languir

Santons, outdoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com
A brocanteur and his santons in the town of Suze-la-Rousse.

languir (lahn-geer) verb

    : to yearn
.

Verb conjugation:
je languis, tu languis, il/elle languit, nous languissons, vous languissez, ils/elles languissent => past participle : langui

Audio File & Example Sentence: Listen to this sentence: Download Wav file or Download MP3

 

Je languis de vous voir à Paris! Venez nombreux -- amenez des amis!
I long to see you in Paris. Everyone's welcome -- bring your friends!


A Day in a French Life...

by Kristin Espinasse

Such characters in the town of Suze La Rousse! I look at all of the lively locals who I had missed when visiting the village last fall, with my mom (known to many of you as "Jules"). Mom and I had hoped to spend more time in the village, but the chill in the air sent us quickly back to the warmth of our car, with the promise to return when the weather was warmer.

C'est un été indien! Alone now, I listen to the French tchatche* about the extended summer that we are enjoying, as I stroll solo through the central parking lot, where a bustling brocante* is well underway. Noticing a basket of santons on the ground, I stop to talk to the brocanteur,* who, I soon discover, has as much character as all three of the santons that he is now holding.

Santons, outdoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

The brocanteur tells me he is half Portugais* half Français* and I can see that he is wholly one of a kind. With his chiseled cheekbones, his salt and pepper hair swept back into a ponytail, and his piercing black eyes... He would be the perfect character study, I muse, for any aspiring novelist... 

He might be a villian... or a viscount
A policeman
... or a prisoner
A hick... or a high-society socialite
A sailor
... or a swordsman
A male model
... or a monk
A French farmer... or a Finnish funambulist*...

Oh, the possibilities. Yes, he is the perfect character study, I muse, for a forlorn fiction writer... With that, I sigh, and begin to negotiate a price.

"The santons start at 15 euros each," the brocanteur informs me.

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I point to my camera with its telephoto lens--hoping to give him the impression that I am a professional.
"I am here to take photos, not to shop," I begin my argument, "...but if you'll take twenty-five euros..." I bargain, "for these two santons and... and... for that pichet* over there," I add, (quickly pointing to anything to seal what I calculate to be a good deal...) "then you have yourself a sale!"

With that, the character of my unwritten book yields--as any one of his alter egos might while facing a feisty female-- and wraps the old santons, in newspaper, and the jug, in papier à bulles,* and I, the aching to be inspired novelist wrap my hands around my camera lens to capture my hero on film... if not in words.

Santons, oudoor flea market, brocante, and grenier dans la rue in Suze la Rousse (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

To respond to this story, click here and access the comment box. I love to receive your feedback, even if I don't always have the chance to respond. Mille mercis!

To see the photos that I took in Suze la Rousse -- please subscribe to my private photo blog. You'll discover the villages that surround my own (Camaret, Tulette, Serignan...) via a gallery of images for each village. You might also give a gift subscription to a friend -- for the perfect Francophile cadeau! Click here for more information.

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Gview Note: if you are planning on attending the American Library in Paris event this Wednesday, Oct 7th, then please be sure to let me know so that I might look for you! Mille mercis to Ann Mah for organizing this event!

~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~
tchatche
(tchatcher) = to chat; la brocante (f) = second-hand goods, fleamarket; le brocanteur (m) = seller at a fleamarket; portugais = Portugeuse; français = French; le funambulist = tightrope walker; le pichet = pitcher; le papier (m) à bulles = plastic wrap with "bubbles"

 

golden retriever puppies, identification ID tags, in France (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

Puppy Update!: Two of the puppies have left the nest! The happy "parents" are Christian, Marie, and Marie's son, Thomas. (Marie and Christian are cousins.) Marie has a Westie named "Cesar" and Christian has a golden retriever, "Sally". Wish them all the best!

Shopping:

Tune Up Your French :
This book is structured around numerous key areas for improvement, covering everything from tricky grammatical structures to gestures, slang, and humor.

Map of French Cheese (Fromages de France) on Printed Towel:
Printed with a map showing France through their famous cheeses

Staub Heart Shaped Fondue Set : Feast like the French!
(for cheese or chocolate )

Globe-Toddlers Adventures in France!
With 55+ words in French and English, Adventures in France DVD will help your child's vocabulary expand.

Provendi Revolving Soaps
The practical and very neat Provendi revolving soap fixtures have adorned public school washrooms throughout France for years.

