BON this and BONNE that: The fine art of well wishing in France!
Truffe + Hardest words to pronounce in French

Eternuer, Bis, & 90+ Ways You Know You're Becoming French

Frenchman, baguette and bike (c) Kristin Espinasse French-Word-A-Day

ENTER TO WIN: Tell us one way in which you know you're becoming French and enter to win today's prize at the end of this post! Click here to comment and bonne chance!

Meantime, Kristi says: I know I'm becoming French because....
I'm writing for two French magazines! France Today and, now, French Provincial--Australia's #1 magazine for French style and culture!

CharlotteThrilled to be joining the editorial team at French Provincial. This magazine, once only found in stores in Australie, is now available to all of us via digital subscription! You can buy any issue. (To see my back page column, select the issue pictured here :-) 


éternuer (ay-tehr-noo-ay)

    : to sneeze, or expirer bruyamment (breathe out loudly)

One way you know you're becoming French is when you answer "à vos souhaits" after somebody sneezes. (Listen to Jean-Marc read the example sentence): Download MP3 or Wav file

Eternuer. Atchoum! Quand on éternue en France, on dit: "A vos souhaits" ou "à tes souhaits."
To sneeze. Achoo! When someone sneezes in France, we say: "Bless you."

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

After telling you to complete the sentence, "You know you are becoming French when (fill in blank)," I began to worry that some of you might not know how to answer.

"But I've never been to France," you might say. "How can I be sure I'm becoming French when I've not been exposed to all the French culture that I'm dying to be exposed to!!

Never Fear! Pas de souci! I've been digging through my photo archives to come up with pictures to jog your mind. Do any of today's photos sing to you?

Here are those pictures, along with possible ways you may be becoming French and not even know it!

1) (Observe photo at opening of this edition: You know you're becoming French when you buy baguettes  (even frozen ones) at every chance.


      You know you are becoming French when...


2) The sight of French penmanship makes your heart do backflips: flip, flip, flip, flippity-dip!



3) You're an olive eater. Sure, the Greeks are olive eaters too, but you are a French olive eater! (Think little niçoise olives...)


4) You love bleu things, bis things, and boot things (or sabots like that yellow one, with the flowers in it).

To sidetrack a bit, and because you are hungry to learn all things French--I just know you are wondering about significance of "bis" when you see the little word written beside a house number. Well, let me tell you, after 21 years in France I learned this most significant detail last week.... when trying to find Beth and Guillermo's house.

"By the way," Beth had said in a second email, "I live at 9 rue (bla bla bla)."

But when Jean-Marc and I turned up at number 9, and a grand-mère opened the door in her little apron or tablier--a whoosh of pot-au-feu vapors streaming out beside her, I knew we were not chez Beth and Guillermo (who'd promised to make TAGINE!).

"Are you sure your friends aren't at 9 bis?" Grand-mère said....

Turns out they were! And the first thing I said to Beth after kissing her on both cheeks is: YOU ARE at 9 A! Not "9". NINE A!

So, dear readers, let's remember this one together, once and for all:

Bis = "A" when referring to a house number. The photo above, therefore, reads "65 A"

Chaise (c) Kristin Espinasse

5) You know you are becoming French when you are territorial....


The sign at the bus stop reads:  "Chaise à laisser sur place. SVP. Merci" (Don't touch this chair, please. It belongs here. Thanks!")

Cooking for the french

2007. Cooking for our first harvesters, back at Domaine Rouge-Bleu....

6) You know you are becoming French when your kitchen has little French touches here and there and everywhere 



YOUR TURN! Tell us one way in which you know you're becoming French. Click here and enter to win the book just below. 

Thanks go out to these sponsors: 
Provence Dreamin'? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Côte du Rhone.

Provence & French Alps Tours - Two regions of France in one affordable tour. Majestic mountains, Provence colors. Wine tastings, Michelin Star cuisine.

Kissing Bench
One more way you are becoming French: you love ferronnerie d'art or ironwork of art. Here, in our shopping section, is a cozy kissing bench for the garden. It is also a wonderful conversation piece. I'm looking for one of these in France, meantime, for US readers, you can get one at Amazon!
Ways becoming french
Last chance to tell us, right here, one way you know you're becoming French and enter to win the book 90 Ways You Know You're Becoming French. It is cute and fun, has attractive watercolor illustration and perspicacious cultural observations. It can be an amusing way to measure acquired "Frenchness" for those of us who have been studying French or living overseas for many years. You'll find an excerpt here.

Félicitations to Cynthia Lewis who has won the copy of this charming book.

If you enjoyed today's post, many thanks for sharing it with a classmate or a teacher or someone who... may... be...slowly... becoming French!

Thank you for considering a contribution today!
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