a body trunk of normal size but with abnormally short legs. During his convalescence, his mother encouraged him to paint. He subsequently studied with French academic painters L. J. F. Bonnat and Fernand Cormon.

Toulouse-Lautrec, many of whose works are in the museum that bears his name in Albi, was a prolific creator. His oeuvre includes great numbers of paintings, drawings, etchings, lithographs,
 and posters, as well as illustrations for various contemporary newspapers. He incorporated into his own highly individual method elements of the styles of various contemporary artists, especially French painters Edgar Degas and Paul Gauguin.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lesson #182 -Dreaming

Ce n'est pas vrai, je rêve (seh nay pah rehv) -It can't be true, I must be dreaming.
Cela ne me viendrait même pas à l’idée (seh lah meh vee ehn dray mehm pahz ah lee day) -I wouldn't dream of it.
J'ai rêve de... (zhay rehv deh) -I had a dream about...
Tu peux toujours rêver! (too puh too zhoor reh vay) -In your dreams!
Je n'aurais jamais pensé que cela puisse arriver (zhuh naw ray zhah may pahn say keh seh lah pweece ah ree vay) - I never dreamed that this would happen.

Giselle -French Ballet

Giselle, ou Les Wilis is a ballet in two acts with a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, music by Adolphe Adam, and choreography by Jean Coralli andJules Perrot. The librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine. The ballet tells the story of a peasant girl named Giselle whose ghost, after her premature death, protects her lover from the vengeance of a group of evil female spirits called the Wilis. Giselle was first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France, on 28 June 1841. The choreography in modern productions generally derives from the revivals of Marius Petipa for the Imperial Ballet (1884, 1899, 1903).
The ballet is set in the Rhineland of the Middle Ages during the grape harvest. When the curtain rises on the first act, the cottage of Giselle and her mother Berthe is seen on one side, and opposite is seen the cottage of Duke Albrecht of Silesia, a nobleman who has disguised himself as a peasant named Loys in order to sow a few wild oats before his marriage to Bathilde, the daughter of the Prince of Houston. Against the advice of his squire Wilfrid, Albrecht flirts with a peasant girl named Giselle who falls completely in love with him. Hilarion, a gamekeeper, is also in love with Giselle and warns the girl against trusting the stranger, but Giselle refuses to listen. Albrecht and Giselle dance a love duet, with Giselle picking the petals from a daisy to divine her lover's sincerity. The couple is interrupted by Giselle's mother, who, worried about her daughter's fragile health, ushers the girl into the cottage.
Horns are heard in the distance and Loys retreats from the scene. A hunting party enters and refreshments are served. Among the hunters are Bathilde and her father. Giselle returns to the scene, dances for the party, and receives a necklace from Bathilde. When the party departs, Loys reappears with the grape harvesters. A celebration begins. Giselle and the harvesters dance but the merriment is brought to a halt by Hilarion who, having investigated the Duke's cottage now brandishes the nobleman's horn and sword. The horn is sounded, and the hunting party returns. The truth about Loys (Albrecht) is learned and Giselle goes mad and dies. Although Giselle takes Albrecht's sword, her death is actually a result of her weak heart.
The second act is set in a moonlit glade near Giselle's grave. Hilarion is grieving Giselle's death. He is frightened from the glade by the Wilis, female spirits who, jilted before their wedding day, rise from their graves at night and seek revenge upon men by dancing them to death. Giselle is summoned from her grave and welcomed by the supernatural creatures who then quickly disappear. Albrecht enters searching for Giselle's grave, and she appears before him. He begs forgiveness. Giselle, her love undiminished, readily forgives him and the two dance. The scene ends with Albrecht in pursuit of Giselle as she disappears into the forest.
Hilarion enters pursued by the Wilis who throw him to his death in a nearby lake. The Wilis then surround Albrecht and sentence him to death. He begs to be spared but Myrtha, Queen of the Wilis refuses. Giselle protects him from the Wilis when they force him to dance. Day breaks and the Wilis retreat to their graves, but Giselle's love has saved Albrecht. By not succumbing to feelings of vengeance and hatred that define the Wilis, Giselle is freed from any association with them, and returns to her grave to rest in peace.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Paris Plages

Summer holidays and families frolicking on fine sand beaches: where else but Paris Plages? When this annual event gets underway, Parisians and tourists alike are seen on ... the banks of the Seine every summer, comfortably soaking up the sunshine on colourful deckchairs, watching a concert, taking part in ‘beach’ sport or sipping a trendy cocktail at one of the various stands on this summer’s hippest beach.
Paris Plages is an event conceived to provide family fun. It invites visitors to take a pleasant stroll through holiday land. A host of activities are organized for an entire month: there are water sports such as pedal, paddle and small boat rides in the Bassin de la Villette and open-air activities such as beach rugby or a dip in the floating swimming pool, plus quieter leisure occupations such as painting sessions: or you can simply lie back in your deckchair and read.
Whether you’re a Parisian who can’t afford a beachside holiday this year or a visitor wanting to see a new side to Paris, you will really enjoy Paris Plages. Don’t forget your sunglasses and suntan lotion!

