French Language Blog

Quoi de neuf?* Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Culture, Grammar, Music, Vocabulary

It’s not always easy to keep up with the news, but a number of recent stories out of France and Canada caught my eyes and I thought I’d share some of them with you this week.

By Martin St-Amant (S23678) - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Martin St-Amant (S23678) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Up first, some exciting news about one of the world’s great villes francophones (French-speaking cities). Québec has just been named ville culturelle de l’année (cultural city of the year) in the London-based Leading Cultural Destination Awards.  While the judging body may be a tad obscure, there is no doubt that Québec belongs on any list of great cultural destinations. In November, I’ll be delivering an en directe (live . . . ish) update on Québec when we go visit notre oncle et tante (celle qui aime le vin) in Québec. (our uncle and aunt – the one who loves wine)

By Copyright © 2004 David Monniaux - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Copyright © 2004 David Monniaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Deuxièmement (secondly) le SNCF (Société Nationale de Chemin de Fer) recently announced plans for their newest TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse/High-speed train), l’Océane, which will travel between Paris and Bordeaux starting in the summer of 2017. You can get a peak at the new model here. This news makes me doubly happy as the French company that manufactures the new TGVs is also under contract to deliver new high-speed trains and rail to the American Amtrak train service that runs from where I live to New York City and to Wasington, D.C. . . . of course, I’ll have to wait as the new trains are not scheduled to be in service until 2021!

Et pour finir (And to conclude), in the ‘il n’y a qu’en France’ (only in France) department, this fun little piece about a battle over whose names are – or are not – French. If you don’t remember the details, take a look at the final footnote of my blog on the singer Zazie to see just how particular the French can be about names!

And a bonus: in researching this week’s blog, I came across this new clip (video) by un chanteur français (a French singer). It seemed appropriate . . . J’espère que vous l’aimerez** autant que moi. (I hope you like it as much as I do.)

* “Quoi de neuf?” (literally “What’s new?”) can also be translated as “What’s up?” as in “Quoi de neuf docteur?” . . . the French title of the 1980’s American série télévisé Growing Pains” or Bugs Bunny’s famous line (What’s up, doc?)

** This is the verb ‘aimer’ (to like) in the future tense. Remember you can always visit this great site to see the conjugations of your favorite verbs in a whole bunch of tenses. 😉


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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.