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March 2007

Entries from February 2007


The colors of Spain in a Madrilène cafe. debout (duh-boo) adverb upright; standing; out of bed L'instinct, c'est l'âme à quatre pattes ; la pensée, c'est l'esprit debout. Instinct is the soul on all fours; thought is the upright spirit. --Victor Hugo . While the Spanish have a reputation for not lolling about in bed, you won't... Read more →


Haunting Madrid: traffic (photo of the "Casa de Correos" / Communications Palace) bruyant(e) [brwee-yahn(t)] adjective noisy; resounding; loud; boisterous Les petites peines sont bruyantes et les grandes, muettes. Little sorrows are loud, great ones silent. --Danish Proverb . It didn't take a Spanish weekend to figure out the significance of 48.* By the time Jean-Marc pushed open... Read more →


Several soothsaying chaises, looking into the future... in Ste. Maxime. un devin (deh-vuh) noun, masculine diviner; soothsayer, seer; fortune teller Devine, si tu peux, et choisis, si tu l'oses. Guess, if you can, and choose, if you dare. --Pierre Corneille . On ne sait jamais ce que demain sera. We never know what tomorrow will be. I... Read more →

ouïe get words to SCREAM some prefer to use all caps. Photo: an artists' quarter in Marseilles; the sign reads "No to the demolition of my workshop". l'ouïe (wee) noun, feminine 1. hearing 2. ouch! ooh! (spelled "ouïe" or "ouille") A homonym of ouïe (and its plural) is the multi-meaninged "ouïes". Use it when you want to... Read more →


Rummaging through the past: the verb farfouiller in action at an old postcard stand in Antibes. Don't miss the sound clip that accompanies each edition--see the "Audio" section below... TeLL me More French -- Used everyday in more than 10,000 academic institutions. farfouiller (far-fooy-ay) verb to feel, fumble about, grope around; to rummage, dig about, search Farfouiller... Read more →


A santon maker in Marseilles French Before You Know It Deluxe--quickly learn to understand and speak 1,000 common French words and 250 essential phrases. la chandelle (shahn-del) noun, feminine candle French proverb: Le jeu n'en vaut pas la chandelle. The game is not worth the candle. All good things must come to an end and in Provence... Read more →


Hâte-toi de bien vivre... Make haste to live and consider each day a life... Seneca Envie (ahn-vee) noun, feminine longing . I was staring at the empty branches of our dogwood tree, willing its wooden limbs to quiver and send forth so many rosy blossoms, when I recognized a vague longing coming from within. I stood up... Read more →