Spotted these boxes in a restaurant in Burgundy. Note: “jaja” is slang in French for wine.
Posted in language, wine
Voila. This is how you say “Google it” in French. I thought you’d like this tiny bit of trivia.
Posted in daily life, language, tips Tagged with: france, french, google, google it
Are you ready for Lesson 8 in L’anglais sans peine (English Without Pain)? If you missed my Lesson 1 blog post, see it here as well as read about what English Without Pain is.
Here’s lesson 8: I have a surprise for you in my pocket…
Am I the only one who thinks this is absolutely hilarious?!
Posted in books/magazines, funny, language, weird Tagged with: books in france, cartoons, english, English Without Pain: Lesson 8, france, french learning english
French people over the age of 45 or so, who’ve tried to study English, will all be able to say “My tailor is rich.” Some might not be able to say much more than that, but by God they can at least say that and that might come in handy…some day! I’ve met many people who’ve proudly recited this line to me. I never know how to respond.
This most absurd and utterly useless phrase is the very first lesson from a book called, L’anglais sans peine (English Without Pain). It’s a book that a lot of French people owned, and I recently found it at my in-laws! My dad in law can’t say too much more than “my tailor is rich.” How many more times will we all laugh when he says that to me? I don’t know.
The book is pure gold in its datedness, silliness and just plain wrongness and it’s something I must share here, albeit in little blog posts.
Here’s the cartoon that goes with lesson Number 1: My Tailor is Rich. From where the author pulled this out of, I can’t say.
More to follow I hope.
Posted in books/magazines, funny, language, weird Tagged with: english with pain, English Without Pain, engrish, french learning english, My Tailor is Rich
Him: Hey! I was looking for you. Ground Beef?
Me: Wha? … Oh. Dinner. Do you want burgers or some chili or something like that?
Me: You must be hungry. Maybe some else?
Him: I’m confused. I came to see you to talk about something, not dinner.
Me: Oh but you suggested ground beef.
Me: You said STEACK HACHÉ.
Him. No I didn’t. I said T’ES CACHÉE.
Me: OH! Hee.
More Franco-American Conversations
tags: france, french, living in france
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, language
My mum-in-law knows I like pistachio nuts and so she got me this bag…of fruits secs. In this case, “fruits secs” means pistachios. Got that? Good. French lesson: over. Oh wait. In French Fruits secs means DRIED FRUIT.
Where is the French Fail Blog when you need it?
Related: Restaurant Name Fail!
tags: france, french, fruits secs, pistachios nuts, fail
Posted in daily life, food and drinks, funny, language, products, weird
Still in a state of hazy happiness about the election results, I just want to scream and I will find it difficult to focus on any work today. We will HAVE to celebrate with our friends; no question about it. They will simply have to cut work, like us.
I’m particularly proud of my district, where I cast my ballot. DC had the highest percentage of Obama supporters: 93%. This is the last place I called “home” in the U.S. six years ago before embarking on my new encounters of the French kind.
Since leaving the U.S., we’ve been fortunate to be able to spend about 6-8 weeks a year in the U.S., but each time we went to visit, I had overwhelmingly conflicting feelings upon arrival: on one hand, I was ecstatic to see family and friends but on the other, there was always a lingering sense of shame and disappointment about what the country had turned into in the last decade or so and particularly, in the last eight years of the Bush administration. The country seemed to be falling apart at the seams and a high sense of morality and honesty was loudly absent. I hated this latter feeling. Pathological greed became the status quo, the environment and the food chain continued to be poisoned and people in need of attention were clearly ignored.
Despite this steep downward spiral to the bowels of American hell (ok, I exaggerate a little), the French who I met always kept a positive perspective on the U.S. I don’t know how but they did, and they seemed to express an undying optimism for “America.” I wondered. Are we talking about the same place? Then, I heard the French expression, “C’est L’Amérique!” and thought, oh, ok, you get it and it IS a terrible mess to you.
“Oh no! “C’est L’Amérique!” is positive. It is more of a declaration of hope and accomplishment. You know, The American Dream.”
“Whoa, really??? In the U.S. ‘That’s America’ usually has a more negative connotation. If you find some outlandish event or backward thinking anomaly somewhere, you might hear with a sigh, “That’s America.”
