Art et Séduction

How to seduce “the French way” ?

French people need romance to be unexpected, a coup de cœur, a smack to the heart. … 

Here are a few ways to approach a French girl with finesse:

« Excusez-moi de vous importunez » (EN : Sorry to bother you)

« Je suis nouveau ici… » (EN : I am new here…)

« Des endroits à me conseiller… » (EN : Any places you would like to recommend…)

« Puis-je vous offrir un verre ? » (EN : Can I offer you a drink?)

« Puis-je vous voler quelques minutes de votre précieux temps ? » (EN : Can I steal a few minutes of your precious time?)

« Mes yeux ne peuvent vous quitter… » (EN : My eyes can’t get over you…)

« Puis-je vous confier un secret, j’ai perdu la tête en vous voyant… » (EN : Can I tell you a secret, I have lost my mind when I saw you…)

« Je ne parle pas bien Français, voulez-vous m’apprendre ? » (EN : I don’t speak French very well, would you mind teaching me?)

« M’accorderez-vous cette danse ? » (EN : Shall we dance ?)

« Bonjour,  puis-je vous embêter quelques secondes ? » (EN : Hi, can I bother you a few seconds ?)

« Bonjour, je cherche cette adresse, pouvez-vous m’aider ? » (EN :  Hi, I am looking for this place, can you help me?)

kikk

Also we will give you tips to avoid knock-back (FR: Prendre un râteau):

-Don’t chat up  (FR: draguer) a woman on public transport such as the Métro

-Don’t be heavy / insistent

-Be a gentleman / lady

-Speak French, even if you only know a few words… (S)he will fall for your accent

-Compliment her / him

-Be romantic (FR: être romantique)

-Be original

-Play the game: If (s)he is going to play with your emotions, play with hers/his. The typical femme Française loves the chase.

-Be open to seduction in chat-friendly scenarios

hasard

We have also built a playlist with her / his favourite tunes (cliché):

-Beautiful by James Blunt

-Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye

-Let’s get it on by Marvin Gaye

-You can leave your hat on by Joe Cocker

-Angels by Robbie Williams

loveparis

Glossary

FR EN
Séduire Appeal to / Charm
Se laisser séduire Let yourself be charmed
Faire un clin d’œil To wink
Embrasser To kiss
Avoir un regarde braise To smolder
Ecrire une lettre d’amour To write a love letter
Envoyer des fleurs Send flowers
Se rapprocher To get closer
Flatteries Smooth talk
Epargne moi ton baratin Spare me the sweet talk
Se faire draguer To get chatted up / get hit on
Jouer avec le feu To flirt with disaster
Dîner en amoureux To have a candlelight diner
Rouler une pelle To make out with someone
Tomber amoureux To fall in love
Avoir un rdv galant To go on a date

If you have no idea where to take your date, here are some recommendations:

A pique-nique in front of the Canal Saint-Martin
To surprise her/ him, contact Marion, your BFF for a night and she will deliver an amazing basket with some bubbles to make this moment unforgettable. /Contact: Marion 06 09 57 32 57/

A cruise on the River Seine
A scenery you won’t forget. The captain of the cruise will also provide you champagne and petit fours. /Adresse : 6 Quai Jean Compagnon, 94200 Ivry Sur Seine/

cruise

Claus, for a « special » breakfast. /14 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau 75001 Paris/

brunch-claus

La Corte, At the bottom of a secret passage, you will find the perfect restaurant charm your date. /320 Rue Saint-Honoré 75001 Paris/

la-corte

Le Restaurant Biotiful is a colorful and cozy  in the 17th arrondissement. /18 rue Biot, Paris 75017/

biotiful

Le Gravity Barwith its warm atmosphere and its wooden desigh you can only spend a great evening. /44 rue des Vinaigriers, 75010/

gravity-bar

Le Pas de loupour favorite spot in Paris. We can’t tell you why.. Find out at /108 rue Amelot, Paris 75011/

pas-de-loup

 

The game is worth the reward…


Construction of a sentence - Place of the subject Part I

The the Eiffel tower was build in 21 months as of summer 1887…

Each of the 18 000 pieces of the Tower is designed and calculated before being drawn to the tenth of a millimeter and assembled by elements of five meters. On the site, between 150 and 300 workers are involved in assembly of this gigantic Meccano .

All the pieces are fastened by rivets a well-tested method of construction at the time of the construction of the Tower. Likewise, the construction of a sentence in French is almost as logical as a Meccano…with its exceptions!

(Part 1) Tips to overcome the difficulties of the sentence structure in French 

Place the subject in the sentence:

Tu as un chat. You have a cat.

Peut-être viendra-t-il ? Maybe he will come.

« Je suis contente » dit sa mère. «I am pleased », my mother said.

Le garçon dont  je connais le frère. The boy whose brother I know.

Je vous demande où il travaille. I am asking you where he works.

General rule

French is a SVO language, or Subject-Verb-Object. Unlike other romance languages, French does not drop the subject in most cases. In order to build even the simplest French sentence, you will need two or three elements. If a sentence uses an intransitive verb, it will be a SV sentence:Je suis. — I am.If a sentence uses a transitive verb, it will be a SVO sentence:Tu as un chat. –– You have a cat.

BUT…

  • The subject is placed after the verb

a) The subject personal pronoun and the subjects pronoun “ce” and “on” are followed after the verb when the sentence begins with:

-Peut-être (perhaps)

-Sans doute (no doubt, without a doubt)

-A peine (scarcely, hardly)

-Aussi (therefore)

-Du moins (at least)

Peut-être pourrais-tu venir avec moi ? Maybe you could come with me?

A peine avait-il parlé qu’elle se leva. Hardly had he spoken when she got up.

b) When the subject is a noun, a demonstrative pronoun or an indefinite pronoun (quelqu’un, tout…), the subject is placed before the verb However it is taken back by a pronoun placed in this case after the verb.

A peine les élèves étaient-ils arrivés que la cloche sonna. Hardly had the students arrived when the bell rang.

c) In the colloquial language, we often avoid doing the reversal after “Peut-être”:

-Either by using Peut être que at the beginning of the sentence

-Or by avoiding placing Peut être at the the beginning of the sentence

Peut-être que la candidate pourra répondre? 

Le candidate pourra peut être répondre?

d) In the reported speech, the subject is placed after the declaration verb.

« Chérie, où es-tu? » a crié mon père. « Darling, where are you? » my father shouted.

“Mademoiselle” dit-il, “vous pouvez venir”. « Mademoiselle », he said, « you may come in ».

“Oui”, répondit-elle. “Yes”, she replied.

ATTENTION

Contrary to English, we do not do the reversal of the subject in French when the sentence begins with:

Non seulement (Not only)

Pas une fois (not once).

Non seulement il est venu mais il est resté. Not only did he come but he stayed.

Pas une fois son père ne lui a fait un reproche. Not once did his father reproach him.

We do not do the reversal after a negative coordination (et ne…pas…non plus). 

Je ne l’ai pas salué et il ne m’a pas salué non plus.

I didn’t greet him, nor did he greet me.

To underline an increase or a decrease related with another increase (or decrease), we use the structure “plus…plus, moins…moins, plus…moins, mois…plus”.

The subject is placed immediately after “plus” or “moins”.

Plus elle est riche, moins elle est satisfaite.

The richer she is, the less she is satisfied.

EXERCICES: Translate

  • “Are you ready?” he asked
  • “We will never capitulate”, they replied
  • “Show in the prisoners”, he said severely
  • “Not on your life”, he answered
  • “Get out!” he screamed

CORRECTION

(on our Facebook page next week and in the comments below)

“The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.”
― Ken FollettThe Pillars of the Earth

“Ce qui coute le plus cher dans une construction ce sont les erreurs.” 

toureiffel2

This week in Paris

LOST IN FRENCHLATION presents: ‘Chocolat’ (2016) with ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Lost in Frenchlation are back this Friday 18th March with ‘Chocolat’ – the much anticipated 2016 French box office hit starring Omar Sy (2012 César Award winner, Best Actor, ‘Intouchables’) ! Join them at Studio 28 in the heart of Montmartre from 8pm for cocktails before the screening starts at 9:15pm.

chocolat


French As You Like Survival Guide to Winter

This is the part of the year where your feel worn out and your immune system (système immunitaire) is known as an “open window”. Unless you live in a bulle, you will be exposed to infections. And apart from staying inside all winter (hiver) with your head under a duvet and avoiding all possible human being, you will need to protect your health and reinforce (renforcer) your immune defences (défenses immunitaires).

  • Favoriser (favour) Vitamines D et Magnésium (vitamin and magnesium)

To protect your organisme (organism) against germs (microbes), Magnesium and Vitamin D activates both the white blood cells (globules blancs) needed for the creation of antibodies (anticorps). You’ll find vitamin D in various foods such as smoked herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies or cod liver oil. For magnesium, you can eat seafood, almonds, cashew, tofu, or dark chocolate 70% minimum. You have a good reason not to take chocolate out of your diet.

  • N’oubliez pas les Vitamines C

Vitamin C stimulates the creation of interferon (interféron), this molecule is produced by our immune system cells to destroy germs. Drink a large glass of fresh squize orange juice (jus d’orange pressé) every morning or eat clementines, lemon, blackcurrant or kiwi. We suggest you a colourful fruit salad, it is like adding a “little summer” to your day.

  • Ajoutez les Probiotiques (add probiotics) à votre liste de course (shopping list)

70% of our immune system is in our intestin (intestine), so it ‘s important to do a course of probiotics (cure de probiotique) to strengthen your intestinal mucosa (musqueuse intestinale). Take a mixture of lactobacilli daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced the risk of catching a cold (rhume). You can find probiotics in yogurt, but also in artichoke, leeks, brewer’s yeast or wheat germ.

  • Bien se couvrir (Cover yourself up) !

It is important to warm yourself enough. Always keep your neck covered (protéger / couvrir) and try to choose thermal clothes (matières thermales). In Paris, the weather is always changing, from sun to rain and it is easy to get sick when you don’t have the right outfit.

  • Dormez et relaxez vous (Sleep and relax)

You need at least 7 à 8 heures de sommeil (7 to 8 hours sleep) per night so make sure to organise your day efficiently. You need to spend time on yourself, treat yourself with a massage or a diner between friends… You immune sytem will thank you for this, the more your mind will be clear and relaxed, the more your body will be healthy (en bonne santé).

  • Lavez-vous les mains souvent (Wash your hands often)

Virus (Viruses) can live on the surface of many objects for hours so regular hand washing is the simplest way to avoid carrying and ingesting these viruses. In case you spend more time outdoors, use antibacterial hand gel (gel antibactérien) that you can carry in your bag or slip in your pocket.

  • Astuce (trick) from a French As You like It Student

Add a few drops (gouttes) of sunflower oil (huile de tournesol) to your homemade smoothie or to a glass of water each morning. Sunflower oil contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals. The health benefits are various: Cardiovascular benefits, Anti-inflammatory (anti-inflammatoire), Prevent Arthritis, Prevention of Asthma and types of cancer, Lowers Cholesterol, Fight free radicals, Repairs the body, Skin and hair benefits…

Where to go arround our school?

For fruit and vegetable, you can go to many places. We can suggest you some amazing product at:

Primeur du Marais : 61 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris

Vergers Saint Paul : 97 Rue Saint-Antoine

Sea food

Le Comptoir des Mers : 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris

Fromagerie (Dairy)

Fromagerie Laurent Dubois : 97-99 Rue Saint-Antoine

Organic products – included sun flower oil

Naturalia : 59 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris

Bio C’ Bon : 103 Rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris

Thermal clothes

Au vieux Campeur : 48 Rue des Ecoles, 75005

Massage and Spa

Bulle de Plaisir : 66 Rue Saint-Antoine, 75004

Ban Thai Spa : 12 Rue Lesdiguieres, 75004

Lexique

Beginner

Healthvocabulary1

Intermediate

Healthvocabulary2

 

Let us know in the comments below what are your tips to fight Winter …


A French As You Like It Valentine's tale...

Being one of the most romantic cities of the world, Paris is covered in breathless and charming places for any lovebirds (des tourtereaux). It is also the Capital where Love happens…

11

Friday – 6:35pm at sunset (le  coucher du soleil), after a real-life situation French lesson (Leçon de Français en extérieur) in Le Centre – Georges Pompidou, Si gently escorted his French teacher back to her bike. Both living in the same area Ile Saint Louis, they ended up walking back home together…

georges

This was the beginning of a love story (une histoire d’amour).

Si, a British man from the Hampshire moved to Paris for Professional purposes. Like many foreigners, he was motivated to enhance his oral skills in French in order to feel more confident within his company or in his personal life (vie personnelle). He requested information from 3 language school which were offering interesting French learning program, however what he appreciate from French As You Like It was the personal approach (une approche personnelle). Agnès contacted Si by phone and she organized an appointment with him at his office the next day to talk about his different goals and expectations.

“She made a good impression” (une bonne impression) Si says. She was confident (confiante) and he was really impressed to see how determined she looked. She perfectly knew what she was talking about and we could notice she was passionate (passionnée) about her job. He then signed up for French one-on-one lessons every week at his office or out and about. It’s important to link theory to real-life situations when learning (apprendre) a new language.

Si is convinced that you always build a kind of relationship (une relation) with your private teacher. You end up by sharing (partager) some personal aspects of your life. It might look bizarre but when you cancel a lesson for instance, you want to let your teacher know about the reasons. However he admits, Agnès being a charming (charmante) and really attractive (attirante) woman. Looking always smart, she always released la “joie de vivre”. She is a woman with personality, adventurous and really genuine, the type of woman Si can’t resist.

ile

A couple of month later, Agnès and Si walked back home and finally had their first dinner (un diner) in a Canadian pub where he treated her with the well-known Poutine: chips with cheese and gravy. Si remembers, they had two official dates (rendez-vous amoureux): one in the Hameau de la Reine, the hamlet in the middle of the parc of the Chateau of Versailles and the other one on the night of Halloween. Agnès was all dressed up and they both ended up getting some Chinese food for dinner at La Muraille du Phénix.

hameau

We wondered what was the most important thing they have learnt being together (ensemble) and we understand the diversity (diversité) and the differences of culture (la difference des cultures) had made them a powerful couple. They share permanently and they both love discovering new aspect of each other every day. It is the advantage of being a mixed couple.

We asked Si if he kept something as a Symbol (un Symbole) of their Love story and here is his answer:

At this period, Kenzo promoted its famous perfume Flower By Kenzo. As part of the promotion, they hitched (accrocher) handicraft (artisanal) poppies (coquelicot) to bicycles. Agnès found one on hers that day, came into his office with the poppy in her hand and handed it (tendre à qqun qqch) to him. He thought she was exactly like the description of the perfume: unpredictable (imprévisible), strong (forte) and beautiful (belle). The only embarrassing point was the arrival of his CEO at the same moment.

We asked Si to tell us a final word about his story with our amazing Agnès: “We’ve been together for a few years now and I think she is the best choice I have ever made, thank you for being part of my life Agnès”.

We also asked Agnès to list us places she has been with Si, she said there is so much to remember but gave us a few of them:

Where to eat?

Le Café Français

Brasserie du Printemps

Le Petit Palais

Restaurant l’Horloge

Le temps des Cerises

Where to go?

Centre Georges Pompidou

Cimetière Père Lachaise

Les Berges – Quai de la Seine

L’Ile Saint Louis

Le Marais


Partitive article and Adverbs of quantity

Tu m’as fait beaucoup de peine

tableblog

De L’* => is use in front of noun with a vowel or silent “h” => de l’herbe but du houx

How to express the notion of undetermined quantity?

The indefinite quantity can be indicated by the quantity of adverbial adverbs or phrases followed by the preposition “de”. In this case we use the preposition “de” free of article.

Ex: J’ai beaucoup de peine. Tu as bu trop de café. Il a assez d’argent. Il a peu de chance. Il a un peu de monnaie. Ils ont un tas de soucis.

Below a few exceptions

Following the adverb of quantity “bien”, we use the partitive article singular or plural.

Ex : Tu as bien de la chance. Elle a bien des soucis.

Following « la plupart », the noun is preceded by the definite article plural contracted “des”.

Ex: La plupart des élèves sont déjà en vacances.

« La plupart » is followed by a plural noun except for the expression “La plupart du temps”.

blogeducatif

Now, practice!

Exercices

Translate these sentences:

  1. How do you take your coffee? – Lots of hot milk, very little sugar, please.
  2. I had a little soup at noon. It contained lots of cream
  3. There was so much of work to do!
  4. Most of the shells we find are broken
  5. You will need a lot of courage.
  6. I need some flour to make this cake.
  7. Most people drink wine.
  8. His letter was full of mistakes
  9. She doesn’t have any imagination
  10. This is not whisky, it’s tea

Complete by a partitive article or by the preposition “de” according to the situation:

  1. Faut-il encore aller chercher………………………………pain?
  2. Tu lui as fait……………………………………………..peine.
  3. Je ne veux pas………………………………………….ennuis.
  4. Elle est arrivée avec beaucoup…………………..…bagages.
  5. Je voudrais un kilo………………………………..…..cerises.
  6. La plupart……………………………………………….passagers ont eu le mal de mer.
  7. Buvez-vous………………….thé ou…………………café ?
  8. Ils n’ont plus……………………………………………travail.
  9. Avez-vous……………………………………………….cigarettes.
  10. Ils n’ont pas acheté assez…………………………….lait.

Corrected version

Translate these sentences:

How do you take your coffee? – Lots of hot milk, very little sugar, please.

Comment prenez-vous votre café? – Beaucoup de lait chaud, peu de sucre, s’il vous plait.

I had a little soup at noon. It contained lots of cream

J’ai pris une petite soupe à midi. Elle contenait beaucoup de crème.

There was so much of work to do!

Il y avait tellement de travail à faire!

Most of the shells we find are broken.

La plupart des coquillages que nous avions trouvés étaient brisés.

You will need a lot of courage.

Tu auras besoin de beaucoup de courage.

I need some flour to make this cake.

J’ai besoin de farine pour préparer ce gâteau.

Most people drink wine.

La plupart des gens boivent du vin.

His letter was full of mistakes.

Sa lettre était pleine d’erreurs. 

She doesn’t have any imagination.

Elle n’a pas d’imagination.

This is not whisky, it’s tea

Ceci n’est pas du whisky, c’est du thé.

Complete by a partitive article or by the preposition “de” according to the situation:

  1. Faut-il encore aller chercher…………du…….pain?
  2. Tu lui as fait……………………………de la………..peine.
  3. Je ne veux pas………………………………d’………….ennuis.
  4. Elle est arrivée avec beaucoup…………de………bagages.
  5. Je voudrais un kilo………………………de…………..cerises.
  6. La plupart………………………………des………….passagers ont eu le mal de mer.
  7. Buvez-vous……du……….thé ou………du………café ?
  8. Ils n’ont plus…………………………de……………travail.
  9. Avez-vous…………………des……………………….cigarettes.
  10. Ils n’ont pas acheté assez……………de………….lait.

French Food Vocabulary Guide

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve settled at your table in a fine French restaurant, airily waved away the English menu, started perusing the French menu… and realized you’re completely lost.

 Sure, you know that porc is pork. But what is travers de porc? And what about joues de boeuf? Does that really mean beef cheeks? Do cows even have cheeks?

There’s no question that at many French restaurants, extra vocabulary guidance is in order. Certain restaurants will feature parts of the animal that you’d likely have trouble naming in your native language, much less French. And even if you’re able to figure out the kind of food offered, then the mode of preparation – often included in the description – may throw you off. And then there’s the simple fact that hundreds of dishes have names that simply do not translate.

 Be baffled no more. Here’s a short guide to common French foods, dishes and preparation styles that you might encounter in a French restaurant.

Bon Appétit!

 French Meats & Poultry Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les viandes et les volailles)

 Agneau = lamb

 Andouillette= tripe sausage (chitterling sausage)

Biche = female deer

Canard = duck

Caneton = a young male duck

Cannette = a young female duck

Cervelle = brains

Coq = Rooster

Entrecôte = beef rib steak

Escargots = snails

Faux-filet = Sirlon steak

Gigot d’agneau = leg of lamb

Jambonneau = Pork knuckles

Langue de boeuf = tongue of beef

Lapin– rabbit

Marcassin – young wild boar

Magret de canard = fattened duck breast

Sanglier – wild boar

Moelle – beef bone marrow

Os – bone

Oie Goose

Paleron = shoulder of beef

Pied de mouton = sheep’s foot – OR – a kind of wild mushroom, so watch out!

Pied de porc = pig’s foot

Pigeon – pigeon

Pigeonneau – young pigeon

Pintade – guinea fowl

Queue – tail (e.g., queue de boeuf – oxtail)

Ris d’agneau/ veau = sweetbreads of lamb/veal

Rognons = kidneys

Travers de porc = spare ribs

Volaille – poultry

 

French Seafood Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les fruits de mer)

Cabillaud = cod

Calamar = squid

Crevettes = Shrimp

Gambas = large shrimp

Étrille = a small crab

Flétan = halibut

Goujons = small catfish, usually fried

Huîtres – Oysters

Limande = sole-like ocean fish

Lieu = Pollock (a white fish)

Lotte = monkfish

Morue = cod (young)

Moules = mussels

Noix de St. Jacques = sea scallops

Palourdes = Clams

Pétoncles = small scallops

Seiche = large squid

Truite = trout

 

French Vegetables Vocabulary

(Vocabulaire pour les légumes)

Asperge = asparagus

Aubergine = eggplant

Betterave = Beet

Carotte = carrot

Cèpe = porcini mushroom

Cresson = Swiss chard

Courge = squash

Courgettes = zucchini

Épinard = spinach

Fenouil = fennel

Mange-tout = snow peas

Navet = turnip

Poireaux = leeks

Panais = parsnips

 

French Foods/Dishes

(Cuisines française)

Acras de Morue = codfish cakes

Boudin noir = Blood sausage.

Charcuterie = various cold cuts, pork sausages and other salted, prepared meats

Cassoulet = a casserole of white beans, confit of duck or goose

Coq au vin = chicken slow-cooked in red wine, garlic and other seasonings and vegetables

Cuisses de Grenouilles = Frogs legs

Friture = a plate of small fried fish or other seafood

Galette – a crêpe made of buckwheat flour

Grattons – crispy fried pieces of pork; cracklings

Joues de Boeuf/Cochon = Beef cheeks/pig cheeks

Oeuf en meurette = poached egg in red wine sauce

Oeuf à la coque = soft-cooked egg

Pâté = a mixture of cook meat and fat, formed into a spreadable paste.

Quenelles = fish (usually pike) dumplings

Ragoût = stew

Rillettes = paté-like; salted pork (or other meat) cooked slowly in fat then formed into a paste.

Tête de veau = calf’s head.

French Preparation Terms

(preparation à la française)

à l’ancienne = in the old style

à la vapeur = steamed

à l’étouffée = stewed

à point = medium (cooked, as in a steak)

au four = baked

confit = meat (usually duck or goose) cooked in its own fat

coulis = fruit purée

croustillant = crispy

en croute = baked in a crust

farci = stuffed

feuilleté = cooked in a puff pastry /phyllo dough)

 fumé = smoked

mijoté(e) = simmered

papillote = cooked in parchment paper

Parmentier = with potatoes

 poêlée = cooked in a pan

 

 What’s the most memorable French dish you’ve eaten? Share with us below!


On y va! French Beach Vocabulary

These days in Paris, we’re experiencing une canicule (a heatwave). If you weren’t already thinking of heading à la plage (to the beach) for a refreshing getaway, you probably are now!

France has thousands of lovely beaches, from the sweeping golden shores found on the Atlantic Coast in places such as Bretagne (Brittany), Normandie (Normandy) and Biarritz, to the hidden coves and sparkling turquoise waters of la Mediterranée (the Mediterranean) in the South of France. The stunning island of Corse (Corsica) also offers extraordinary white sand beaches, and you’ll find amazing, plages sauvages (wild/unspoiled beaches) in the Poitou-Charente region.

