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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Spotted Dick is a steamed sponge pudding - the 'spots' are sultanas. Usually served with custard - I'm not sure of the source of the name.

Yeah, gotta love the English! lol I lived in England for a bit, and a couple of people there told me that they had a hard time understanding Americans because we talk too fast. I was shocked! They also said we had bad pronunciation, which I kind of agreed with. But when it comes to accents, they are much more difficult to understand, no doubt about it!

I once had a friend from Aberdeen, in Scotland who had a crazy accent like that. I always had to tell him to slow down so that I could understand.

Thanks, Heather! I always wondered what Spotted Dick was.

I love all kinds of accents. I have a linguist's approach and don't think there is such a thing as a "good" or "bad" pronunciation. It really annoys me when British people make snooty remarks like that to Americans. They are only speaking bad Saxon themselves, and very few of them could pass the test of English pronunciation with their own countrymen. Don't let them intimidate you. American English speakers have the huge advantage of a more or less classless language compared to the poor Brits who you can see analyzing each syllable of a new acquainance to see if the speaker is above or below them in status.

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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.

News about France in English

Nice to Rude

In Paris, alone, need help?

Overblogs (blogs of blogs)

Paris France in English

Paris en photo