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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I read the American in Paris pages that you show. I would have liked to hear your comments on what was said? I think that when they talk about the Americans in Paris they could be talking about tourists, mostly. For a while, trying to find French blogs, I read many blogs with a French name – but they were American blogs that were Francophile. Many of them talked about Paris as mentioned in the pages you showed. Some go back and forth to Paris but will only visit the same tourist places, and taking pictures of them. I think that if Americans don’t act like in the pages you showed, then French people don’t think they are Americans, but maybe British or other nationalities speaking English. When I am in Paris with my husband, who does not speak French, and we speak in English people are always so surprised that he is an American, very often they think he is Canadian. Like all stereotypes, it’s funny to read and it has some general truth in it, but that’s all, don’t you think?

(Sorry to answer so late– Christmastime is very busy in my big family!) I think stereotypes can be quite accurate as far as a group is concerned, but of course you have to look at people as individuals. There certainly are a lot of Americans in the Île Saint-Louis and around the Jardin de Luxembourg and the Champ de Mars; and they tend to be glamorous and rich. A lot of them live in Paris only part of the year. But of course there are lots of others too. Americans who have integrated and look French (like me!) are invisible, and then there are lots of students, writers, seekers who hope to find in Paris what they've always be looking for.

The French do have stereotypes about Americans, so that when you don't fit the stereotype, they often try to fit you into another stereotype– "Are you Canadian? British?" But Americans are like that about the French, too. Guess it's human nature!

Anyway, I found this book's stereotypes funny and pretty accurate, as stereotypes go.

Funny stereotypes and pretty funny! Great article!Thanks

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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

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Overblogs (blogs of blogs)

Paris France in English

Paris en photo