If you have followed this blog a while, you've seen this photo a million times. Jean-Marc and I were both scared to death about an imminent "for life" decision! Soon after this picture was taken, we got some very good marriage advice from Jean-Marc's grandmother. Twenty-three years later, it is still one of the best tips for... Read more →

Stationner was word of the day on November 11th, 2005. You can listen to a then 8-year-old Jackie in the soundfile for that post. Jackie is now 19 and finishing up her academic year in Aix-en-Provence, where we found her a studette in le centre ville. She returned for Easter break, to have her dents de sagesse... Read more →

The port of Bandol where our story takes place, among the old wooden fishing boats, or "les pointus".... TODAY'S WORD: boulot 1. job, work 2. chubby, plump metro, boulot, dodo = the daily grind, all work and no play EXAMPLE SENTENCE: Hear Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French Notre fille, Jackie, a trouvé un boulot en... Read more →

If today's story is frappadingue, be reassured that all returns to normal in the next post. And if this photo has nothing to do with the story--and the example sentence is a bit strange--I have no excuses, frappadingue or otherwise! TODAY'S WORD: frappadingue : crazy, wackadoo, wackadoodle, barking mad : moody (Frappadingue comes from "frappé" and "dingue"--each... Read more →

By the artist Cham (Count Amédée-Charles-Henry de Noé) (France, Paris, 1819-1879) — Image credit Lacma; artwork in the public domain Good news: Our Mas des Brun rosé has made it to Los Angeles just before Easter! You can find it at Larchmont Village Wine, 223 N. Larchmont Blvd. Phone: 323 856 8699 -- Call to make sure... Read more →

"My torrid night with a Corsican fisherman" (photo of Elle magazine). It is time to stir things up on this blog. What better way than to write a sizzler! Ready? Your job is to submit a French word. My job is to weave a story with your terms (but not on your terms!). On y va! Let's... Read more →

A popular French toothpaste, and iconic soap, the classic barrette -- check out the MADE IN FRANCE page, where you will find products Francophiles tote home in their suitcase. TODAY'S WORD: la mercerie : haberdashery (items for sewing, couture) , notions store : dry goods store Speak French on your next trip to France with 30 lessons... Read more →

This is our 3rd Vocabulary Roundup for the new year. By now you should be speaking like sailors! Ohé Ohé matelot... let's navigate through all the terms we learned in March. First, take two minutes to relax and listen to Jean-Marc read the list of French words: Click here to listen to the following list 1. L'Herbe... Read more →

Purée! Patricia Wells' latest book is out! Imagine you’re in France with a marvelous teacher… Wells calmly guides readers through essential techniques and offers illustrative “master recipes”. Order "My Master Recipes" here. (Review by Library Journal) TODAY'S WORD: purée! : mushy, mashed, creamy (peas, potatoes, spinach) : gee! whoah! oh! jeepers! EXAMPLE SENTENCE & AUDIO FILE Jean-Marc... Read more →

Mirrors and coffee tables and a paravent, or screen, made by my belle-soeur, who is a welder, and artisan, and un amour. Read on. 30-Day French will teach you everything you need to know to speak French on your next trip to France with 30 lessons based on real-life conversations. Try it out. TODAY'S WORD: le fer... Read more →

A controversial "Salon Mixte" in our area. Photo (c) Le Phare Barber Shop TODAY'S WORD : resserrer : to close, to tighten, to strengthen resserrer les cordons de la bourse = to spend less, to tighten the purse strings Hear it. Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following French sentence Notre ville resserre les cordons... Read more →

Jean-Marc turned the big five-oh! Here he is in his childhood stomping grounds: the calanque of Sormiou. You are seeing a nice view into Marseilles, from this angle. In the very background you can almost make out Notre-Dame de la Guard. TODAY'S WORD: Cinquante : Fifty Il a cinquante ans = He's 50 EXAMPLE SENTENCE & Sound... Read more →

Sugiton calanque--a.k.a. "Les culs nus". I asked friends if the term was okay to share. "Ça depende..." they answered, giving an acceptable, harmless alternative ("Cul-cul" pronounced "kew-kew"). Read on, in today's story, and thanks for sharing this post with a friend. TODAY'S WORD: la calanque : rocky inlet : cove : creek Try Mastering French Vocabulary with... Read more →

I searched my photo archives for a picture of "fumée" or "feu", when this popped up. (The lace symbolizes smoke and the little red mailbox, fire?) Ah well, it is much prettier than the scene that took place here last night.... (Photo taken in the town of Ramatuelle, France) TODAY'S WORD: la fumée : smoke panache de... Read more →

From planting the vines to pressing the grapes.... It is a great pleasure today for Jean-Marc to present to you his first Provence rosé. (photo of Jean-Marc and our son Max) TODAY'S WORD: LA FEUILLE : leaf; sheet EXAMPLE SENTENCE La vigne commence à donner un peu de fruit dès la troisième feuille (Ampelographie Française) The vine... Read more →

I just discovered a stash of photos taken in La Ciotat, the town in which we hope to move on July 29th. Let's use the photos to go on a stroll and discover this lively seaside town--while learning several more vocabulary words along the way. We begin with a sleepy minou and a rainbow truite (poisson? requin?),... Read more →

Today's folk remedy may also work for sea urchin spines. Ouch! Aïe aïe aïe! TODAY'S WORD: une écharde : splinter "un petit fragment qui pénètre dans la peau" (wordreference.com) "a small fragment that penetrates into the skin" Try Mastering French Vocabulary with Audio MP3 EXAMPLE SENTENCE & Sound File Listen to Jean-Marc read the following sentence. Click... Read more →

Our first bottles of Mas des Brun Rosé just made it to Houston. You can get some at our very good friends French Country Wines. Check with them as they could also ship, depending on where you are, to other cities. Cheers! TODAY'S WORD: la promesse d'achat : promise to buy Want to speak French fluently? 30-Day... Read more →

Allez, Hops! is a new "cave à bière" you don't want to miss when in Nice! Located at 15 Rue Défly, it's up the street from the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain Want to speak French fluently? 30-Day French will teach you everything you need to know to speak French on your next trip to France... Read more →

Making parsley pesto. In today's post I make another kind (without parsley): Pesto Manqué (find out what's missing...) TODAY'S WORD: au pifométre - or simply "au pif" : at a guess, by guess work, off the cuff, off the top of your head EXAMPLE SENTENCE: Au pif. Les grands chefs cuisinent au pif. By guesswork. Great cooks... Read more →