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Archive for April, 2018

Allumer The Light – Forgetting A Useful Word In French Posted by on Apr 25, 2018

It can be surprising how ordinary useful words take a long time to learn. Something as useful as un tournevis (a screwdriver) is often skipped over in textbooks, but when you need one, it’s an important word to know how to say! Whether it’s un nouveau lit (a new bed) or une nouvelle expression (a…

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French Music – Mylène Farmer Posted by on Apr 24, 2018

Last week’s song from Calogero, evoking as it did Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s history of airmail and his novels Vol de nuit and Le petit prince, led me to another song that captures a similar spirit… and is from one of my favorite French singers. Mylène Farmer was already famous in France when I first went there over…

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French Etymology: Gaulish Edition Posted by on Apr 23, 2018

Last week, we went over the interesting history of the Battle of Alésia and the downfall of Vercingétorix and the Gauls. (Interesting fact: Did you know that the Gauls kept their birth names secret? They believed that if someone knew their real name, it diminished their power. Vercingétorix is an honoary title that most likely…

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Visiting Ancient France: The Battle of Alesia Posted by on Apr 21, 2018

One of the most important ancient battles that occurred during the Gallic Wars took place in Alésia, France. Known in French as le siège d’Alésia, this battle pitted Roman forces, led by Julius Caesar, against the Gauls (the Celtic tribe that inhabited the region from 5th century BCE to the 5th century CE), led by the…

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Staying In The Juice – Useful French Expressions Posted by on Apr 18, 2018

Learning new expressions is a fun but difficult part of learning une langue (a language). It gets even harder when des expressions start building on top of each other by adding in les jeux de mots (puns). There is a very useful expression française (French expression) that is nice and short and doesn’t involve having…

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French Music – Calogero Posted by on Apr 17, 2018

Before becoming a writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry had a very different professional life. A new song from the French chanteur (singer) Calogero, celebrates that previous career as well as some of Saint-Exupéry’s most famous works. While he may be best known outside France for his charming novella Le petit prince (The little prince), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote…

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His Or Her Cup? – Confusing Possessive Adjectives In French Posted by on Apr 11, 2018

Continuing from la semaine dernière (last week), understanding how le genre d’un mot (the gender of a word) affects la grammaire française (French grammar) can be hard to grasp for non-native speakers. Any tips that can help with internalizing why les genres are so important and just how they work makes learning la langue (the…

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