Happily, it has a completely different meaning in France. The French never gave up on Americans! C’est L’Amérique! And today their expression is even more meaningful.
tags: france, french, french expressions, C’est L’Amérique, obama
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, language, outside of France, people, politics
I was recently at a dinner party and someone recommended that I get some DVDs of Raymond Devos, a famous stand-up comedian (as well as a humorist, clown and “fake” Belgian). She thought I’d really enjoy his humor. Immediately, another person in the group blurted, “She’s not going to understand that!” and continues, “there are too many expressions that will just go past her.”
Obviously, I didn’t appreciate his asinine comment at all. Admittedly, he may have been right about what he said, but he shouldn’t have said that JACKASS comment out loud. What a jerk.
He is now on my HATE list.
Anyway, last night on the news, they announced the release of a new dictionary called, On va le dire comme ca, and I had to get it! I just ordered it even though it is 30 euros. It’s sort of the first of its kind, apparently, and explains 5000 French expressions and sayings (in French). As a non-native French speaker who is always trying to learn new words and expressions, this kind of information comes slowly, and painfully, like in conversations. And it doesn’t help when I immediately forget what they mean.
With this dictionary, it’ll be nice to have most if not all expressions I’ll ever come across, conveniently located in one book.
tags: france, french, dictionary, french expressions, unpleasant dinner guests
Posted in books/magazines, conversations, cultural differences, daily life, language, news, products, shopping
Why Travel to France is having weird technical problems, which should be fixed shortly. Regular posting should resume in the near future. In the meantime, here are some recent news items from France:
Jose Bove – started a hunger strike yesterday against genetically modified foods in France. A decision regarding OGM (GMO) in France should be reached by the end of the month. (article in French)
Free Cars in Paris? – the Mayor of Paris is proposing the introduction of Voiturelib’–2,000 electric-powered vehicles that subscribers can drive off without booking at dozens of sites, 24 hours a day, and then leave anywhere in the city.
No Smoking – France finally banned smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes effective January 1, 2008, which is a breath of fresh air!
Remember the EU Constitution France Voted Against? It’s here to stay (without the votes of EU countries) in the form of the Lisbon Treaty
Feminists in France have petitioned the French government to remove the title Mademoiselle or Miss from official administrative documents
France bans the word “E-mail” in government documents
U.S. expats facing tax ‘sticker shock’ – and Lousy Health Care to Boot
French Ministers get graded and evaluated, Sarkozy is exempt from being evaluated.
Calais Mayor Defies Sarkozy – A welcome center for asylum seekers heading to Britain from France was opened despite objections from the government.
Posted in celebs, daily life, environment, events, language, news, paris, people, politics
A while back I got my mom a collection of oldie chansons, very famous French songs that many people recognize. Stuff from Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Brassens, Charles Aznavour, etc. She’d told me that she used to listen to them growing up as a little girl even though she doesn’t understand any French. My grand dad was a fan, apparently, and she became one too.
So, she was happy to receive my gift and she plays it often. When I’m at her place, I’ll hear her humming along happily with the songs. It’s very cute. I giggle, though, when the Brassens song, “Le Gorille” (the gorilla) comes on. I can’t bring myself to telling her what it actually means. If you don’t understand French, it’s such a happy SOUNDING song (merci, M. Brassens. listen to it here). Now, if you would listen to rapper, Joey Starr’s version of this song (listen to an excerpt), you might guess the song’s about something more serious.
If you do understand French and have heard Le Gorille, you’ll know that the song’s about a gorilla that escapes his cage and rapes a judge.
Posted in language, music, stories
If you’ve been in France a while, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying about pigs: Dans le cochon, tout est bon. It translates as, “All of the pig is good” (to eat or use), I don’t agree with this but that’s not the point. I was recently reminded of this saying after reading foodie blogger in Japan, Kat, mention what they say in Okinawa: They eat every part of the pig, except its squeal. Which is a much cuter, btw.
In France, they really aren’t kidding. Nothing goes to waste; all the parts are eaten even the –you fill in the blank here with something gross–. Ick? You’ve probably eaten those icky parts: noses, ears, organs, testicles, whatever – in a pâte, sausage or hotdog somewhere (Do you even KNOW what’s in a hotdog?!). They say they even use the pig’s hair to make shaving lather brushes. Of course I don’t know ANYONE who uses these brushes. But, somebody must be using them with all that pig hair NOT going to waste. I saw some of these brushes in a store and noticed that they came from GERMANY. Did the French export the hair so Germany could make these brushes for France? Anyway, people who’ve reminded me of this saying in France are so proud of the fact that even the hair is recycled into these brushes – but seriously, is that true? Are they really using this hair? Now I’m beginning to wonder if that’s just an urban myth.
