Voting time is just around the corner in France...

French With Michel Thomas: "The Fastest Way to Learn a Language"

élire (ay-leer) verb
  to elect, choose

Les Américains éliront-ils une femme à la présidence?
Will Americans elect a woman for the presidency?

            --headline for the journal Tolerance.ca

Listening to French news I learn that French soccer legend Michel Platini is running for president.

Well, why not? I think, recalling a motley bunch of candidates in past U.S. elections, including former stars of the big screen and even muscle-bound athletes. Platini is as good a pick as any, I decide, and perhaps in five years* time even Amélie* or Gérard* will be in the running for president of France and, well, what of it?

Why not have a beloved footballeur,* a respected sports figure for prez? At 51 years young, Michel Platini (who is already a knight, having been named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour) is a shoo-in for President of France.

Perhaps Platini is truly the knight in shining armor, arriving in the midst of French elections where candidates' bloopers and blunders are...bountiful (this latest boo-boo from Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal--after she answered "one" when questioned on the number of French nuclear submarines--only to change her mind, "Ah yes, seven" [there are, apparently, four]...). As for the charismatic, right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy ("Sarko")--is it true he doesn't drink French wine? Gaffe city.

"Platini for prez...Pourquoi pas!" Why not? I say to my husband, still amazed at just how fast presidential candidates arrive onto the political scene these days and, it appears, win....

As Jean-Marc joins me in front of the tube to hear Platini's emotional acceptance speech, he clears up my misunderstanding. "Non, chérie,* not President of the French Republic," he clarifies, "President of European Soccer".

Reference: five years = duration of French presidency; Amélie = Amélie Mauresmo, tennis champion; Gérard = Gérard Depardieu, French actor; footballeur (footballeuse) = soccer player; non, cherie = no, dear

Audio Clip: Download elire.wav
Listen to my daughter, Jackie, pronounce today's word in the following sentence:
Les Américains éliront-ils une femme à la présidence?
Terms & Expressions:
élire domicile = to take up residence
In Books & Gifts:
I'll Always Have Paris (Paperback) by Art Buchwald

La Rochere Bee Tumbler

Marie Claire Idees (magazine, in French) for a wide range of crafts and projects.

In music: Bonsoir My Love by Josephine Baker

Verb Conjugation: Élire
j'élis, tu élis, il/elle élit, nous élisons, vous élisez, ils/elles élisent; past participle = élu

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety