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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et avec des tomates cerises, ça marche ?

From Sedulia:

Non, il faut des Old German ou des Mr Stripey.

hello Francaisedcoeur !

I think your comments about how you have to get out of your car and stand beside the gas station attendant while he fills the tank is hilarious ! It's so true that I've never thought about it before ...

Just a word about another common life superstition : in France, a lot of people think you're not supposed to wish "bonne chance" - good luck - to someone who is about to take an exam (whatever : driving license, university exam...) because instead of good luck it will be bad luck ! No, you have to say...merde ! I've always been reluctant to say "merde" to my fellow students when I was at university and I often said "good luck" which usually provoked comments such like "do no say that" or "no, merde please ! you will draw me bad luck !".

From Sedulia:

Thanks for that, Zardoz! I had heard that before, but didn't know if people still did that. In the U.K. and U.S., people in the theater often say "Break a leg!" instead of "Good luck!"

I have to point out, though, that I am not françaisedecoeur, who has her blog here:

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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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