Then they say, “Oh! But we never eat the tail.” And say it as if just the tail is gross.
france french sayings pigs pork
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, language
Not that it’ll change anything or even prevent anyone from using this term, but a French Police Union is taking Le Petit Robert dictionary to court for including a reference to police as “connard de flic” (f*cking pig) in its latest 2008 edition. The union is demanding that this item be removed from the dictionary but the company Le Petit Robert states they, “would not under any circumstance allow its choices to be dictated by external pressures….it is not intended to disparage or dishonour anyone but to describe language in all of its richness and multiple usages, from its most elevated form to the colloquial.
Posted in books/magazines, language, weird
Amigo Software just released new French learning software for Mac and PC.From the site:
“Learn French vocabulary using games and puzzles. Amigos French Puzzles includes over 2500 French words and expressions, divided into 75 categories and sub-categories for easy learning. Create unlimited fill in tests, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles and word games from these words, or play a fun dice and board game. Amigos French Puzzles provides a unique and fun filled learning experience…” Find out more
Download “free to try” demos:
French Puzzles for Mac
French Puzzles for PC
French Conjugation Learning Software for Mac
French Conjugation Learning Software for PC
Posted in education, games/software/tech, language
That doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like “The Barber of Seville.” Anyway. While taking a walk through one of our favorite medieval villages, Autun, in Burgundy, we came across a shop window that read, “messieurs, messieurs“. (men, men) A barbershop in France! Well, SORT of a barbershop. Probably as close to a barbershop as one could get in France. Where was the barbershop pole?
Why did it look like time stopped inside the shop sometime in the 70s to become a movie set with Quentin Tarantino directing? Nevermind. Look in the display window and what do you see?
Blood splattered everywhere. Barber Shop! Then it must be so.
You see, in France, places like this attract attention because normally during that stroll down the street of French shops, you will see something to this effect: a hair salon, a lingerie shop, a shoe shop (rinse and repeat SEVERAL times over and over and over again). Ok. Once in a while a tabac, clothes store or souvenir shop will be thrown in for good measure but in general it’s the hair salon, lingerie place and shoe store or combination thereof. So, when you see a place like Mr. Barjot’s barbershop, it stands out.
Though he didn’t appear insane at all, the name: “Barjot” actually means “crazy” in French slang (Verlan), taking the inverse of jobard (crazy). He and his client were kind enough to pose for a photo. Thanks, barber (and barber’s client) of Autun!
It occurred to me that barbers might originally have been French, since “barbe” means beard (or boring: la barbe!) in French and barbers back in the day shaved beards. However. Despite being a barbershop, Mr. Barjot doesn’t do barbes.
Links: Everything you ever wanted to know about barbers but were too bored to ask
Posted in Bourgogne/Burgundy, daily life, language, people, signs
Il pète plus haut que son cul. / He is pretentious.
(literal: He farts higher than his ass.)
Il est coiffé comme un dessous de bras. / He’s having a bad hair day. (His hair is dressed like an armpit.)
J’ai la tête dans le cul ce matin. / I have a lot of trouble waking up this morning.
(My head is in my ass this morning.)
Il faut que j’aille couler un bronze. / I need to take a dump.
(I need to cast a bronze sculpture.)
Il secoue le poireau. / He’s masturbating. (He’s shaking the leek.)
Il va degorger le poireau. / He’s going to piss.
(He’s going to squeeze out the leek.)
Il branle le mammouth. / He procrastinates.
(He jerks off the mammoth.)
Il se fait des couilles en or. / He makes a lot of money.
(He is making himself golden balls.)
Cette fille, c’est un thon. / That girl is very ugly.
(This girl is a tuna fish.)
Il n’a jamais trempé son biscuit. / He is still a virgin.
(He has never dipped his cookie.)
Il nous en chie une pendule. / He’s making a big fuss about it.
(He’s sh*tting a wall clock about it.)
Il nous en chie une pendule à treize coups. / He’s making a VERY big fuss about it.
(He’s sh*tting a thirteen-stroke wall clock about it.)
C’est un enculeur de mouches. / He’s a nitpicker.
(He BFs the flies.)
Il a le cul bordé de nouilles. / He is extremely lucky.
(He has noodles all around his ass.)
