I made a lovely acquaintance. Don't miss her in today's story. Picture taken in Morocco, where my mother-in-law once lived and where we celebrated her 70th (in 2011). la conscience multiculturelle : cross-cultural awareness Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav Comment développer la conscience multiculturelle et le respect des autres régions du monde? How... Read more →

Miam-miam is French for yum. Recently, Jean-Marc bought some used wine-making equipment. The farmer's wife who sold it to him threw in a couple of antique wine-presses, some old wine barrels, and even a bucket of pomegranates! (Have you ever eaten one? Inside, there's a bunch of ruby red fruit, the size of a tooth. The French... Read more →

Wish I'd gotten a picture of the hero in today's story. Meantime, here's a lovable stand-in. Photo taken somewhere in the Vaucluse... Provence Villa Rental Luberon luxury home; 4 bedrooms, 5 baths; gourmet kitchen, covered terrace & pool. Views of Roussillon. Click here. le locataire (lo h-ka-tair) : tenant Audio File: Listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or... Read more →

La Grotte - the restaurant at the end of Marseilles located dans les Calanques de Callelongue (les Goudes) un kleptomane (klepto-man) : kleptomaniac Audio File: Listen to the sentence below: Download MP3 or Wav file Un kleptomane ne peut se retenir de dérober des objets, la plupart du temps sans aucune valeur. A kleptomaniac cannot help himself... Read more →

Thank you for the encouraging feedback you sent in, following Monday's video! I learned so much from your comments and am reminded to just keep on keeping on! If you haven't yet, check out our Youtube channel--and look for the "subscribe" button! Today's picture was taken in the Queyras valley, near the French Hautes-Alpes. douze (dooz) :... Read more →

I couldn't find a picture to illustrate today's word (oreiller) so how about a snapshot of a favorite summertime libation? Also a great way to recycle these Domaine Rouge-Bleu wine bottles! oreiller (oh-ray-yay) noun, masculine : pillow prendre conseil de son oreiller = to sleep on it (re decision making) une taie d'oreiller = pillowcase une bataille... Read more →

Decking the French halls in the town of Barcelonnette. bouée de sauvetage (booay deuh sove tazh) : lifebelt, lifeline, lifebuoy A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse I sit and I listen. I try to ignore the temptation to go upstairs and work on the computer. Email can wait. So can senseless surfing. This is... Read more →

Stair-painting in Provence = creativity in the Midi. Share some arm-chair travel with a friend or a family member: send someone a free subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here. troisième age (twa zee em ahze) : senior citizen Sound File: (a little behind the scenes clip today in which I demonstrate to Jean-Marc how I want him... Read more →

Sicilian photos coming soon. For now, here's our twelve-headed tournesol (around twelve flowertêtes per plant)! And never miss a photo or French word: Sign up for FREE email delivery and receive this edition in your email box. chut (shoot) : shhh! Sound file and Example Sentence: Listen to my mother-in-law pronounce today's word: Download MP3 or Wav... Read more →


"Livraison Gratuite!" The sign reads "Free Delivery". Photo of pizza parlor taken in Marseilles' 8th arrondissement. Sabot (sah-bo) noun, masculine wooden shoe, clog, sabot In the eighth arrondissement of Marseilles, at my mother-in-law's apartment complex, Jean-Marc and I climb several flights of stairs until we reach the last two doors in the building. One of the portes... Read more →

Original text ...................................... A Day in a French Life... My mother-in-law and I are on the back porch, sipping Diet Coke and eating pistachios, watching wildflowers spring up all over the lawn. Michèle-France is wearing her son's T-shirt; the words on the front read "Senor Frogs." Under the title, there is a cartoon of four grenouilles:* two of the frogs have on sunglasses, the other two, sun hats--all four frogs are in striped swim trunks. My belle-mère's* pearl necklace is just peeking out of the t-shirt's neckline; the combination frog t-shirt-with-pearl accoutrement makes an amusing, if unintended, fashion statement. Earlier I had picked up my belle-mère at the train station where she arrived from Marseilles. Pulling up to the curb, I noticed her short hair, which had been freshly colored a striking auburn; around her neck, a bright orange chiffon scarf. Her large Jackie O. sunglasses hid her pretty smile lines, but the coquet* gap between her two front teeth revealed itself when the corners of her lips turned up, "Salut!"* she sang, getting into my car. She had on her signature coral-toned lipstick and when I reached to kiss her cheek, I was engulfed in an Opium cloud of her favorite perfume. On her black cardigan she wore the brooch I brought her from my last trip to Arizona: a silver libellule,* the wings and cigar-like body were inlaid with mother-of-pearl and coral. Above the dragonfly brooch, she wore an heirloom cameo pin. "You look so chic!" I tell her. "Chic, c'est ça" she says, patting her stomach, reminding me of her battle with le poids.* Back home on the porch we tchatche* about tout et rien* including how a certain tante* is in good health--far from reaching "le bout du rouleau," or "the end of the roll". Il fait chaud ici--It's hot here," she says, pinching her wool pants. "I don't know what to wear this time of year." I sit facing her in a tank top and cropped jeans, sipping my Coca Light.* "I know what you mean." "Nice shoes..." she says. "Oh, I've had these for... EVER," I reply, giving a typical belle-fille* response to her belle-mère, though it is entirely unnecessary in view of our unusual daughter-in-law/mother-in-law complicité.* "My shoes," she looks down turning two feet outward, "I've had since le Roy d'Espagne." "Oh la la!" I say, and we both laugh. (Le Roy d'Espagne is the neighborhood in Marseilles where she lived when I met her son, almost 15 years ago.) Suddenly those shoes represent so much to me: a lifetime or two (my son's and daughter's, combined), the duration of our belle-mère/belle-fille friendship, and the number of years that I've known my husband. The patent-leather loafers with the muted square buckle had appeared at marriages, baptisms, funerals, hospital stays and innumerable get-togethers in between. I'd seen the shoes dulled, I'd seen them tattered, I'd seen them buffed, I'd seen them battered--effectively reflecting the mood of the epoch in question. But today. Oh, today. Qu'est-ce qu'elles brillent--How they shine! Glossary of Read more →