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Christmas Markets in France Posted by on Dec 16, 2010

Après la Hanoukka, la fête des lumières pour la communauté juive (after Hanukkah, the festival of lights for the Jewish community)… I’m really excited for Christmas! The eight nights of Hanukkah are outlasted by the many, many days of réjouissances (festivities) that lead to Noël, or Christmas. The best pre-holiday tradition, au moins en France…

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À la une Posted by on Nov 11, 2010

À la une means « on the front page, » or at the head of the news stories. Ce soir, examinons ce qui est à la une en France- ou bien, ce qui est enterré dans les pages au milieu ! Je me suis rendue compte (I realized) que je n’ai pas lu de journal en français (that…

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L’imparfait… rhymes with DMCV! Posted by on Nov 6, 2010

Dieu merci, c’est vendredi! “Thank God it’s Friday” Let’s start with l’imparfait, and see what we can do about DMCV. II. L’imparfait L’imparfait is used for an ongoing state of being (e.g., being young: “When I was young…”) or a repeated or incomplete action. It’s used for actions that did not end at a specific point…

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Le passé composé Posted by on Oct 28, 2010

I started studying French in middle school, and by 8th grade, I thought had learned everything. All I needed was a little more vocabulary, and I’d be fluent. Then I came into class one day, and my teacher said, Alors la classe, aujourd’hui on va commencer le passé composé, a form of past tense. Past…

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Kitchen Confidential in French! Posted by on Oct 22, 2010

Ce week-end, j’ai fait (I did) l’un des mes passe-temps (pastimes) préférés : je suis allée à Ikea ! Ikea (pronounced EEE-kay-ah en français), land of Swedish meatballs and starter furniture ! Bien sur, I really go there for the ferry ride (il y a un ferry de Manhattan à Brooklyn). But every time, I find something…

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Le Bal Masqué Posted by on Oct 7, 2010

The fanciest party I’ve ever been to… …was not this one. This was my office holiday party last year. Couple of goons. La fête la plus élégante à laquelle j’ai jamais assisté (assister= to attend) était le Gala Sciences Po en 2008. Sciences Po is a university, or more properly une grande école, meaning a…

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Ô Canada: The Canadian National Anthem in French Posted by on Sep 16, 2010

Alors, quoi dire de la culture française à Terre-Neuve? Actually, although it’s bilingual, Newfoundland is not very French. (It is awfully irlandais—Irish—however, for reasons of historical migration.)   One element of bilinguality les Terre-neuviens can’t get away from, however, is l’hymne national, the national anthem.  “O Canada,” or “Ô Canada” (with a chapeau on the…

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