Il chie de la broue. / he’s lying.
(Brew is coming out of his ass.)
Posted in daily life, language
Him: “What’s the saying in English when a guy has muscles on his stomach?”
Me: “Do you mean like a guy who’s in great shape and has muscle definition on his abdomen?”
Him: “I guess.”
Me: “Abs of Steel or I think some people say 6-Pack Abs.”
Him: “Like a 6-pack of beer? That sounds so…you know: weird.”
Me: “How do they say that in French?”
Him: “Les tablettes de chocolat” (chocolate bars)
Me: “Chocolate bars! Of course it has to be food-related. That’s cute.”
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, language, stories
Dancing with the Stars, a celebrity dance contest, aired on American TV a few months ago and I was telling my s.o. about how an ex-NFL football player (and 3 time Superbowl champion), Emmitt Smith won, with Mario Lopez losing to him and coming in second.
Me: “Who, who?”
Him: “I don’t know the footballer, but who lost? Do I know him?”
Me: “It’s not ‘footballer,’ it’s ‘football player’. American Football, you know. Anyway, the guy who lost was Mario Lopez. Remember Slater from Saved by the Bell? Did you have that show in France? You know, with Zack, Screech, Jesse and Kelly, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen before 90210?”
Him: “Yeah! I watched that show here. And it was Sleh TAIR, not Slater, ha!
Me: “Weird. What was the show called in French?”
Him: “Sauvés par le gong.”
Me: “Saved by the GONG?! You gotta be kidding. That sounds so un-French. I mean, gongs aren’t really a French thing, if you know what I mean. It’s more ancient Asia. Man, they just pulled that out of left field.”
Him: “I’m serious, that’s what it was called.”
Me: “Is it the same for the expression, ‘saved by the bell’?”
Him: “Yup. Saved by the Gong.”
Me: “That’s insane. ‘Bell’ makes sense for the expression and the show because who on earth has a gong? And for the show it works especially because they’re in school and it refers to the school bell. Do they call the school bell in France a gong too?”
Him: “No, silly. That’s ridiculous.”
Me: “That’s what I was about to say about Sauvés par le gong.”
Posted in cultural differences, language, stories
Me: Sweetie, do you know that saying, Two’s company, three’s a crowd?
Him: Not really but I know what you mean.
Me: You know, the third wheel?
Him. Haven’t heard that but I get it.
Me: How do you say that in French? Is there a French equivalent?
Him: Yeah, it’s tenir la chandelle / hold the candle – as in, the third person has to hold a candle for the couple, I guess.
Me: That is so medieval!
Posted in cultural differences, language
Since we are (ok, since I am ) on the subject of cows in France I thought it timely to post this photo of another cute T-shirt I got from the same store where I found these cute Ts. Remember?
Elle est vachement belle la vie means, “Life is really beautiful” (with “vachement” meaning “really” or “extremely” but carries a pun in French since vache means cow.) So true. I almost translated it as, “Holy cow, life is beautiful” but it’s not really that. Oh well, you know what I mean.
Posted in language, shopping
For what it’s worth, here’s a list of gift book ideas. I started this list way too late but it could be helpful to some of you who are very last minute shoppers in need of gifts for francophiles. (For last year’s lists of Gift Ideas for Francophiles click here: Part I, Part II & Part III)
1. One Hundred & One Beautiful Small Towns in France by Simonetta Greggio
2. Lonely Planet France (2007) by Nicola Williams and Oliver Berry
3. France From the Air by Patrick Poivre d’Arvor, Catherine Guigon, and Yann Arthus-Bertrand
4. Provence Made Easy: The Best Sights and Walks of Provence and the French Riviera (Open Road Travel Guides) Paperback by Andy Herbach
5. Drive Around Dordogne and Western France: Your guide to great drives by Eric Bailey today
On Learning French
1. French: The Complete Language Course (Learn in Your Car) by Henry N. Raymond
2. French With Michel Thomas: The Fastest Way to Learn a Language (Deluxe Language Courses with Michel Thomas) by Michel Thomas
3. Rick Steves’ French Phrase Book and Dictionary by Rick Steves
4. Better Reading French : A Reader and Guide to Improving Your Understanding of Written French by Annie Heminway
5. 501 French Verbs: with CD-ROM (501 Verb Series) by Christopher Kendris and Theodore N. Kendris
1. The Paris Cafe Cookbook : Rendezvous and Recipes by Daniel Young
2. The Historic Restaurants of Paris: A Guide to Century-Old Cafes, Bistros, and Gourmet Food Shops by Ellen Williams
3. Paris: An Architectural History by Anthony Sutcliffe
4. Antique and Flea Markets of London and Paris by Rupert Thomas and Egle Salvy
5. Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau by Victor Arwas
On French Things, History & People
1. Absinthe: History in a Bottle by Barnaby Conrad
2. The Cooking of Southwest France : Recipes from France’s Magnificent Rustic Cuisine by Paula Wolfert
3. JJacques-Louis David’s ‘Marat’ (Masterpieces of Western Painting) by Will Vaughn
4. Chanel: A Woman of her Own by Axel Madsen
5. The Wines of France: The Essential Guide for Savvy Shoppers by Jacqueline Friedrich
6. Culture Shock! France: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Sally Adamson Taylor
7. The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France by Ina Caro
8. The Color of Liberty: Histories of Race in France (Paperback) by Sue Peabody
9. France and the French: A Modern History by Rod Kedward
Posted in art/culture/design, books/magazines, cultural differences, daily life, food and drinks, history, language, people, shopping, travel and places
From Sign on San Diego:
When Patricia Russo takes the helm of newly-merged telecoms gear groups Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc. on Friday, she will be the only woman and the only American to head a company in France’s CAC-40 index of blue chips.But what is creating more of a stir in some conservative business circles is a statement from the 54-year-old native of New Jersey that she doesn’t plan to learn French…
Read the full article
Posted in language, news, weird
You may think this is a totally useless list of words to know in French, but I say it could be extremely handy to know. For example, if you knew these words, you’d get the photo above. AND, you’d understand why many French women will not sit on these. How useful is that?! So, without further ado, I give you “penis” in 205 French words. One of my favorites is le doigt qui n’a pas d’ongle / the finger without a nail.
* le pénis
* le phallus
* le sexe
* la verge
* la mentule (francisation littéraire et désuète du latin mentula)
* le vit (littéraire désuet, utilisé dans les chansons paillardes et les contrepèteries)
* Le guillery: (vieux français)
* L’andouillette (région de Troyes)
* L’arrache patate ( seulement au Québec )
* La banane
* le bangala
* Le Bat (prononcer batte) ( seulement au Québec )
* La belette
* Le Bazar ( Belgique )
* le bazouka
* le bâton de berger
* le bâton de manioc
* le barreau de chaise
* le beignet (Catalogne, rapport au beignet catalan)
* la between
* la bichouette
* la biloute (Nord-Pas de Calais)
* la biroute (Nord-Pas de Calais)
* la bistouquette
* la bite ou bitte
* la bitoune
* la bizoune
* la boutifarre (seulement en Catalogne, désigne le boudin Catalan)
* le bras de Vénus (rapport au gâteau du même nom faisant référence à la Vénus de Milo)
* le braque
* le braquemard ou braquemart
* le bras de vitesse ( seulement au Québec )
* le cabot
* le calibre 12
* le chauve à col roulé
* le chibre
* le chichi (entre autres dans la région du tonnerois)
* la chienne ( seulement au Québec )
* le chinois
* la chose
* le cigare
* le colosse
* la Crochue
* le dard
* le démonte-pneus
* la douille ( seulement au Québec )
* le doigt qui n’a pas d’ongle
* la flamberge
* la flûte
* le fourniment
* la frétille
* la frétillette
* la graine ( seulement au Québec )
* le grand chauve à col roulé
* le grand chauve poilu
* le gourdin
* la guiche
* la guitare
* la juste sèche ( rapport à la marque de saucisson éponyme )
* le jésus
* le kiki ou quiqui
* le levier
* la machine
* la mailloche ( seulement au Québec )
* le manche
* le manche à couilles
* le mandrin
* la manguise
* le mât
* la matraque
* le méné ( seulement au Québec et pour désigner la verge d’un enfant )
* le membre
* le moineau
* le moine ( seulement au Québec )
* Le Mono-Couille
* M. l’aspergeur
* le nem
* le nœud (désigne surtout le gland)
* la nouille
* le paf
* le pen ( seulement au Québec )
* le pelo
* le pénible
* le p’tit gaston
* le perchoir à condor
* le petit oiseau
* le pieu