Children's Word of the Day - Bus

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I'm Falling In Love With You

Je suis tombé amoureux de toi (zhuh swee tohm bay ah moo roh deh twah) -I am falling in love with you (if you are a man speaking)

Je suis tombée amoureuse de toi (zhuh swee tohm bay ah moo rooz deh twah) -I am falling in love with you (if you are a woman speaking)

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

Well...I like reading subtitles...

I've often told people who like movies, to rent foreign films because there are so many movies that are just as good or better than the American films being turned out these days. But the response I sometimes get is "I hate reading subtitles". Sigh. These people will never know the pleasures of hundreds of films which are great films.
I compiled a short list of English speaking films that take place in France for those who will not be a part of the Subtitle reading world. 

(Makes me wonder if there are also French speaking people who have never seen a Hitchcock film or a Woody Allen film, or an Indiana Jones film, because they will not go to a film with French subtitles?) 

The short list:
Irma La Douce
Funny Face
To Catch A Thief
An American In Paris
Paris When It Sizzles
The Day Of The Jackal
How To Steal A Million
The DaVinci Code
Le Devorce
French Kiss
The Man In The Iron Mask
The Count Of Monte Cristo
Moulin Rouge

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Édouard Manet -French Artist

Édouard Manet  (23 Jan
uary 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a
 French painter. One of the first nineteenth 
century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition
 from Realism to Impressionism.
His early masterworks
 The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia engendered great controversy, and served as
 rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism—today these are considered watershed
 paintings that mark the genesis of modern art.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lesson #181 Speeding!

vous ne devez pas conduire trop vite (voo neh deh vay pah kahn dweer troh veet) -You should not drive too fast.
pas trop vite (pah troh veet) -Not too fast
Tu roulais trop vite (too roo lay troh veet) -You drove to fast
vous roulez trop vite (voo roo lay troh veet) - You are driving too fast
Ralentis, tu vas trop vite (rah lehn tee too vah troh veet) -Slow down, you're going to fast

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Will Have The Same

When in a restaurant someone with you may order something & you decide you want it too. You can say:

Donnez-moi la même chose (dohn ay mwah lah mehm shows) - I will have the same
(literally translates to: Give me the same)

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

Children's Word of the Day - Cat

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Would Like To Buy Some Sunglasses

Je voudrais acheter des lunettes de soleil (zhuh voo dray ah sheh tay day loo neht deh soh lay) -I would like to buy some sunglasses.

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

lunettes de soleil (loo neht deh soh lay) -sunglasses

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - This Is Your Last Warning

C'est votre dernier avertissement. Ne le refaites pas. (say voh truh durr nee ay ah vehr teece mahn. neh leh reh feht pah) -This is your last warning. Don't do it again.

Repeat these phrases all day long till you know it by heart.

Vocabulary word of the day:

un avertissement (uhn ah vehr teece mahn) -a warning

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Get Up At Six O'Clock

je me lève à six heures (zhuh meh lehv ah seece urr) -I get up at six o'clock

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

Vocabulary word of the day:

un manteau (uhn mahn toh) -a coat

Children's Phrase of the Day - There Are A Lot Of Trees Here

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vanessa Paradis -French Singer

Vanessa Paradis was discovered on the TV show L'École des Fans in 1980. She recorded her first single La Magie des surprises-parties in 1985. Although it was not a hit, it paved the way for the song with which she would become internationally famous - "Joe Le Taxi" in 1987, while she was still only 14 years old. It was #1 in France for 11 weeks and, unusually for a song sung in French, was released in the United Kingdom the following year, where it reached #3.

In 1992, now 19 and working in the United States with rock musician Lenny Kravitz, who was her boyfriend for a while, Paradis began work on a new album sung in English, in which she had become fluent. Written and produced by Kravitz, the album, titled Vanessa Paradis, topped the French chart.

Vanessa Paradis has been in a relationship with American actor Johnny Depp since 1998. Paradis says: "We met in 1994 at a mutual friend's house. He made a big impression on me and during my years of solitude, he never left my thoughts. Then, in 1998, we met again. Three months later, we decided to spend our lives together" They have a daughter, Lily-Rose Melody Depp, and a son, John Christopher "Jack" Depp III

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lesson # 179 I Waited For You

Je t'ai attendu au restaurant (zhuh tay ah tahn doo oh ress tohr rahn) -I waited for you at the restaurant
Je t'ai attendu toute la journée (zhuh tay ah tahn doo toot lah zhoor nay) I waited for you all day long
Je t'ai attendu jusqu'à trois heures  (zhuh tay ah tahn doo zhuhs kuh twahz urr) I waited for you till 3 o'clock
Je t'ai attendu par la voiture (zhuh tay ah tahn doo pahr lah vwah churr) -I waited for you by the car
Je t'ai attendu à la gare (zhuh tay ah tahn doo ah lah gehr) -I waited for you at the train staion

Children's Word of the Day - Bee

Friday, August 6, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - Who Wants These Tickets?

qui veut ces billets? (kee voo say bee yay) -Who wants these tickets?

