Monday, May 31, 2010

Lesson #165 Out & Outside

hors (orr)-out

hors d'ici! (orr dee see) -Get out oh here!
c'est hors de question! (say orr deh kehs tee ohn) -It's out of the question!
Vous êtes hors de danger (vooz eht orr de dahn zhay) -You're safe, you're out of danger.
dehors (day orr) -outside
hors de prix (orr deh pree) -not affordable, out of price range

hors du... (orr doo) -outside of the (when referring to a male noun)
hors de la... (orr deh lah) -outside of (when reffering to a female noun)
Je te retrouver hors de la banque (zhuh teh ray troov orrs deh lah bahnk) -I will meet you outside of the bank.
Je te retrouver hors du restaurant (zhuh teh ray troov orr doo rehce stoh rahnt) -I will meet you outside of the restaurant.

Must See French Film -Rules Of The Game

The Rules of the Game
(original French title: La Règle du jeu) is a 1939 film directed by Jean Renoirabout upper-class French society just before the start of World War II. Renoir's film is in part an adaptation of Alfred de Musset's Les Caprices de Marianne, a popular 19th-century comedy of manners, and is now widely regarded to be Renoir's greatest film, and among the greatest works of cinema ever.
The film is an ensemble farce that turns into a tragedy in the final act.
The film was initially condemned for its satire on the French upper classes and was greeted with derision by a Parisian crowd on its première. The upper class is depicted in this film as capricious and self-indulgent, with little regard for the consequences of their actions. The French government banned it, but after the War it has come to be seen by many film critics and directors as one of the greatest films of all time.

For The Kids...

For all the kids out there...(including me)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet -French Artist

Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet (July 31, 1901 - May 12, 1985) was one of the most
famous French peintre and sculptors of the second half of the 20th siècle.
Dubuffet was born in Le Havre. He moved to Paris in 1918 to study painting at theAcadémie Julian, but after six mois he left the Académie to study independently. In 1924, doubting the value of art, he stopped painting and took over his father's business selling vin. He took up painting again in the 1930s, but again stopped, only turning to art for good in 1942. Many of Dubuffet's works are painted in oil paint using an impasto thickened by materials such as sand, tar and straw,
giving the work an unusually textured surface. From 1962 he produced a series of works in which he limited himself to the colours red, white, black, and blue. Towards la fin of the 1960s he turned increasingly to sculpture, producing works in polystyrene which he then painted avec vinyl paint.

peintre (pahn truh) -painter
siècle (see eh

six mois
(seece mwah) -six months
(vahn) -wine
la fin
(lah feen) -the end
(ah vehk) -with

Saturday, May 22, 2010

5 Masterpieces Stolen In $123M Paris Museum Heist

PARIS – A broken alarm system made it as easy as 1-2-3: A masked intruder clipped a padlock, smashed a window and stole a Picasso, a Matisse and three other masterpieces from a Paris museum Thursday — a $123 million haul that is one of the world's biggest art heists.

Offloading the artwork may prove a tougher task, however, with Interpol and collectors worldwide now on high alert.

In what seemed like an art thief's fantasy, the alarm system had been broken since March in parts of the Paris Museum of Modern Art, according to the city's mayor, Bertrand Delanoe.

The museum, in a tony neighborhood across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, reopened in 2006 after spending $18 million (euro15 million) and two years upgrading its security system. Spare parts had been ordered to fix the alarm but had not yet arrived, the mayor said in a statement.

So with no alarm to worry about, a lone masked intruder entered the museum about 3:50 a.m., said Christophe Girard, deputy culture secretary at Paris City Hall. The thief cut a padlock on a gate, then broke a side window and climbed inside — his movements caught on one of the museum's functioning cameras, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.

The intruder later slipped back out, carrying the canvases and leaving behind empty frames. The whole thing took 15 minutes, a police official said.

Three security guards were on duty overnight, but "they saw nothing," Girard said. A night watchman discovered the theft around 7 a.m.

The stolen works included Picasso's "Le pigeon aux petits-pois", an ochre-toned Cubist oil painting worth an estimated $28 million (euro23 million), and "La Pastorale" (Pastoral), a pastel-hued oil painting of nudes on a hillside by Henri Matisse worth about $17.5 million (euro15 million), Girard said.

Also seized were "La femme a l'eventail" by Amedeo Modigliani, "L'olivier pres de l'Estaque" by Georges Braque and "Nature morte aux chandeliers" by Fernand Leger.

