French Language Blog

Archive for March, 2015

Top 10 “Untranslatable” French Words Posted by on Mar 31, 2015

I hesitate to use the word “untranslatable” here because, frankly, there is no perfect translation between languages. Words and concepts have different shades of meanings in different languages based on particular linguistic cultures and histories. But non-native speakers can have an idea of a particular word, even if they don’t know all shades of its…

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50 Shades of Green in French Posted by on Mar 26, 2015

Le printemps (spring) has officially sprung —  even if parts of the east coast in the USA still have a white blanket of snow. La nature et vos allergies sont revenues à la vie (Nature and your allergies have come back to life). Flowers are blooming, bees are hard at work, and all that was…

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Where to Hear Canadian French Posted by on Mar 25, 2015

Le français est une langue parlée partout dans le monde (French is a language spoken all over the world). A big part of la francophonie in North America is Canada, with it’s large francophone population. If you have ever tried looking for content en québécois or in any variety of Canadian French, you might have…

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L’accent tonique (French Phonetics III) Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Hello everyone! Today, as promised, we will be going over l’accent tonique, or the tonic accent, which has to do with stressing a particular word in a sentence for emphasis. As you’ve read in the previous posts in this series on French phonetics, in French you don’t stress individual words to emphasize them. Rather, word…

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Celebrate French And Tell Me Ten Words! Posted by on Mar 18, 2015

While listening to RFI, I learned that this week is la semaine de la langue française (French Language Week) as part of the celebration for la journée de la francophonie (Francophonie Day) on March 20th. On l’émission (the show) they talked about one of the fun events going, Dis-moi dix mots (Tell me ten words)…

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Lève ton verre: French Drinking Songs Posted by on Mar 17, 2015

Tonight, many people around the world are partaking in a bit of drinking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. The French aren’t an exception. A few weeks ago, John taught you how to toast in French. Today we’re going to learn something just as important: la chanson paillarde or la chanson à boire (drinking song). There…

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French Phonetics (Part II) Posted by on Mar 16, 2015

Last week, we talked about how stressing syllables in French is different from the stresses you put on certain syllables in English. This week, we will continue our discussion of la phonétique with l’intonation. Intonation is not very complicated in French because it follows French accentuation. Intonation refers to the “melody” of a language…

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