* la pine
* la poilue
* le poisson
* la pompe à plaisir
* popaul ou popol
* la poutre
* la quéquette
* la queue
* la rabistouquette (en Bretagne)
* Le ramoneur
* Le robinet d’amour
* la rousquille (Catalogne, rapport au biscuit local du même nom)
* La saucisse
* Le saucisson
* le shaft ( seulement au Québec )
* Le Schafft ( seulement à Lutry )
* Le spaghetti
* la teub (verlan de bite)
* La trique
* la trompe
* le tiche ( en belgique )
* le tube
* le vié ( déformation de “vit”)
* la virgule
* le vermiceau
* la vermicelle
* la Wanoune ( seulement à Saint-Monique (Québec))
* le Wipi (nievre)
* le z’boub
* le zeb
* la zézette
* le z’guègue
* le zigomar
* la zigounette
* la zize
* le zizi
* la zizouille
* le zizou
* le zob
* le zobi (pluriel : zèbi)
* Le foufonau
* avoir l’andouillette qui bave (région de Troyes) (vulgaire)
* le bazooka
* l’asperge : sucer une asperge = faire une fellation
* la baguette magique
* la balayette : “dans le cul la balayette” (vulgaire)
* Dresser les couleurs = être en érection
* Emmener Popaul au cirque = avoir une relation sexuelle
* étrangler le borgne = se masturber
* (se) battre les couilles en neige = se masturber (Région de Liège)
* le (grand) chauve à col roulé
* le cigare à moustache
* le chêne : rapport au sirop d’érable (sperme) et au gland
* le triple décimètre ou le double décimètre
* s’astiquer le chinois = se masturber
* la colonne : se taper (sur) la colonne = se masturber
* le colosse : je vais aller faire pleurer le colosse = je vais uriner
* le cyclope : moucher le cyclope = se masturber
* l’élastique : tirer sur l’élastique = se masturber
* faire « pleurer » (ou « baver ») Georges = uriner
* jack n’a qu’un œil
* le jambon : avoir le jambon qui transpire dans le torchon (le slip)
* la flûte : jouer de la flûte = fellation
* la gaule (avoir la.)=être en érection
* la lance d’amour
* le manche : s’astiquer le manche = se masturber
* le manche à couilles
* le membre viril
* le membre turgescent
* le missile : s’astiquer le missile = se masturber
* le monstre : faire pleurer le monstre = uriner
* la nouille : égoutter la nouille = aller uriner
* tremper sa nouille : avoir une relation sexuelle
* tremper son biscuit(-sa biscotte)= avoir une relation sexuelle
* le petit Jésus : mettre le petit Jésus dans la crêche = avoir une relation sexuelle
* le petit oiseau
* le petit soldat
* aller changer l’eau des oliviers = uriner
* le paquet : avoir les bonbons qui collent au paquet
* le pingouin : cirer le pingouin = se masturber
* le poireau : se palucher le poireau = se masturber ; faire dégorger le poireau = éjaculer ; se secouer le poireau = se masturber ; glouglouter le poireau = faire une fellation ; s’astiquer le poireau = se masturber ; se faire tutoyer le poireau = se faire faire une fellation ; se faire taquiner le poireau = se faire faire une fellation
* le pompier
* pomper (ou se faire.)= faire une fellation
* Le piquet : dresser le piquet de tente = être en érection
* le robinet
* le saxophone à moustache
* le service trois pièces
* le soldat : le soldat est au garde à vous = en érection
* le sucre d’orge
* le tube à jus d’homme
* Le trois-pièces cuisine
* faire un aller-retour sur la veine bleue = faire une fellation
* se faire faire un changement d’huile ( seulement au Québec )
* Se graisser le salami = se masturber
* la coquette
* se faire beurrer la tartine = se faire faire une fellation
* Se faire pogner la poche (seulement par un Paré)
* Changer son poisson d’eau = aller uriner
* Se poignarder comme un chien = se masturber
* Sous le plus grand chapiteau du monde = être en érection dans son lit (rapport à l’émission éponyme)
* Avoir le dur
* La veuve poignet = se masturber
* Tremper le biscuit = avoir une relation sexuelle
* Tremper le croissant = avoir une relation sexuelle
* Polir le mât = se masturber
* se saucer le pinceau
Posted in daily life, language
I get tripped up when I hear French expressions. Ok, I actually get tripped up with French in general, but the expressions pose the most problems for me. It is weirdly the same for me in English. My brain doesn’t like to hang on to expressions, so I use them rarely. I wish I could retain the French ones in my mind because I find them really expressive and colorful, and like the site says, “these expressions make the French language beautiful.”