Estimates of the total value of the paintings varied: The prosecutor's office initially put their worth as high as $613 million (euro500 million) but later downgraded the figure to about $111 million (euro90 million). Girard said the total value was about $123 million (euro100 million).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jules Verne -Famous French Author

Jules Gabriel Verne (February 8, 1828 – March 24, 1905) was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. He is best known for his novels Journey to the Center of the Earth (written in 1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea(1869–1870), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before navigable aircraft and practical submarines were invented, and before any means of space travel had been devised. Consequently he is often referred to as the "Father of science fiction", along with H. G. Wells. Verne is the second most translated author of all time, only behind Agatha Christie with 4162 translations, according to Index Translationum. Some of his work has been made into films.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Biking In Paris

I am an avid bike rider. It might be fun to bike around Paris, however I've been reading that it's actually better to walk, & take Public transportation. Paris has a lot of traffic, like most big cities, & although it can be faster to get around with a bike, you will have to concentrate on the traffic & pedestrians, so you will not be able to take in the sites easily.
If you do want to bike, the city has free bikes you can use for 30 minutes or less, which I'm told is enough time to move around the city with. They have computerized stations to rent them from. Over 30 minutes & you are then charged an increasing rate per hour. The bikes I'm told are obviously not going to be great ones. The other problem is that if you get to station to drop it off, & it is full, you will be directed to another station. So If you want to rent a bike, the Bike stores are a better choice, where you can rent a bike for 10-20 Euros a day.
Again this is a big city, so be careful on your bike, & wear a helmet!

une bicyclette (oon bee see kleht) -a bicycle
un velo (uhn vay loh) -a bike

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Venus De Milo

One of the many works of art I would like to see is Venus de Milo, one of the most recognizable depictions of beauty in the world.

The Aphrodite of Milos , better known as the Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created at some time between 130 and 100 BC, it is believed to depict Aphrodite (called Venus by the Romans), the Greek goddess of love and beauty. It is a marble sculpture, slightly larger than life size at 6.7 ft high. Its arms and original base have been lost. This contributed to the mystery of the sculpture. From an inscription that was on its base, it is thought to be the work of Alexandros of Antioch.

Must See French Film -8 Femmes

8 Women (Original French title: 8 femmes) is a French musical comedy murder-mystery film released in 2002, directed by François Ozon and based on the play by Robert Thomas.

The film is set in the 1950s in a large country residence, as a family and its servants are preparing for Christmas, when the master of the house is discovered dead in his bed, with a dagger stuck into his back. The murderer must be one of the eight women in the house at the time, and in the course of the investigations each has a tale to tell and secrets to hide.

This is not your usual murder mystery, as every so often the women break out into 60's influenced songs. A very good film.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Male & Female Words's possibly the most confusing & one of the most difficult things about learning French.

Objects (nouns) in French are either male or female. It has nothing do with whether a man uses something or a woman uses something. An object can have a male designation or a female designation. For instance "Une bicyclette" (oon bee see kleht) -a bicycle, is considered a female noun. It doesn't matter if it belongs to a man or a woman. "Un livre" (uhn lee vruh) -a book, is considered a male noun.

There is no way to tell if a word is male or female. This knowledge only comes with practicing & looking up words in the french dictionary. This is a part of french grammer.

Which leads us to:

"A" & "The"

This is one example where you have to know whether a word is male or female. The word for "A" in french is "un (uhn) for a male object, and "une" (oon) for a female object.
For example :

male words always use "un" before them: un livre (uhn lee vruh) "a book", un billet (uhn bee yay) "a ticket", un autobus (uhn awe toe booce) "a bus"

female words always use "une" before them: une bicyclette (oon bee see kleht) "a bicycle", une voiture (oon vwah churr) "a car", une veste (oon vehst) "a jacket"

The word for "The" is "le" for a male noun, and "la" for a female noun, as in : le livre (leh lee vruh) "the book", la bicyclette (lah bee see kleht) "the bicycle"

This is just a few reasons why you have to know if an object is male or female. There are many other grammatical reasons, but I don't want to scare you off.

Soooooooo... If you get it wrong when you say the words, if you should put "le" in front of "bicyclette" or "une" in front of "livre", don't fret, most likely you will be still understood when you go to France.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lesson #161 -Car Parts

I thought it would be a good idea to learn some parts of the car:

le pare brise (leh pahr breez) -windshield
le capot (leh kah poh) -the hood
la batterie (lah bah tree) -battery
le radiateur (leh rah dee ah turr) -radiator
les phares (lay phahr) -headlights
le frein (leh frayn) -the brake pedal
le volant (leh voh lahn) -the steering wheel
les essuie-glaces (layz eh swee glahce) the windshield wipers

