Thursday, January 29, 2004

French Word of the Day January 2004

Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 7:22 AM

(un) café = a coffee / a coffee shop

Garçon, un café! = Waiter, one coffee!

And in related news...

Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2004 7:19 AM

Avril = April

Also the name of a French musician:

known as just "Avril" in France, "Fred Avril" in the US. Trip-hoppy, ambient electronic music, and my recommendation of the day.

Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 7:32 AM

rien = nothing

Qu'est-ce qu'il y a ? Rien = What's wrong ? Nothing

Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 7:13 AM

(une) binouze (bee - nooz) = slang for beer

Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 10:14 PM

saquer (sa - khay) = ... I don't even know, really. It is used mostly in:

se faire saquer = to receive a bad grade

ne pas pouvoir saquer quelqu'un = not to stand someone

E.g. je ne peux pas le saquer = I can't stand him

je me suis fait saquer par le professeur = the teacher gave me a bad grade

Sent: Friday, January 23, 2004 8:24 AM

crade (krah - deh) = dirty, filthy

crados (krah - doss) = slang for crade

Les crados is the French name for the Garbage Pail Kids. Found that out recently. Some things are universal.


Sent: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 5:19 PM

(un) singe = a monkey

Happy Chinese New Year!

Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 7:08 PM

la vie est belle = it's a beautiful life

Besides being an overly optimistic blanket statement, it is also:

· the French title of Frank Capra's It's a wonderful life

· the French title of Roberto Benigni's La vita è bella (Life is beautiful)

· the title of an anti-war song on Mc Solaar's last album Mach 6

and possibly more...

Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 7:26 AM

neuneu (pronounced "neh - neh") : can be either an adjective or a noun. Dummy, stupid - but not as insulting as these two

Tu n'es pas un peu neuneu, toi ? = Aren't you a little stupid ? (in a sorta affectionate way... sorta)

Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 8:52 AM

un, deux... trois (three)

faire quelquechose en trois coups de cuiller à pot = to do something in no time ("to do something in three spoonfuls") - also acceptable: "faire quelquechose en deux coups de cuiller à pot "

être haut comme trois pommes = to be small ("as tall as three apples")

jamais deux sans trois = bad luck comes in threes ("never two without three")

Sent: Friday, January 16, 2004 8:34 AM

(un) gamin = a kid

Gamin! Gamin! Reviens, c'était pour rire! = Kiddo! Kiddo! Come back, I was kidding!

(Benoît Poelvoorde chasing down a kid after brutally murdering his parents in front of him, in the excellent C'est arrivé près de chez vous [Man bites dog])

Sent: Thursday, January 15, 2004 8:41 AM

No word today, but a correction. A while back, I mentioned the delicious Haribo candies (Dragibus, Fraises Tagada, Chamallows...) as if they were French. A recent and thorough investigation uncovered the truth: the company was originally created in Germany. I apologize for this inexcusable mistake, and direct you to the excellent Haribo website for more information on the subject and amazing games:

(and now back to eating that 5-pound bag of Dragibus)

Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 8:18 AM

on ne change pas une équipe qui gagne = a winning team shouldn't be changed

une fine équipe = a fine bunch

Sent: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 8:00 AM

Subject: RE: French artist of the day

A little more on Mickey 3D, young duo of French artists who became famous by performing all over France. After being the opening act for Louise Attaque, they became famous enough to be offered a record deal and the opportunity to write a song for Indochine's much anticipated comeback album (J'ai demandé à la lune). Their simple (simplistic?) music and lyrics make their songs sound like nursery rhymes, but often carry a dark vision of the world.

Sent: Monday, January 12, 2004 8:14 AM

(une) fourmi = ant

On pourrait pourtant tous être amis, un peu comme les fourmis
Mais les gens sont comme toi, toujours ils se méfient
Alors la guerre, ça m'étonne pas

Mickey 3D - Ca m'étonne pas

(And yet we could all be friends, a little like ants

But people are like you, they don't have any trust

So war doesn't surprise me)

Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 3:40 AM

deux = two

(tous/toutes) les deux = both

E.g. je les ai vus tous les deux hier = I saw them both yesterday

Lots of expressions with deux:

faire deux poids, deux mesures = to have double standards

un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras (proverb) = a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

en deux temps, trois mouvements = very quickly

la couture et moi, ça fait deux = I know nothing about sewing

il est menteur comme pas deux = he's the world's biggest liar

aussi vrai que deux et deux font quatre = as true as I'm standing here

ni une ni deux = right away

Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 4:00 AM

Today, a pun for soccer geeks:

On a eu le Père-Noël, maintenant on a la Mère Cato

Which is a little bit clearer if you know that mercato (Italian for market) is the only time during the regular season when soccer teams are allowed to trade players. It is a 30-day period after new year.

Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 3:33 AM

futé(e) = sharp, clever

fute-fute and fufute are great alternatives, especially when using the negative form:

il n'est pas très fute-fute = he's not very bright

ça n'est pas fufute = it's not very clever

Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 3:38 AM

ringard / ringarde = out of date

E.g. Trop ringardes tes fringues ! (slang) = Your clothes are so out of style !

Sent: Monday, January 05, 2004 6:05 AM

C'est parti mon kiki !! = Here we go !!

"kiki" supposedly means "friend" in that sentence.