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un poireau

un écart

My daughter Jackie turned seven ("l'âge de raison") on Saturday. She is back today with her column "Thoughts of a Little Girl from France" (in French and English).

un écart (ay-kar) noun, masculine
1. distance apart, gap

Expressions:
faire le grand écart = to do the splits
faire un écart = to step aside
un écart de conduite = a lapse of conduct, misdemeanor
écarts de jeunesse = youthful indiscretions
un écart de l'imagination = a flight of the imagination
se tenir à l'écart = to keep oneself apart, aloof
habiter à l'écart = to live in a remote, lonely area
un écart d'âge = an age gap
un grand écart = (fig) a balancing act
un écart de langage = a rude or offensive word or phrase = a "gap" in language

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French Proverb:

Ecarte-toi des lieux où l'on parle ou trop fort ou trop bas.
Distance yourself from places where people talk too loud or too low.

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Pensées d'une Petite Fille de France

"Le Grand Ecart"

L'autre jour dans la salle de gym on a fait la danse et on a fait le grand écart.

Pour faire le grand écart il faut toucher par terre tout la longueur des jambes. Ce n'est pas du tout facile car ça tire dans les jambes.

Dans mon cours de danse, il y a Juliette qui le fait bien le grand écart mais aussi Bérénice. Pour certains, ce n'est pas évident de faire le grand écart. (Par exemple, pour moi et pour Cassandra, ce n'est pas encore ça.)

* * * In English * * *

The other day in the gym we danced and did the splits.

To do the splits, the length of one's legs must touch the ground. It isn't easy at all because it really pulls (with)in the legs.

In my dance class, there's Juliette who does the splits well, but so does Bérénice. For certain people, it isn't easy to do the splits. (For example, for me and for Cassandra. We're not there yet.)

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Post note: Jackie became flustered while dictating today's story to me. Apparently my French pronunciation, for even the simplest of phrases, is ultra null. The following scene took place:

Me: (reading back story, and the phrase 'un grand écart') "Ewn grahnd ay kart"
Jackie: "Ça veut rien dire!" (that doesn't mean anything!) "It's 'uhn grah taykar'!"
Me (re-reading story) "Ewn grahnd ay kart"
Jackie: "Oh la la!!!! C'est "uhn grah TAYKAR!"

Read more about my daughter, Jackie, in the book Words in a French Life

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