The Tarot of Marseilles

The Tarot of Marseilles (or Tarot of Marseille), also widely known by the French designation Tarot de Marseille, is one of the standard patterns for the design of tarot cards. It is a pattern from which many subsequent tarot decks derive. The Tarot deck was probably invented in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. It is ascertained that tarot cards were introduced into southern France from northern Italy when the French conquered Milan and thePiedmont in 1499. The name Tarot de Marseille was popularized in the 1930s by the French cartomancer Paul Marteau, who used this collective name to refer to a variety of closely related designs that were being made in the city of Marseille in the south of France, a city that was a centre of playing card manufacture, and were (in earlier, contemporaneous, and later times) also made in other cities in France. The Tarot de Marseille is one of the standards from which many tarot decks of the nineteenth century and later are derived.

The Papess Controversy

The Papess card has sparked controversy because of its portrayal of a female pope. There is no solid historical evidence of a female pope but this card may be based around the mythical Pope Joan, who is sometimes viewed as the Antichrist. Many variants have been used to avoid such controversy, including Juno, The Spanish Captain and The High Priestess.

Jeu de Tarot

The French game of Tarot, also jeu de Tarot, is a trick-taking card game enjoyed throughout France and also known in French-speaking Canada, which uses a traditional 78-card Tarot deck instead of the internationally-known 52-card poker deck. Tarot is the second-most popular card game in France after Belote. The Fédération Française de Tarot publishes official rules for Tarot.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yelle -French Singer

Yelle grew up with music, her dad being a famous musician in the Côtes d’Armor region, where she still lives today. She played the piano, then went on to acting, and played in a few bands that never made it past the rehearsals, but whatever: she knew she was a born performer.
Five years ago, she met GrandMarnier at a marshmallow party. This young musician and producer, was going back and forth between his own band and his student room where he was making beats on his computer. Although his teens were all about Rock music, he was drawn to electronic music after listening to the Beastie Boys and started mucking around with his machines. Yelle started singing on GrandMarnier’s demos just for a laugh at first, but the combination of the boy’s electronic loops and the girl’s half-sung half-rapped voice worked so well that they naturally ended up producing an electro pop album all in French.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Lesson #160 -Busy Busy Busy

Last night for the Children's Phrase we did "Je suis très occupé"

occupé(e) (ahk koo pay) -busy 
note: when writing it's 2 "ee"s for a female or female group.

Je suis occupé (zhuh sweez ahk koo pay) -I am busy
Je suis très occupé (zhuh swee trehz ahk koo pay) -I am very busy
Je ne suis pas occupé (zhuh neh sweez pah ahk koo pay) -I am not busy
Je ne suis pas très occupé (zhuh neh swee pah treh ahk koo pay) -I am not very busy

Êtes-vous occupé? (eht vooz ahk koo pay) -Are you busy?
Êtes-vous très occupé? (eht voo trehz ahk koo pay) -Are you very busy?

Est-il occupé? (ay-il ahk koo pay) -Is he busy?
Est-elle occupée? (ay-tell ahk koo pay) -Is she busy

Nous sommes occupé (noo sohmz ahk koo pay) -We are not busy

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Paul Cézanne -French Artist

Paul Cézanne 19 January 1839 – 22 October

1906) was a French artisite and Post-Impressionist paintre whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a nouveau and radically different monde of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form le pont between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism.

The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne "is the father of us all" cannot be easily dismissed.

Cézanne's work demonstrates a mastery of design, colour, composition and draftsmanship. His often repetitive, sensitive and exploratory brushstrokes

are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields, at once both a direct expression of the sensations of the observing eye and an abstraction from observed nature. Les peintures convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects, a searching gaze and a dogged struggle to deal with the complexity of human visual perception.

artiste (ahr teest) -artist

peintre (pehn truh) -painter

nouveau (noo voh) -new

monde (mahnd) -world

le pont (leh pahn)

les peintures (lay pehn chure) -the paintings

Friday, May 7, 2010

Must See French Film -My Wife Is An Actress

My Wife is an Actress (Orig. Ma Femme est une actrice) is a French Romantic Comedy/Drama film starring real life couple Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Attal plays a journalist who becomes obsessively jealous when his actress wife gets a part in a movie with an attractive co-star. Attal also wrote and directed the film. The film stars Terence Stamp among others.
Yvan, a young sports writer, is married to one who is very well known - Charlotte. They try to live a normal life, but her fame makes it difficult - autograph hunters interrupt their dinners, cops about to serve traffic summonses let them off with a warning and a smile when they recognize her, and impossible-to-get restaurant reservations magically appear when Charlotte makes the calls instead of Yvan. All this threatens and challenges his male ego, but Yvan is able to take her stardom in stride. Until, that is, a man at a bar asks him if he gets jealous watching his wife make love in the nude to another man on screen. It has never seriously bothered him before, but the stranger sows the first seed of doubt in his head.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lesson #159 -Thinking, Supposing, Hoping...

