French Language Blog

French Culture – Bretagne bis Posted by on Sep 25, 2018 in Culture, Vocabulary

I’ve written before about the lovely French region of la Bretagne. And of course, last summer I shared a whole series of post following up on my trip to France for my step-daughter’s amazing wedding. Well my son and I recently got back from another amazing trip there and we discovered a wonderful new coin (corner) that I want to share with you.

A quick reminder: ‘bis‘ is a French term that refers to the second of something. Read more here.

For our trip to France this year, we returned to the lovely little town of Josselin where we stayed last year. We didn’t get to spend as much time in town cette année because we were toujours partis à droite à gauche (always out here and there [lit. to the right to the left]). We returned to some of our favorite spots like la ville de Rochefort-en-Terre and to le forêt de Broceliande, but our favorite new discovery was la côte de Granit rose (The Pink Granite Coast).

La côte de Granit rose is a lovely stretch of picturesque towns, rocky outcroppings, and sheltered beaches along Brittany’s northern coast. It runs approximately from the town of Perros-Guirec to the commune of Ploumanac’h * on la Manche (the English Channel).

The region derives its name from the very interesting (and large) rock formations of pink granite that, in the right light, really show off their pink color. I live in a part of les États-Unis (the United States) where we have really large granite boulders that were left behind by the glaciers during the last période glaciaire (ice age) but I’ve never seen anything like the massive boulders that make up the côte. Il faisait nuageux (it was cloudy) when we were there, so we couldn’t fully enjoy the effects, but it was still a really lovely spot.

Plouc is a French slang injure (insult) that is used pejoratively to refer to people from the campagne (country). According to my belle-fille, the word traces its origins back to all the Bretons (people from la Bretagne) who moved to Paris due to all the towns in the region that start with ‘plou’ (the breton word for ‘parish’).

Click here to watch a great reportage (news story) about the chateau de Josselin. Or click here to read a lovely description of the town … from 149 years ago! Like much of rural France, not much has changed since Mrs. Bury Palliser wrote this travel journal.

All photos (C) Tim Hildreth.

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.