Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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You may not be prejudiced against Gyspsies but you are racist against Romanians.Presenting Rom as if they were Romanians is a proof of your racism. Roma (not Romani as you write) have nothing to do with Romanians as they are racially, culturally and linguistically different from Romanians. For your information, Romanians are caucasian white, speak a Romance language close to Italian and Spanish, and are culturally European.

The entire article says that.

You are not a native English speaker so perhaps you can't tell that putting "Romanians" in quotations means they are NOT typical Romanians.

So the only way to defend the title of the posting, who is racist and offensive to genuine Romanians, is to claim that any non-native English speaker is an illiterate peasant who cannot understand your magnificent thinking , the superior American??? Furthermore there is no historical reason for gypsies to be linked to Romania, nor Romani is an official name for them.

I hardly think being ignorant of the correct terminology is the same as being racist. I've read a lot of articles about..... (what is the correct term? beggars? teenage girls in long skirts that look innocent and will surround you and grab stuff from your purse? Nobody seems to agree on what the politically correct name is) and this article seems to be informative and unbiased.

I've had good and bad experiences with "Roma". It's just another interesting part about living in Europe.

As a native english speaker, I read "Romanians" with the quotes differently then I would have read it without the quotes. I would write the same way if I was writing about overweight people being called "fatties". Or children being called "enfants terribles".

What an interesting post. Thank you.

I've seen the gypsies in action on the metros, especially line 1. I had a friend have everything taken from his wallet by a nicely dressed gypsy lady. I'm trying not to be "racist" but the scale of hits on the metro and by those "deaf" people makes me angry. I know this posting will be attacked but what they are doing is horrible.

I agree with Sarkozy and think the gypsies should all be thrown out of France. They don't assimilate, they don't participate in or benefit French society in any way. They are a bane on our lives and a plague for our tourists.

Its not racist to hate people who steal, lie, and dont ever pay tax. If you are Romanian, well "life-a-bitch" and yes you will instantly be assosciated with gypsies....just another negative about being Romanian. Get over it. Show your qualities, good morale and positive a genuine ambassador for Romania and this way people will see that not all Romanians are gypsies, beggars, thiefs, liars..ect...which is the genuine perception in most corners of the world. Its up to you to change that. Just face the music and dance (well) and stop moaning about it.
The term "Roma" or "Romani" is wrong becuase it associates them with ROMAnia.....they are gypsies or travellers

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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

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