Je le crois (zhuh leh kwah) -I think so
Je crois que non (zhuh kwah heh noh) I don't think so

Je suis d'accord (zhuh swee dah kohr) -I agree
Je ne suis pas d'accord (zhuh nehswee pah dah kohr) -I don't agree

Je l’espère (zhuh leh spehr) -I hope so
J'espère que non (jeh spehr keh noh) -I hope not

Je le suppose (zhuh leh sah pohz) -I suppose so
Je suppose que non (zhuh sah pohz kuh noh) -I don't suppose so, I suppose not

Marcel Pagnol - French Novelist

Marcel Pagnol (February 28, 1895 – April 18, 1974) was a French novelist, playwright, et filmmaker. In 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française.

He learned how to read at a young age to his father's amazement mais his mère did not allow him to touch un livre until he was six "for fear of cerebral explosion".

At the age of 15, he wrote his first play and, after winning a prestigious scholarship to the Lycee, eventually followed in the footsteps of his père to become an English teacher for secondary schools. However, he stopped teaching when he went to Paris, instead devoting his life to playwriting. His first adult play, Merchants of Glory, was produced in 1924. In 1929 he wrote Marius for the Paris Theatre. Marius would also be later turned into a film in 1931, Pagnol's first film.

Panol adapted his own film "Manon des Sources", which starred his femme, into deux novels collectively titled "L'eau des Collines". Those were in turn adapted back to international acclaim in the 1980's by filmaker Claude Berri as "Jean de Florette" & "Manon des Sources".

My favorite quote of his is:
“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be”

et (ay) -and
mais (may) -but
six (seece) -six
mère (mehr)

un livre (uhn lee vruh) -a book
père (pehr) -father
femme (fehm) -wife
deux (doo) -two

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Zazie -French Singer

Zazie (born Isabelle Marie Anne de Truchis de Varennes on 18 April 1964 in Boulogne-Billancourt) is a French singer and songwriter. She also co-produces her own albums with other producers.
Zazie's father was an architect and her mother, a music teacher.
Her songs range from upbeat rock or pop songs to languid down tempo tunes and are characterised by the wit of their lyrics based on puns, alliterations, homophonies and double entendres.

Zazie Rue de La Paix

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Ironman (no not Robert Downey Jr.) France Sells Out

Better be careful...

Ok here's something interesting. I just bought a book in a thrift store today called "Les Cafards" which I think means "The Blues". Cafard can also mean depression or down in the dumps.

Anyway... on the back cover I was reading the description & I got to the line "L'homme est mort dans une chambre de passe à Bangkok". Well l'homme est mort dans une I knew to be "The man died in a". "à Bangkok" is also obviously "in Bangkok"

Now the "une chambre de passe" I couldn't get. I knew "chambre" is "room". But the whole phrase I didn't understand. So I check it with a couple of online translators and it came out as "password room". This didn't make sense, but since this is a mystery novel, I figured that it might mean "a secret room".

But... one of my French friends noooooo. As he delicately put it, it means "a place where harlots live by selling the charms"

So be careful if someone ask you if you want to go to "
une chambre de passe". It is not a secret room.

Le Ventre de Paris -French Novel

Le Ventre de Paris (1873) is the third novel in Émile Zola's twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. It is set in and around Les Halles, the enormous, busy central marketplace of 19th CenturyParis. Le Ventre de Paris (translated into English under many variant titles, but literally meaning The Belly of Paris) is Zola's first novel centered entirely on the working classes.

The plot is centred around the escaped political prisoner Florent and the effect he has on Lisa Quenu (formerly Macquart) and her family, with whom he finds refuge. Although Zola had yet to hone his sense for working-class speech and idioms displayed to such good effect in L'Assommoir, the novel still conveys a powerful atmosphere both of life in the great market halls and of working class suffering in general. There are several excellent descriptive passages, the most famous of which, his description of the olfactory sensations experienced upon entering a cheese shop, has become known as the "Cheese Symphony" due to its ingenious orchestral metaphors. Throughout the book, the painter Claude Lantier - himself a relative of the Macquarts and later the central character in Zola's novelL'Œuvre (1886) - shows up to provide a semi-authorial commentary, effectively playing the role of chorus. It is an interesting and often powerful work, though not usually considered as being on a par with the novelist's greater achievements later in the Rougon-Macquart cycle.