pétillant
aisselle

pente

Pente_3
Apartment airing in a little French town.

Around the picnic table on Sunday, my French guests talked up the following book and raved about its author. Check out "Stupeur Et Tremblements" in French or order it in English.

une pente (pahnt) noun, feminine
  1. slope (of a roof), incline
  2. tendency

La vie offre toujours deux pentes. On grimpe ou on se laisse glisser.
Life always offers two slopes. We climb or we let ourselves slide
.--Pierre Hebey

A Day in a French Life...
Did I mention my children are on vacation? Things are a little "en pente," or sloping, around here and I feel I am sliding, trying to keep up with word weaving and kid wrestling. The two pint-sized giggle machines stop by my keyboard every five minutes with: "Can you fix Elodie's hair?" (that would be Jackie, handing me a doll with knotted locks) or "My soccer ball is stuck on the roof. Tu peux me le chercher?--Can you get it for me?" (that would be Max, aiming high).

Yesterday I took a break from the giglet and the ball-toting Gaul to snap a few more photos of our village. I hope you like today's shot, with its mingle-mangle of old stones and inconsistent patterns.

By the way, Max and Jackie--who are leaning in so close to this keyboard that the keys are now coated with a humid layer of kid breath--would like to add "Salut!"

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References: Salut! = Hi!

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French Pronunciation
Hear my daughter, Jackie, pronounce the French word "pente": Download pente.wav
Listen to my daughter's sentence: "Cette pente est très raide." (This slope is very steep.) Download pente4.wav

French synonyms for "pente":
la descente, une inclinaison, un escarpement, la montée, la côte

Expressions:
en pente = sloping, inclined
avoir la dalle en pente = to love to drink; to be a boozer
descendre la pente = to let oneself slide (morally)
être sur une mauvaise pente (also: filer un mauvais coton) = to be going downhill
remonter la pente = to get back on one's feet again
suivre sa pente = to follow one's (natural) bent or inclination
être sur la pente glissante (or) savonneuse = to be on the skids; to be on a slippery slope
avoir la gorge en pente (an expression used in Haiti) = to have a great capacity for drink (also used to describe someone who is really thirsty)

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Language learning books and CDs:
Mastering French Vocabulary : A Thematic Approach
Rosetta Stone French (CD-ROM) With this award-winning method used by NASA and the Peace Corps, you'll learn the way children do -- by associating words and phrases with the world around you.

Also in books: How To Pronounce French, German, and Italian Wine Names

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