French Language Blog

Archive for August, 2011

The “French Connection” Linking Victor Hugo, Verdi, Batman, and the Film “Se7en” Posted by on Aug 9, 2011

Today, Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi is widely celebrated as one of the major figures of what Italians proudly call “il Risorgimento“, the movement which, exactly 150 years ago, gave birth to l’unification de l’Italie (the Italian unification.) Many people, however, still ignore, even in today’s Italy, that their beloved maestro italiano was in fact born a Frenchman! The reason being that, when Verdi was born…

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How to Ask for Street Directions in French Posted by on Aug 8, 2011

Unless you’re planning on constantly using a GPS to find your way in a French-speaking country, you will have aucun autre choix (no other choice) but to learn how to ask people for directions in French—and, equally as important, be able to understand them! You can randomly choose un passant (a passerby), preferably one who doesn’t…

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“Qui ne saute pas n’est pas Marseillais!” (Whoever Doesn’t Jump is Not from Marseille!) Posted by on Aug 5, 2011

If you travel all the way to Paris, and not even scream, but just *whisper* in the streets: “Allez l’OM” (OM = Olympique de Marseille), chances are, the crowds of people will start getting the impression that you are, as the French like to say, en train de chercher la petite bête (picking for a fight)!  It’s…

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Victor Hugo’s Joker: “L’Homme qui rit” Posted by on Aug 4, 2011

Only a select few of people, even amongst the most passionate die-hard superhero comics fans and “connaisseurs“, seem to be aware that Batman‘s tragicomic arch-nemesis, the Joker, finds his original inspiration in a literary work—a work by the same author of les Misérables, Victor Hugo, of all people!  Dans un roman (in a novel) published in 1869…

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Hidden Gems of Today’s French Poetry in Music: “Paroles de l’âme” (Lyrics of the Soul) Posted by on Aug 3, 2011

Sometimes, if you’re chanceux (fortunate) enough when you’re surfing la toile mondiale (the World Wide Web), you run into some remarkably fine French contenu (content)… The sort of “perle” (gem) that you are happy to show around after you stumbled into it, to friends or relatives who hold an interest in la culture française (French culture), and whom you know…

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Joyeux Ramadan and Joyeux National Holiday of La Suisse Posted by on Aug 1, 2011

Today is a double celebration: The French Blog wishes you a Joyeux Ramadan and a joyeuse fête nationale Suisse ! We hope that this coïncidence de calendrier (calendar coincidence) will be especially significant, and serves to bring Swiss Muslims and all other Swiss people, de toutes les confessions (of all the faiths), closer together! The *very special* couteau suisse (Swiss knife) that you…

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