Zep sur Lemonde.fr

Posted on 30. Nov, 2015 by in Art

Courtesy of Gianfranco Goria at Flickr.com

Courtesy of Gianfranco Goria at Flickr.com

Les bandes dessineés sont très populaires dans le monde francophone. On dit même que les bandes dessineés sont uniquement Belges d’origine. 

Comics are very popular in the Francophone world. Some people even say that comics are uniquely Belgian. The list of French-language comics is indeed impressive: Tintin, Babar, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Asterix, Titeuf, and many more are originally French, Swiss, or Franco-Belgian.

Zep is one of the most well-known comics creator alive today. Originally from Switzerland, Zep created the character Titeuf in 1993. Titeuf is an eight year old boy with a cowlick, and readers follow around on his adventures. The name Titeuf either derives from the French expression tête d’oeuf (egg head) or the verlan form of petite fete (little party). As of 2008, Titeuf sold 1.8 copies per year and remains the best-selling comic in France.

Zep now has a blog on Lemonde.fr. Every week, Zep published another comic on his blog, called “What a wonderful world!”, that deals with recent current events. Oftentimes the cartoonist himself appears in these comic strips.

The description of Zep’s blog is as follows: L’auteur de Titeuf pose un regard sans concession sur l’actualité sociopolitique de son nombril. Il s’interroge sur la vanité des choses et s’engage pour un monde plus juste, sans guerre, sans peur de l’étranger et sans choux de Bruxelles. (Rough translation: The author of Titeuf contemplates, without concession, socio-political events of the day from his own position. He questions the vanity of things and commits himself to a more just world, without war, without fear of the foreign/foreigners, and without Brussel sprouts.)

Zep’s cartoons are poignant and heartfelt–and, as you can see from the description above, often meld the silly with the serious. His recent cartoons have dealt with the Paris attacks of November 13th and global warming (for the Cop21 beginning this week in Paris). “Visite médicale” imagines a sick world going to the doctor to find out what is wrong. “Vendredi 13” tells the Paris attackers that they will never win because, while they wanted to destroy France, they only created an “army” of fellow humans (une armeé de fréres humains). Check out these cartoons and more at his site on Lemonde.fr: http://zepworld.blog.lemonde.fr/

Post the titles of your favorite comic strips in the comments below!


Charging Your Battery in French

Posted on 25. Nov, 2015 by in Vocabulary

Photo by Selina Yip on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by Selina Yip on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

With international travel there are a few things that you absolutely need to remember when you faites vos valises (pack your bags). In our electrically charged modern life, making sure you have all the right converters for your appareils électroniques (electronic devices) is one of the most important things to remember.

La puissance électronique et la tension (wattage and voltage) can change from country to country, and even if you have the right puissance électronique, la prise (the outlet) might also be different and need un autre adaptateur (another adapter)!

Tired from all the travel, I went to look for le chargeur (the charger) when mon ordinateur (my computer) displayed the low battery message:

Votre batterie est faible. Branchez votre PC sur secteur.
Your battery is low. Plug in your computer to an outlet.

Then I realized I forgot le chargeur en Floride !

I needed to buy a new one, but a lot of the technical vocabulary for les câbles et les adaptateurs was unkown to me, and I wasn’t even sure if they would have the right chargeur for mon ordinateur!

I looked up the important words and went out (after checking to see which stores were open). Une fois au magasin d’informatique (once I was at the computer store), finding the right chargeur was easy. De plus (what’s more) it worked perfectly with both mon ordinateur et la prise without any issues!

Un vocabulaire électrique :

L’appareil électronique (M) – electronic device
L’adapteur (m) – (electric) converter
Le transformateur – (electric) converter
Le convertisseur – (money/measurements) converter
La puissance électrique – wattage
La tension – voltage
La prise – electrical outlet
L’ordinateur (m) – computer
La batterie – battery (for computers, cell phones, etc)
La pile – battery (AA, AAA, and other non-rechargable batteries)
Le chargeur – charger
Le câble – cable
Le fil (électrique) – wire

On t’aime, Paris!

Posted on 23. Nov, 2015 by in News, Uncategorized, Vocabulary

Courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène at Flickr.com

Courtesy of Maya-Anaïs Yataghène at Flickr.com

I was left shocked, like so many people around the world, after the attacks on Paris last week. These attacks certainly hit “close to home” for me, as my husband’s family lives in Paris and we have many friends there. The initial shock soon turned to fear for the safety of our loved ones, and then relief when we found out they were all safe. But not everyone was so lucky, and my heart goes out to everyone who lost a friend or a loved one in these heinous attacks.

In light of the 129 people who lost their lives on November 13, I’d like to spend some time on expressing sympathy to those who grief in French. Perhaps you know someone who was personally affected by the attacks. Perhaps you can take some of the phrases from this post and post it on Facebook, addressing it to all who are grieving due to the Paris attacks. Whatever you do, learning how to give your condolences in French is an important part of reaching out and nurturing relationships with French speakers in your life.

In French, to offer your condolences, you would say: je vous présente mes condoléances. Often, you can also envoyez une carte de condoléances (send a sympathy card). In French, there are different formulas for offering your condolences depending on whether you have a close relationship with those who are grieving or if it is part of a more formal relationship. Here are some heartfelt expressions of sympathy, in both the formal and informal registers, that you can offer to those experiencing grief:

Je suis de tout coeur avec toi/vous en ces moments difficiles. (My heart is with you during these difficult moments) — This would be directed to close friends and family and is an intimate expression of sympathy.

En ces moments si tristes, je tenais à vous témoigner mon affection. (In this sad time, I wanted to express my affection for you) — This, too, is for a close friend and is a less formal expression of sympathy.

C’est avec une grande tristesse que j’ai appris le décès/la disparition de… (It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of…)

Je suis/nous sommes profondément ému/s par ce deuil qui vous frappe. (I am/we are profoundly saddened by this grief that you are feeling) –Yet another intimate expression of sympathy.

Je vous prie de bien vouloir accepter mes sincères condoléances (Please accept my most sincere condolences)–This is a more formal expression of sympathy best reserved for those you are not very close with or with whom you have a business relationship.

Veuillez recevoir mes condoléances les plus sincères et croire en mes respectueux sentiments.(Please accept my most sincere condolences and have faith in my respectful feelings) — Although this phrase seems strange to English speakers, it is a common, albeit formal, expression of sympathy.