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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« Anomalies of French life: central parking | Main | Anomalies of French life: cobblestones »


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Hi Sedulia !

/*/"One would almost say that Bison Futé is daltonien," commented a traffic reporter on Radio France Info/*/

Alas, what the reporter said had nothing to do with Down's Syndrome, in Amerloque's view.

What was meant was that Bison Futé was "colorblind".

"Vous êtes daltonien, ou quoi ?" can be heard quite frequently at traffic lights when a pedestrian crosses against the red or when a car pushes through a red light into a crosswalk filled with pedestrians.

When Amerloque drives in Paris (less and less nowdays with the jerks at the City Hall ruining the city for everyone) the word "daltonien" passes his lips assez fréquemment. (wide smile)

"Il existe plusieurs formes …/… la plus fréquente étant la confusion du vert et du rouge."


From Sedulia:

Of course, you are right, Amerloque. I knew that, too, how careless! Usually I look things up before making a blanket statement. I think what threw me is that I think the reporter did use it to mean "retarded."

Sorry! I'm changing it on the site as well.

C'est un vrai plaisir de lire votre blog. Je suis Française, j'habite à Londres et c'est super de découvrir mon pays à travers vos yeux.



Merci, Patricia! On apprend toujours beaucoup sur son propre pays en habitant à l'étranger, n'est-ce pas? C'est comme ça que j'adore lire Superfrenchie, Guillemette, et Big Picture: Croquis d'Amérique, qui me donnent un frisson dans le même sens.

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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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