Thank you so much for reading these stories and for the time you've set aside to learn a French word or two. If you feel you have learned more than a little vocabulary, here, and would like to reward my efforts please know that a one-time contribution is not only a great support, but it is vivement apprécié. Simply use the quick links below (they'll take you to PayPal). Merci beaucoup! 
♥ Send $10    ♥ Send $25    ♥ Send another amount


chandelle

Santonpainter
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.



                                                        Column_39
All good things must come to an end and in Provence santons* are no exception. On February 2nd, at Candelmas* (what the French call "Chandeleur") the meticulously arranged crèche is finally taken down and the colorful santon figurines are carefully put away. That's when the party begins--for February 2nd is also known as Crêpe Day!

Regretfully, our family didn't have any hand-painted santons to store, but boy did we put away the pancakes! When Jean-Marc couldn't find his mother's crêpes recipe, he rolled up his sleeves and made the batter "au pif"*--mixing together a bunch of flour, several eggs, a drenching of milk, a dash of salt, a swirl of warmed butter and a few tears of water.

Meanwhile, I prepared the fillings tray: the salty and sugary additions that would top off the delicate crêpes. The salé* selections included gruyère, ham, tarama,* smoked salmon and hummus. As for the dessert crêpes, we had sugar for sprinkling and other sweet spreadables including fig jam, caramel sauce, chestnut purée, Nutella and Aunt Marie-Françoise's lavender honey. Missing were the whipped cream and my mother-in-law who, if she were here (instead in Marseilles preparing sarrasin* crêpes for her neighbor) would've loved a drop or two of lemon juice and a powdering of cinnamon to go with the sugar on her crêpes.

Jean-Marc had pre-cooked the crêpes for reheating at the dinner table, this, thanks to the handy dandy "crêpes party" machine (a Teflon coated unit with six mini pancake shaped warmers). Because I didn't see my husband grilling the cakes, I can't be sure if he remembered to flip the cakes with the right hand while holding a coin in the left (an old French "recipe" for prosperity (and good crops!!!).

Some say the golden, round crêpes are reminiscent of the sun and, therefore, the coming of printemps.* While our pancakes reminded me of those things, the golden disks had me thinking of back home where the Arizona desert is lit by the large chandelle* in the sky. I remembered my nieces and nephews, little southwestern marmots who were probably just coming out of a long slumber in time to celebrate Groundhog's day; up in time to enjoy my sister's homemade waffles (a sort of square shouldered, dimply-cheeked big brother to the dainty crêpe and, in my experience, all the better for hogging).

..................................................................................................
References: santon and candlemas (see "additional references", below); au pif = "by the nose" (by guesswork); salé = salty; tarama = a pink-colored, fish roe-based creamy spread; le sarrasin (m) = buckwheat; le printemps (m) = springtime; la chandelle (f) = candle

Additional references:
santon (from en.wikipedia.org): In Provence, in the South of France, nativity scenes are sometimes composed of hundreds of small painted clay figurines, called santons, representing all the traditional trades and professions of old Provence.

Candlemas (definition from Dictionary.com) : a church festival, February 2, in honor of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple and the purification of the Virgin Mary: candles are blessed on this day.


Audio Clip : Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French word for candle in today's proverb: Download Chandelle.wav
Le jeu n'en vaut pas la chandelle

Terms & Expressions:
chandelle de cire = wax candle
chandelle de veille = rush candle
chandelle de glace = icicle
moucher la chandelle = to snuff the candle
voir trente-six chandelles = to see stars
le dîner aux chandelles = dinner by candlelight
le jeu n'en vaut pas la chandelle = it's not worth it (not worth one's while)
brûler la chandelle par les deux bouts = to burn the candle at both ends
tenir la chandelle = (literally "to hold the candle") to play gooseberry, to be a third wheel

In Books & Gifts:
Gourmet 8-Person Raclette Grill -- Perfect for grilling and reheating crêpes!
Red flower french lavender candle and scented petals
Savon de Marseille/Marseille Soap with Pure Crushed Local Flowers
Watercolor Journeys: Create Your Own Travel Sketchbook

Thank you so much for reading these stories and for the time you've set aside to learn a French word or two. If you feel you have learned more than a little vocabulary, here, and would like to reward my efforts please know that a one-time contribution is not only a great support, but it is vivement apprécié. Simply use the quick links below (they'll take you to PayPal). Merci beaucoup! 
♥ Send $10    ♥ Send $25    ♥ Send another amount