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Archive for July, 2010

“Un Jour en France” (RE-NOIR DÉSIR) Posted by on Jul 30, 2010

Non, non, pas du tout, you should read le titre (the title) as “RE: Noir Désir“, meaning a sequel to the previous post, “NOIR DÉSIR: “Un homme pressé” (“Man in a Hurry”)“, and not as a reference to some désirs artistiques of the celebrated master painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Since you liked the previous Noir Désir song, here’s another famous one signed by the same Bordelais group (“Bordelais”…

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Beginner French: Conjugating Avoir Posted by on Jul 27, 2010

Bonjour mes amis débutants! (Hello, my beginner friends!) Hichem and I have so much fun exploring French slang, literature and culture, that we sometimes forget that not everyone is ready for tout ça (all that). Starting ce soir (tonight), we’ll begin Beginner Posts, especially aimed at les débutants who are just starting to learn French…

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From Colonial Conquest to Space Conquest Posted by on Jul 21, 2010

From la Conquête Coloniale (the Colonial Conquest) to la Conquête Spatiale (the Space Conquest), la boucle semble desormais fermée (It has come full circle.) Comment est-ce que cela est arrivé? (How did that happen?) La course à l’espace (the Space Race) between the United States and the USSR lasted almost 30 ans (30 years), from 1957 to…

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La Marseillaise (and “la réintégration de l’histoire”) Posted by on Jul 19, 2010

Last week, la France a fêté “la prise de la Bastille” (France celebrated “the storming of the Bastille.”) Apart from the symbolic value that this iconic day has acquired over the past two centuries, it is now important for the French, who are still rediscovering and “debating” their identité nationale, to reconsider the évènements cruciaux (crucial events) that took place in that year…

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Who Are Ze French? Posted by on Jul 16, 2010

L’identité française (A not-too-academic discussion) Pas d’excuses! Mercredi (Wednesday) was Bastille Day, which is sort of like Hichem’s birthday because he’s French, and hier (yesterday) was mon anniversaire (my birthday)! So we’re all out of whack. Désolée.   While “French politicians a bunch of whiny Islamophobic babies” (lien) is probably not good journalism, it is…

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Le 14 Juillet and “Les 3 SUiSSES” Posted by on Jul 15, 2010

Demandez à n’importe qui au hasard (ask anyone randomly): “C’est quoi le 14 Juillet (what is the 14 of July)?”, and you’re likely to hear the answer “C’est la fête nationale!” (It’s the national celebration!) Mais encore? (What else?) “It’s to celebrate a singular event in l’histoire de France: la prise de la Bastille(the storming of the Bastille.)” And…

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Banning the Burqa: Une nouvelle loi française Posted by on Jul 14, 2010

Aujourd’hui, l’Assemblée nationale (Today, the National Assembly) a voté (voted for) l’interdiction du port du voile intégral. A law banning the full-face veil, or voile intégral, has already been passed in the lower house of le parlement belge (Belgian parliament). When we discussed that law in April (The Burqa Ban in Belgium, April 30), le…

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