Here’s an example in Franglais! I know, I’m not very helpful.
- I’m glad I don’t find blogging a Collier de misère.
This site lists a bunch of French Expressions to help your learning and comprehension. Move your cursor over the expression and there’s a description of the meaning (in French). I suppose it would be a good list to make flashcards to help you learn them too, right? 😉 Just saying…
Classic French Expressions
Posted in daily life, language
Courtepaille is a very average roadside restaurant chain. You’ll find them all over France. I just laugh a little each time I see one; it always makes me wonder about what they were thinking when they named it that. The name, “Courtepaille” means short straw, as in when drawing straws, whoever pulls the shortest straw loses. Obviously, this hasn’t prevented the chain from success. I don’t think people even think of it as meaning short straw (and if they did, they probably don’t care); I think I’m actually one of the few that has noticed. *sigh* A non-native French speaker thing, I guess.
Posted in advertising & marketing, daily life, food and drinks, language
In French, the word potager means kitchen garden. I love how the whole idea “vegetable/herb/fruit garden” can be neatly consolidated into just one word, a perfectly wrapped delicious package. Like a lot of our French neighbors, we too, have a potager, but I’d refer to it as an UnFrench potager, and it certainly isn’t as neat as the word nor as tidy as our neighbors’ gardens. You see, our French neighbors’ potagers, my French inlaws’ potagers and all the French potagers I’ve seen thus far, have been perfectly manicured and lined up so precisely you could take a ruler and see that each plant is the exact distance to the next. Absolute straight lines. Right angles. Rows and rows of potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, radishes etc. – are no less than impeccable. I could swear they used mathematical algorhythms and numerical equations to achieve perfect symmetry. By the way, French potagers always have gobs and gobs of potatoes and leeks.
Even if I were the world’s most brilliant mathematician gardener, which I’m not (and I’m just a newbie gardener at that), a perfectly lined up garden simply isn’t my style. Ours is very asymmetrical and unpredictable. Hardly anything is lined up and instead I’ve planted things along borders, in containers, in a triangular pattern, but mostly just randomly. That’s probably not the best method to gardening, but that is how it is for me. And everything has survived and things seem to be alright. You can see above how the pumpkin has grown right next to some tomatoes and there are 5 different kinds of tomatoes planted here and there. That is probably bad to do, too, in the garden world but whatever. Sidebar: Our winter was so long and cold and ran into spring, the tomatoes in this area are still not ripe. (except the cherry varieties).
Our one and only bellpepper is pretty cool (I think, anyway!) though it got splattered with mud after a hard downpour. It looks like we are only going to get just one this summer but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Behind Lulu in the photo at the top, there is a growing Japanese cucumber plant. Love those! Lulu isn’t very interested in them, in fact, one could say they bore her to tears, but she can always go for the sweet cherry tomatoes (we are growing 2 different kinds of cherry tomatoes). We might not get any of those if she devours them all. That’s fine with us. It’s a good source of vitamin C for her.
Lastly (for this post, anyway) to add a little spice to the unFrench potager chez nous here’s our cute and wonderful chili pepper plant. There’s just one in the photo but it looks like more are on their way. Yay!
We have other veggies and lots of herbs that I’ll try to post in the near future – as a little reprieve from heavy environmental posts, issues related to disabilities awareness and other serious subjects I’ve been known to blog about! 😉
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.
Posted in daily life, language, lulu/dogs/cats, nature
This is not the first time I’ve pointed out funny shirts I’ve seen in France and I have a feeling it won’t be the last either. I absolutely had to take a photo of this French guy’s t-shirt. It would’ve been hysterical without an apostrophe and S (though would not have been true in this case). Also notice the “4U 69.”
I lied to him to get him to pose for me just to make things quick and uncomplicated. I told him I collected photos of t-shirts and post them on my blog. I like to consider this a “partial truth.”
Posted in cultural differences, fashion, language, weird
Many expats in France call Skype their bestfriend, or at least call their bestfriends with Skype. Yay for free long-distance calls! (Don’t know about Skype? It’s a program for making free calls over the internet to anyone else who also has Skype. Read more about Skype.)
Anyway, here’s something that works with Skype if ever necessary. Call Recorder is a very easy way to record your Skype calls and even your favorite podcasts (Call Recorder converts your QuickTime movies into mp3 files). Call Recorder is an add-on for Skype which automatically transforms your calls into QuickTime movies. This is a Mac application – and you can download the free demo to test it out: Call Recorder.
