Wednesday, May 31, 2006
A message on a shopfront vitre in the town of Sommières.
The book "Mots D'Heures" will delight readers with its Frenchified, phonetic high jinks. See "Books/Livres" at Something French.
la vitre (veetre) noun, feminine
pane, windowpane; window; glass
Il ne faut pas avoir plus d'enfants que vous n'avez de vitres à votre
voiture. Never have more children than you have car windows. --Erma Bombeck
A Day in a French Life...
"Can you please come here and record a word for me?" I shout to the man one door down. My husband appears, clears his throat, and waits for me to press the enregistrer* button.
"Kwee-zee-nay,"* he enunciates, after blowing into the microphone to scatter any poussière.*
"Good. One more time, please."
"Kwee-zee-nay," he repeats.
"The second one is better," Jean-Marc says, as he always does.
My husband lingers a bit longer than usual, then clears his throat once more. "C'est mieux comme ça les vitres?" Are the windows better like that? he says, fishing for a compliment."
I look up from the keyboard to the portes-fenêtres* beyond my desk. The fine couche* of cypress pollen is gone. Without the dull yellow screen, I learn that the leaves of the dogwood tree are not brown, but garnet red beneath the morning sun, and the grass no longer looks burnt, but is lush and green in many areas.
Jean-Marc looks at me expectantly.
"So clean I keep bumping my head into them as I walk out," I say, of the vitres,* buttering up the window washer for another sound bite.
"Veetre,"* he obliges, after blowing into the mike.
References: enregistrer = to record; kwee-zee-nay (pronunciation for "cuisiner" = to cook); la poussière (f) = dust; la porte-fenêtre (f) = French window/door; la couche (f) = layer; la vitre (f) = window; veetre (pronunciation for "vitre")
Listen: hear Jean-Marc pronounce the word vitre: Download vitre.wav
une vitre blindée = bullet-proof window
le verre à vitre = window glass
cogner contre (sur) une vitre = to bump into a window
dégivrer les vitres = to defrost the windows
nettoyer les vitres = to wash the windows
A Message from Kristi: Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.
Ways to contribute:
1. Paypal or credit card
2. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety