It's April Fish Day in France and Smokey's hunting for a live one... Smokey Dear, you still don't get it, do you? But then, I don't understand how the French got "fish" from "fool" either ("fool ish"?). . Poisson d'Avril! (pwah soh(n) dah vreel) : April Fool! Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the words in the... Read more →

Marseilles is the setting for today's story. (Photo taken in the fishing village of Callelongue). Who hasn't had the fantasy of leaving his or her old life behind to start over? What would happen if you gave up your job, city, state, and routine to move to another part of the world? Critically acclaimed writer and aspiring... Read more →


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. All good things must come to an end and in Provence... Read more →

un filleul

(photo of my husband, Jean-Marc, and his filleul, Matthieu) Eazyspeak French teaches 800 vocabulary words; quickly extends conversational skills un filleul (fee-yul) noun, masculine 1. godson, godchild Also: filleule = goddaughter filleul de guerre = adoptive son (in wartime) Mon filleul va bientôt partir, ainsi la guerre va devenir plus personnelle pour moi. My godson is going... Read more →

le muguet (mew-geh) n.m. : lily of the valley Question: So what are the French doing today, the first of May, besides la grasse matinée? Answer: Waving snow-white porte-bonheurs through the air and wishing each other good luck! Along little cobblestone paths in the French hinterland, and at noisy intersections across the city, French vendeurs de muguet... Read more →

le toit

Les toits / Rooftops Overheard in the car on the way to school this morning: "Eh, Jackie--attention à ton dos aujourd'hui!" (Hey, Jackie--watch your back today!) I don't think 9-year-old Max needs to worry about his little sister. Jackie got up early to cut out and color her paper fish... now all she needs is a kilometer... Read more →

un voile

Jean-Marc and I celebrated ten years of marriage this past weekend. Don't miss today's story about how the bride almost missed her wedding. voile(vwal) noun, feminine 1. a sail voile (vwal) noun, masculine 1. a veil Also: un voile de mariée = a bride's veil un bateau à voiles = a sailing boat un voile noir =... Read more →

un rang

un rang (rah or rahng--silent n & g) noun, masculine 1. a row; line 2. a country road 3. station 4. rank Also: un rang de perles = a string or rope of pearls deux (trois, quatre...) jours de rang = two (three, four...) days in a row .......................... Expressions: en rangs serrés = in close order... Read more →


We spent yesterday grape harvesting at Uncle Jean-Claude's vineyard in Chateauneuf du Pape. More about that demain! la vendange (von-donzh) noun, feminine 1. grape harvest; grapes (harvested); grape crop vendanger (von-don-zhay) verb 1. to pick or to harvest grapes And: une vendangeuse, un vendangeur = a grape picker une bonne vendange = a good vintage les vendanges... Read more →