French Language Blog

Archive for April, 2017

The Origin Of L’Ordinateur – Computers In French Posted by on Apr 26, 2017

New technologies comme (like) the Internet and computers need new words to describe them. Those new words either comes from adaptations of older words or are completely new inventions. One such word is computer in French: ordinateur. Le nom (the noun) computer comes from le verbe (the verb) to compute, which originally comes from the…

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What would you do? Posted by on Apr 25, 2017

Last summer I asked ‘what I did‘ and ‘what you are going to do‘ (looking at the past and future tenses in song). This week, a look at another French tense – and a new song – to learn about le conditionelle (the conditional).   Le conditionelle is not actually a tense, but a mood…

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Problematic Prepositions: De Posted by on Apr 24, 2017

The French preposition de is notorious for giving French learners difficulty at all levels. Why? Because this simple preposition, which generally means “of, from, or about,” can change greatly depending on the word it precedes. De can also be used in many different ways, which also changes the rules regarding its use. Let’s take a look.   De is the…

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Practicing French By Playing Video Games – StarCraft In French Posted by on Apr 19, 2017

I am not a big gamer, but parfois (sometimes) I like playing les jeux vidéo (video games) in between having to study and work. Recently un jeu (a game) from my childhood, StarCraft, was released for free. L’entreprise (the company) behind the game, Blizzard, is getting ready for a new HD release of le jeu…

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A final trip to the store Posted by on Apr 18, 2017

Last week* we took a tour around France and learned about les gentilés (‘the names of the inhabitants’) of a number of French cities and towns. This week we’ll complete our shopping trip with a look at the new food labeling coming to France en avril (in April).   In order to help les consommateurs…

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French Expressions: Pregnancy and Childbirth Posted by on Apr 17, 2017

I’m due soon with my second son and so have had pregnancy and birth on my mind a lot lately. I’ve always loved the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s use of birth and pregnancy in his writings to denote giving birth to ideas in philosophy. In one famous example, Nietzsche wrote, “What saved me then [from madness]? Nothing…

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Joyeuses Pâques ! Easter Vocabulary in French Posted by on Apr 15, 2017

This week has been a holy one for Christians around the world. It’s called Paschal Triduum (and is sometimes referred to as the Easter Triduum), and it contains 3 important days in the life of Jesus Christ. Maundy Thursday (jeudi saint) commemorates the Maundy (the Washing of the Feet) and the Last Supper. Good Friday…

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