Friday, August 29, 2003

French Word of the Day August 2003

Sent: Friday, August 29, 2003 9:30 AM

Subject: RE: French album of the day

Laurent Garnier.

Besides a first name that clearly destined him to fame, this Parisian DJ became famous for his versatility (from house to techno to acid trance - whatever that means), world 'tours' (from Manchester to Detroit to Paris), and basically for being a techno pioneer.

Listen to Wake Up and Storm for a trip back in time, and some more recent work on the F Communicaiton label like Sound of the Big Babou.

And a wonderful Fête du travail to everyone.

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2003 9:16 AM

(la) confiance = trust / confidence

E.g.: j'ai confiance en toi or je te fais confiance = I trust you

il n'a pas confiance en lui = he doesn't have self-confidence

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 8:06 AM

(une) voile = a sail

(un) voilier = a sailboat

mettre les voiles = to sail away

E.g. Où est Larry ? Il a mis les voiles = Where's Larry ? He left.

Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 8:33 AM

creuser = to dig a hole


Il a creusé sa propre tombe = he dug his own grave

ça creuse! = It gives you an appetite!

Je me suis creusé la tête pour trouver une solution = I had to think really hard to find a solution

Sent: Monday, August 25, 2003 12:14 PM

(un) chouchou : someone's favorite person / friendly nickname derived from chou / elastic ring to tie up hair

E.g. C'est le chouchou du professeur = He's the teacher's pet

Ca va chouchou ? = How are you dear ?

Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 9:08 AM

Baby talk:

un nounours = a teddy bear (un ours en peluche)

un dada = a horsie (un cheval)

faire dodo = to sleep (dormir)

un doudou = a blanket (une couverture)

Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2003 7:52 AM

sucre = sugar

E.g. Tu veux du sucre dans ton cafe ? = Do you want sugar in your coffee ?

A nice expression: casser du sucre sur le dos de quelqu'un = to break sugar cubes on someone's back (literally) = to say bad things about someone behind his/her back

Il a cassé du sucre sur ton dos toute la soirée = he spent the evening saying nasty things about you

Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 8:25 AM

(un) répit = a break, a moment off

Mostly used negatively as in sans répit = relentlessly; continuously

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 8:44 AM

Subject: RE: French album of the day

The southern city of Marseille brings us more than Mediterranean hip-hop and corruption in soccer. The Troublemakers use samples from all kinds of musical influences to come up with a great mix CD, that at times reminds me of DJ Krush, Kruder & Dorfmeister or Thievery Corporation. If I could be anywhere right now, I'd be sitting in the sun with a glass of wine listening to that CD.

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2003 3:08 PM

à bloc = fully

E.g. la batterie est chargée à bloc = the battery is fully charged

Je suis à bloc! = I'm full of energy

Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2003 7:58 AM

être conscient (kon - see - an) de quelquechose = to be aware of something

E.g. Je suis parfaitement conscient du problème = I'm perfectly aware of the problem

Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 7:53 AM

(la) canicule = a heat wave

Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 8:42 AM

(une) dictée = a dictation

A word that brings back memories of either:

· nightmarish elementary school exercises

· La dictée de Pivot, named after linguist and author Bernard Pivot who created a televised national dictation. His dictée usually uses nothing but long-forgotten words, unknown grammar rules and their numerous exceptions. (Easy) sample:

"Pourquoi, aujourd'hui, l'esprit léger, ai-je envie de fariboles, de plaisanteries, de blagues, d'entourloupettes, et surtout pas de prêchi-prêcha? Et pourquoi, demain, la mine pâlotte, m'abîmerai-je dans les réflexions amères d'un billettiste lugubre?"

Sent: Monday, August 11, 2003 12:24 PM

(une) éphéméride = a block calendar. Lists the Saint of the day and various proverbs associated with the date. Most of these proverbs are traditional sayings that that predict the weather based on what the current day looks like.

E.g. "A la Saint Laurent, les perdreaux sont mouillés" = "On Saint Laurent's day, the partridge are wet"

"S'il pleut pour Sainte Radegonde, misère abonde sur le monde" = "If it rains on Saint Radegonde's day, misery is upon the world"

"Pour Saint Blaise de la neige jusqu'à la queue de l'âne" = "On Saint Blaise's day, snow up to the donkey's tail"

And countless other delightful words of wisdom. Some here

Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 8:34 AM

RTT: Réduction du Temps de Travail = Work Hours Reduction

RTT's are additional days off related to the new 35 hour work-week in France. It usually adds up to a few additional weeks of vacation every year.

Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 8:29 AM

en avoir marre de quelquechose = to be fed up with something

same as en avoir ras le bol de quelquechose

E.g. J'en ai marre de toi! = I'm fed up with you!

J'en ai ras le bol de tout ça! = I've had it up to here with all this!

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2003 8:29 AM

(un) coma = a coma

comateux / comateuse = comatose

comater = neologism that probably won't be found in dictionaries. Being in a state of semi-consciousness due to extreme fatigue.

E.g. j'ai comaté tout l'apres-midi = I was half-asleep all afternoon

PS: Answers to yesterday's quiz below

Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 8:41 AM

There is a tendency in France to translate movie titles to make them more understandable to the general public. Can you find out what these American movies are ?

Bruce tout-puissant [LM] : Bruce Almighty

Braquage à l'italienne [LM] : The Italian Job

La Blonde contre-attaque [LM] : Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde

Comment se faire larguer en 10 leçons [LM] : How to lose a guy in 10 days

Bronx à Bel-Air [LM] : Bringing down the house

Ecole paternelle [LM] : Daddy Day Care

Self control (yes, sometimes we change the title to another English title :-| [LM] Anger management

Sent: Monday, August 04, 2003 1:07 PM

un œil = an eye (plural: des yeux )

Lots of interesting expressions with œil as well:

mon œil! = my eye!

à l'œil = = for nothing, for free (e.g.: j'ai mangé à l'œil - I ate for free)

sauter aux yeux = to be obvious

faire quelquechose pour les beaux yeux de quelqu'un = to do something just to please someone

un clin d'œil = a wink

se fourrer le doigt dans l'œil (jusqu'au coude) = to be seriously mistaken (literally: to stick one's finger in the eye (up to the elbow))

(un) répit = a break, a moment off

Mostly used negatively as in sans répit = relentlessly; continuously

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 9:15 AM

As the French soccer season kicks off tonight, it's time to cover the essentials:

Le Championnat (de France) = the French soccer league. Also referred to as D1 (Première division) until last year when they changed the name to L1 (Ligue 1). Obviously, there's also an "L2" championship with teams trying to make it to the L1

La Coupe (de France) = the French Cup

La Coupe de la Ligue = Yet another Cup, but only between L1 and L2 teams, where the Coupe de France has teams from all levels