Though calls made from Skype to a regular phone line aren’t free, it’s fairly comparable to local calls but this is where the Call Recorder can come in handy: Remember calling the Gaz de France office or France Telecom or your sacré internet provider because you’ve had problems and need some sort of resolution? Record them on the phone! Ok, not that that is going to help but you at least have their lies on “tape.” That said, usually the most effective way to get administrative help is to send a registered letter to them.
On a related note here’s something for the francophone community using Skype… Si vous êtes un utilisateur francophone du logiciel Skype, voici une astuce pour ajouter francais comme langue par défaut: Cliquez ici: iApple
Posted in daily life, games/software/tech, language
Often in conversation, I want to stop and remark about the differences of words chosen in French versus what would be used in English. French seems ultimately more friendly, relaxed and sensual. I love this. It would be too disruptive and geeky to interrupt with, “hey! that word is way more descriptive in French! English can be so boring sometimes.” – so I usually stay quiet with a big smile on my face. I know, it must look silly, what can I say. It’s the little things.
For the following conversation, I’d say that in English, one would simply say, “shrank.” The French version is much cuter.
Me: “You look like you lost a little weight.” Thinking, if you would just pull up the boxers, pull the saggy pants down a little, I’d hand you a rapper’s mic. but instead…
S.O.: “Yeah, I think I lost a few pounds.”
Me: “I only say that because your pants are baggy…in the back.”
S.O.: “Are you looking at my butt?”
S.O.: “You’re right. My butt melted.”
Posted in cultural differences, daily life, language
Inspired by Pretzelbug’s comments in yesterday’s post, here are some tips and links if you happen to find yourself wanting to get a crash course in French before coming to France, Belgium or other French-speaking countries.
Free Online Resources to Learn French – There are several internet sites that offer free online French courses you can take at your own speed, one of the best ways to effectively and quickly (from home) grab a lesson or more. Below are some sites:
The French Tutorial
Online French Vocabulary and Verb Conjugators – Without a vocabulary base, how will you learn French? These sites will help you learn some words and help you figure out how to conjugate them.
French Verb Conjugator
Elisabeth’s vocab builder in French every other Sunday
Listen to French – Get your ears used to hearing French. Even if you have a French music or movie in the background, it helps to have it on so your brain can get used to French so when you arrive, it won’t sound totally foreign.
1) rent and watch movies in French and set the subtitles to French too. Oftentimes, you can check out music and dvd’s at public libraries.
2) French radio (click here for French internet radio sites and podcasts);
3) Read French papers or books. Go online to read the European news (in French) that will get you used to reading and also help to be familiar with recent local news.
—Here are free online books in French: Gutenberg Library, and Classics and Social Sciences
—Here are French newspaper sites: Agence France Presse, Le Monde, Liberation, Paris Match (like People Mag)
4) Listen to Music in French
Find Native French Speakers in your Area
If possible try to do a language exchange with a native speaker of French. Or try to find a French conversation group to sit in.
10 important phrases in French to know while traveling – You already know the most obvious, right? (merci, bonjour, oui, non, s’il vous plait, au revoir)
1. Where is the toilet? / Où sont les toilettes?
2. It’s an emergency! / C’est une urgence!
3. I don’t like ______. / Je n’aime pas (find out the words for what you don’t like.) i.e., Je n’aime pas les’escargots (I don’t like snails).
4. Do you accept credit cards? / Acceptez vous les cartes de crédit?
5. A carafe of water, please. /Un carafe d’eau s’il vous plait (for free water)
6. Excuse me, the bill please./Excusez moi, l’addition s’il vous plait.
7. There’s an error. / Vous vous etes trompé.
8. I’d like to change rooms. / Je voudrais change de chambre. (because you’re not satisfied with your hotel room.)
9. N’essayez pas de m’arnaquer!/ Don’t try to rip me off!
10. I need something for diarrhea. / J’ai besoin d’Immodium (Immodium is the product you need from the pharmacy)
If all fails:
I don’t know how to say it in French / Je ne sais pas le dire en français
I don’t speak French / Je ne parle pas français
I don’t understand / Je ne comprends pas
Do you speak English? / Parlez vous anglais?
I know there are tons of others so feel free to add your own phrases and hints in the comments.
Posted in daily life, education, language