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

Vocabulary word of the day:
quelqu'un (kell kuhn) -someone, somebody

Children's Phrase of the Day - What Did You Say To Him?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quick Phrase of the Day - I Drink A Glass Of Wine Everyday

Je bois un verre de vin tous les jours (zhuh bwahz uhn vehr deh vahn too lay zhoor) -I drink a glass of wine everyday

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

Vocabulary breakdown:
je bois (zhuh bwah) -I drink, I am drinking
un verre de (uhn vehr) -a glass of...
vin (vahn)) -wine
tous les jours (too lay zhoor) -everyday

2 Years!

Wow, it's been 2 years since I started this blog. Back then I knew a few words of French. I had about (and still do)15 French instruction books (mostly bought in thrift stores for about $1 each). Now I was on my own & it was tough to learn a language, mainly because there was no one to discipline me, and being that I am a somewhat lazy person, I needed to come up with something to help me learn. So i came up with the idea of posting just a little phrase or lesson everyday, write it down on a piece of paper & carry it around with me all day long, constantly looking at it, repeating it to myself all day long. Did it work? Well I believe it did. While I would still consider myself a beginner, I can safely say that if I went to France, I could wander around & be able to ask questions, ask directions, buy things etc. While I'm sure that my French won't be perfect, I think I can at least not feel totally helpless & have to hope that I run into English speaking people there. Plus, I want to show respect to the people who live there, by showing I am at least trying to communicate in their language. Have I remembered everything I've posted? No. But I do remember most of it, and have learned more French in the last 2 years than I've ever done before. It may be that I'll continue learning for the rest of my life. I know I will never be fluent, but I'm having fun trying. & that's the whole point of the blog -to have FUN! Thanks to all the people who made comments, who have helped, & who thankfully caught any mistakes I might have made over the past 2 years. Merci beaucoup! -Roy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pierre Boulle -French Novelist

Pierre Boulle (20 February 1912 – 30 January 1994) was a French novelist largely known for two famous works, The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963).
Boulle served as a secret agent under the name Peter John Rule and helped the resistance movement in China, Burma, and French Indochina. In 1943, he was captured by the Vichy France loyalists on the Mekong River and was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour. He was later made a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance. He described his experiences in the war in the non-fiction My Own River Kwai. After the war he would keep in touch with his war comrades for the rest of his life.
For a while after the war, Boulle returned to work in the rubber industry, but in 1949 he moved back to Paris and began to write. While in Paris, too poor to afford his own flat, he lived in a hotel until his recently widowed sister Madeleine allowed him to move into her large apartment. She had a daughter whom Pierre helped raise, but plans for him to officially adopt the girl never materialized. He could never bring himself to leave this family and form another one.
While in Paris, Boulle used his war experiences in writing Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï (1952; The Bridge over the River Kwai), which became a multi-million-copy worldwide bestseller, winning the French "Prix Sainte-Beuve". The book was a semi-fictional story based on the real plight ofAllied POWs forced to build a 415-km (258-mile) railway that passed over the bridge, and which became known as the "Death Railway". 16,000 prisoners and 100,000 Asian conscripts died during construction of the line. His character of Lt-Col. Nicholson was not based on the real Allied senior officer at the Kwai bridges, Philip Toosey, but was reportedly an amalgam of his memories of collaborating French officers.
In 1963, following several other reasonably successful novels, Pierre Boulle published his other famous novel, Planet of the Apes. The novel was highly praised and given such reviews as this example from England's Guardian newspaper; "Classic science fiction...full of suspense and satirical intelligence." In the year 2500 a group of astronauts, including journalist Ulysse Merou, voyage to a planet in the star system ofBetelgeuse. They land to discover a bizarre world where intelligent apes are the Master Race and humans are reduced to savages: caged in zoos, used in laboratory experiments and hunted for sport. The story of Ulysse's capture, his struggle to survive, and the shattering climax as he uncovers the horrific truth about the 'planet of the apes' is gripping and fantastic. Yet the novel is also a wry parable on science, evolution and the relationship between man and animal."
He had never married, due in large part to the fact that he had decided to take care of his sister and raise his niece as his own daughter.
Pierre Boulle died in Paris, France on 30 January 1994, at age 82