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November 2008
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Entries from December 2008

The closest thing to a sleigh that I could find in my photo album. Photo taken in the Piedmont. Bestseller in French language instruction: SmartFrench empreinte de pas (soundfile follows...) noun, feminine : footprint Audio File: Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce the French word for footprint: Download Une empreinte de pas . Download Une empreinte de... Read more →

Our friend, témoin, avocat, son's parrain, and more, in today's story. (The cute guy is Matthieu, my husband's godson). avocat (avo-kah) noun 1. avocado 2. lawyer, barrister, counsel The feminine of avocat is "avocate" Do you have a funny, language-learning (or other) story about an avocado/avocat or lawyer/légume? Wait a minute; an avocado is a fruit... Never... Read more →

I don't know why I want "straight" to always be the rule when, in fact, I often admire what is off-center. Read on, in today's story column. règle (regl) noun, feminine : rule, ruler; rule (of conduct, grammar); (règles = menstruation) Audio File: listen to today's word and hear Jean-Marc read a passage (that is: (a list... Read more →

That's my daughter, freshly-picked flowers hidden behind her back, trailing behind on a school field trip back in 2005. The goal of the "sortie" was to learn how to use a compass. Looks like our girl will need that information these days, in order to navigate the range of information, sometimes conflicting... that she receives from her... Read more →

The scene was so classic that I wondered, as I snuck up to snap the photo, if it wasn't staged! Notice the underwear: one per "hook"... Photo taken in Nyons (just next to a chichi restaurant. Well, that oughta show 'em!). de guingois (deuh-gehn-gwah) adverbial and adjectival phrase : askew, lop-sided marcher de guingois = to walk... Read more →

What does a mom do when her kids use the M-word (see today's story)? Does she look to an old French billboard for the answer? (This one, an ad for "La Roue" savon--see the old red wheel in the background?--seems to suggest a good old-fashioned washing-out-of-the-mouth with soap! SAPERLIPOPETTE (saah-pair-lee-poh-pet) exclamation : gadzooks! goodness me! Update: my... Read more →

Those lime-green leaves are just itching to tickle that lemon of a Citroën. Guili-Guili! Gallic Gazettes for you today! Ticklish? Vous craignez les chatouilles (fear the tickles...)? Then you'd better go and hide under the bed, with the dust bunnies, lest our furled Francophile fingers find you (!) and unleash a string of snorts from your inner... Read more →

Oh, those French love their art. They tuck it into every nook and cranny. Photo of Madonna and Child in a corner niche in the village of Villedieu (Vaucluse). CONTRETEMPS (con-truh-tahn) noun, masculine : mishap, mischance : hitch; delay, inconvenience : syncopation (music) ... and see story, below, about "a shifting of the normal accent, usually by... Read more →

A bakery in Villedieu (Vaucluse). Don't you love it when the name ("Fournier") ressembles the trade ("boulangerie")? Proof that destiny ne se trompe pas. Do you have any examples of names that match the métier? Thanks for leaving your examples in the comments box. SE TROMPER (suh-trom-pay) reflexive verb : to be mistaken, to be wrong Examples... Read more →

"Ignorance is Bliss" in the olive capital of Nyons. TO BE HONEST, I don't know how to spell today's French "word," or gesture, rather. You'll just have to press your lips together tightly, then force a gust of breath through them. If a "pppp" sound didn't come out, then you've been too prude (and ended up with... Read more →