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Une semaine bien française* Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Culture, Vocabulary

Given my love for France and all things French, it’s not unusual for my weeks to be filled with a variety of French things. But this week I had the added bonus of being surprised in delightful ways by more French than usual.

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Ma semaine surprise a commencé mardi (My week of surprises started Tuesday). I recently started a new job** in a city not far from my home and walking to lunch mardi I was thrilled to discover une librairie française (a French bookshop) just around the corner from mon bureau (my office).  La Librairie Populaire (The people’s bookshop) sells des livres, des BD, des CD, et des films français et québécois (books, comics, CDs, and films from France and Quebec). Je n’ai acheté qu’un disque de Céline Dion cette fois-ci (I only bought a compact disc by Celine Dion this time), but I know I’ll be making frequent visits . . . Not only are there many livres to discover, but the shop owner is a charming man who let me practice my French on him!

Les jours de la semaine / The days of the week: lundi / Monday, mardi / Tuesday, mercredi / Wednesday, jeudi / Thursday, vendredi / Friday, samedi / Saturday, dimanche / Sunday

Jeudi les surprises ont continuées. (Thursday the surprises continued.) I know you don’t all live near me (or near a French librarie) so this surprise will be more useful for you. While searching for a truly crazy cat video (check it out, it will surely blow your mind as it blew mine!) I came across an amazing new (to me at least) Youtube channel. L’institut National Audiovisuel, a public cultural enterprise responsible for the protection and exploitation of France’s audiovisual heritage, has posted over 200 videoss of classic French content that you can use to practice your listening skills . . . or you can wait for me to share them with you one by one as I rediscover my favorites!

Another of my favorite resources for keeping up with French is internet radio. My favorite channel is Cherie FM which you can listen to on line at http://www.cheriefm.fr/, or you can download their app to listen to on the go!

And finally, my happiest surprise of the week, dimanche matin au rayon des fruits et légumes du supermarché du coin (Sunday morning in the produce section of my local grocery store) I ran into mon ancienne prof*** de français, Mme**** Wheeler (my old French teacher, Mrs. Wheeler). La deniere fois que l’on s’est vu (The last time we saw each other) I was volunteering in her class and it was so lovely to reconnect . . . and to have a wonderful conversation en français right there among les fruits et légumes! Mme Wheeler m’a raconté une bien bonne histoire (Mrs. Wheeler told me a funny story) that I hope she won’t mind me sharing. A former student of hers (not me!) once told her after a trip to Québec that he had had “la meilleure putain de sa vie” . . . he of course meant that he had had “the best poutine of his life” !!!****

‘Mme’ Is the abbreviation for ‘Madame’. ‘Monsieur’ is abbreviated as ‘M.’ and ‘Mademoiselle’ (which is used slightly less commonly these days in formal communications) is abbreviated as ‘Mlle’. Notice that ‘M.’ has a period while Mme and Mlle do not.

In the coming weeks look for updates on my on-going discoveries at my new favorite book store and my new favorite Youtube channel!

* My very French week

** ‘job’ is often heard in both France and Canada. The “real” French word for ‘a job’ is ‘un emploie’ but you’ll also hear it referred to as ‘un boulot’ as in the famous French expression ‘métro, boulot, dodo’.

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All work and no play . . .

*** ‘prof’ (short for ‘professeur’) can be masculine or feminine depending on the context.

**** I’ll let you search on line for ‘putain‘ . . . It’s a word with many, many meanings, but also one that isn’t usually used in polite company!

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About the Author:Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


Comments:

  1. Linda wheeler:

    Tim, c’était toujours un vrai plaisir te voir dimanche au marché . Quelle joie pour moi de pouvoir parler un peu de français avec un homme si charmant et spécial . J’ai beaucoup aimé lire ton blog et c’est certain que je vais continuer à chercher tout ce que tu écris au futur.
    À la prochaine occasion mon ami,
    Linda

  2. Louise B.:

    Love your blog…Je me souviens de la Librarie Populaire. Pour parler francais, il y a aussi le Club Richelieu que tu aimerais…il faut parler francais aux assembles et leur but est de conserver le language francais.
    Il ya aussi le restaurant Chez Vachon a Manchester qui fait des mets canadiens. HAVE A GOOD DAY!


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