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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Si maintenant les americains citent le nouveau testament en français je vais y perdre mon latin moi!
Au fait 50% des jeunes ne veulent pas vraiment etre fonctionnaires ils veulent juste avoir un travail et etre fonctionnaire c'est la seule maniere d'avoir un emploi en france en 2006 malheureusement.

From Sedulia:

Y'a pas de quoi, nayaone, on trouve du tout sur l'internet...bon ben à part le travail bien sûr.

About your first point, it might come from school/high school teachers' influence, or from media influence, but I really feel french education is business "unfriendly". When young kids grow eventually, they do not only think in terms of public service being more stable, but also it being more "clean" and pure.

Money is dirty, only theory, abstract reasonning and permanent selection have a meaning. Tough selection means making 95% of the people frustrated to extract 5% of so-called geniuses which will enter grandes ecoles. This "dirtyness" of making money to afford a great standard of living is a really intriguing point, and I would be interested in any reference to this. I feel it, to my dismay, within my friends, my family... and even in myself.

decadent country? i think this is where it comes from. we forgot reality and gave priority to abstraction.

just a last little comment: "prête à tout" means "ready for anything", not "borrowing ...". It's the "ready for" meaning of "prêt", which has been feminized (the person who tagged that was a girl in short!).

From Sedulia: Thanks Marco! You're right, I made a mistake in my French (*how embarrassing*). I did realize after I posted that "prête à tout" really means "ready for anything", but I thought it was funnier to leave it...

I've got to admit, I just don't understand the attitude of the younger people and the CPE. It's a non-starter now, yes? Sounds like the government caved in to the protests. I understand (at least I think I do) that artists can live quite well in France due to subsidies. I know of a few non-French artists who are doing that. Fair? I don't know. I think French taxes must be quite onerous to support so many non-realized potential.

Maybe I just don't understand yet.

C'était Jésus qui a dit ces paroles dans le Sermon sur la Montagne. (Mt. 7:1-5) Matthieu était seulement évangéliste.

another translation comment ;) "nous n'aurons que ce que nous saurons prendre" means rather "we'll only get what we'll be able to take", or turned differently "we'll only get what we'll have the courage/strength to take". in this case "nous saurons -- " shouldn't be translated as "we know how to -- ".

i'm not saying this is french literature though ;) just to help

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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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