Ann Mah is giving away three advance copies of her new book Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris. Enter to win here. haché (ha-shay) : minced, ground; chopped un steak haché = hamburger (the French say hamburger when the burger is served on a bun; sans bun... Read more →

A lesson in adjectives: windows are "charmante", women are "canon". You wouldn't say a window is canon, but you could say a woman is charmante. Read on and learn about the French art of complimenting. Photo taken this week in Orange (Vaucluse). canon [kah noh(n)] : gorgeous There are other senses of the word.. for today we'll... Read more →

Never miss a word of photo: get French Word-A-Day delivered by email, here. Pictured: our daughter, Jackie, at the écurie, where today's story takes place... By the way, is anybody else as terrified by horses as I am? zone de confort (zown deuh kohn fohr) : comfort zone . Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the following... Read more →

The seaside town of Agay, near Fréjus and just east of St-Raphael. gaver (gah-vay) verb 1. to force-feed; to fill up (with) ...and in English there is the noun "gavage" (gah-vazh): a feeding for someone who will not or cannot eat. Expressions and Related Terms: en avoir jusqu'au gaviot = to be stuffed, to have eaten too... Read more →


Original Text: They don't do Doggy Bags in la France. Since my husband first learned about "take home," he practices it when and where he can, delighted by the economics of it all. In 1990, in Aix-en-Provence, a plate of egg rolls separated me from my future mari.* Egg rolls in France are different from those in the States; here, Asian restaurants serve them with sprigs of mint and leaves of lettuce in which to roll them. "Les Nems," as they are called, are our favorite entrée,* so we usually order so many that by the time the main course arrives we are full. At the end of our meal we had leftovers. Jean-Marc asked the waitress if she might wrap them up. The waitress returned moments later with an empty plastic tub which, judging from the label, had formerly held pistachio ice cream. She opened the container and slid the contents of the plates inside. I was sure she was shaking her head as if a bit irritated by the request. Walking down Aix's narrow and winding cobblestone streets after the meal, I asked Jean-Marc to please quit asking waiters to wrap up food. They just don't do that in France, I argued, and I feel awkward when the servers have to go scavenging for odd containers in order to accommodate us. "They are not Doggy Bag equipped here!" I gasped. As I drew in a second breath to elaborate my point, I walked right into a street beggar. Three sets of eyes bounced off each other; nobody said a word. Jean-Marc reached down and gave the homeless man the makeshift Doggy Bag, adding, "Bonsoir, monsieur." The strange pause ended and we walked on, one of us with her tail between her legs. ................................................................................................................ *References: le mari (m) = husband; entrée (f) = starter; Bonsoir, monsieur = Good evening, sir. Read more →


salut (sa-lew) exclamation 1. hello! [can also mean "bye bye!"] salut (noun, masculine) 1. greeting. 2. wave (of hand) 3. nod (of head) 4. salute (military) 5. safety 6. salvation Also: un port de salut = a haven of refuge L'Armée du Salut = the Salvation Army. .......................... Expressions: salut à tous! = hi everyone! faire son... Read more →