If you’re really desperate for some sand-time but can’t leave Paris, there’s always Paris plage, an artificial beach created for one month every summer in the city center. This beach, which runs along the Seine, has several tons of imported sable (sand), chaises longues (beach chairs) and palmiers (palm trees), ice-cream stands, live music, and plenty of other activities. Although you’re not going to think yourself swept away to a beach in Cannes, it’s definitely worth a visit.

 French Beach Attire

If you’re going to French beach for the first time, you should there are a few things you should know – mainly about attire. Depending on where you are from, it may surprise you to see men of every age wearing tiny Speedos, and women of every age wearing tiny bikinis, and small children wearing nothing at all. In France, the body isn’t something to be hidden away in shame. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear as little as possible.

Which brings me to plages naturistes (nude beaches). You may have heard about France’s nude beaches, and it’s true that they are plentiful here. But that doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable for adults to run around tout nu (fully naked) any beach they choose. If you want to get naked on a beach, here a few tips:

  1. Research French nude beaches first. With a little Googling, it’s easy enough to find plages naturistes in any region.
  1. Observe the locals. If you’re not sure whether it’s socially acceptable to go full monty or topless, watch what the locals do. If you don’t see it, don’t do it. As a foreigner, you shouldn’t be the one to try to change the local custom.
  1. Don’t be rude. Taking pictures, staring, pointing or speaking loudly about nude beach-goers is a gross breach of etiquette. If you’ve accidentally stumbled upon a nude beach or upon the random naturiste / nudiste (nudist) and it makes you feel awkward or offended, simply go elsewhere.

 

French Beach Vocabulary

And now, here are some beach words that may come in handy during your vacances balnéaires (beach vacation).

 La sable – the sand

Les lunettes de soleil – the sunglasses

La serviette de plage – the beach towel

 

Le parasol –beach umbrella

La crème solaire – the sunscreen

Le maillot de bain – the swimsuit

Coup de soleil – sunburn

 

Le château de sable – the sandcastle

La pelle – the shovel

Le râteau – the rake

Le seau – the bucket

 

L’eau – the water

La vague – the wave

Le courant – the current

La marée haute –high tide

La marée basse –low tide

 

Un poisson – a fish

Une étoile de mer – a starfish

Une algue – algae

Un coquillage – a seashell

Une mouette (a seagulls)

 

A few useful verbs

Nager – to swim

Plonger – to dive

Prendre un bain de soleil – to sunbathe

Faire un pique-nique – to have a picnic

Faire un château de sable – to make a sand castle

 

Will you be going to a French beach this summer? Where will you go? Share with us below!


Bastille Day: Background & Vocabulary

How quickly the year is passing! Another July 14th is just around the corner. You may know it as Bastille Day, but here in France, it’s called “La Fête Nationale” or “le quatorze juillet.”  

 What’s it all about? Simply put, it’s the date that marks the start of la Révolution française (the French Revolution) and represents the day on which France won her independence from the unchecked and absolute power of the monarchy.

 A Quick History Lesson

 In the 1700s, France was divided into three social classes, known as “États” (estates): the first estate was le clergé (the clergy); the second estate was la noblesse (the nobility), and the Third Estate was everybody else. While the third estate did consist partially of the bourgeoisie (middle class), its largest component was the poorest of society, known sometimes as sans-culottes (without britches).  

 Although the first two estates made up about 3% of the entire population, they were disproportionally wealthy, privileged and powerful, and subjected the vulnerable people of the Tiers État (Third Estate) to harsh and arbitrary laws.

 By 1789, the country was mired in a severe crise économique (economic crisis) and many among Third Estate were fighting starvation, while the other two estates thrived. Ras-le-bol (fed up), the leaders of the Tiers État created a new assembly to write a constitution, very much against the wishes of King Louis XVI.

 On 14 juillet 1789, a mob in Paris, spurred by rumors that Louis XVI planned to use force to destabilize the new assembly, stormed the immense stone prison la Bastille, killing numerous guards and releasing the seven prisonniers politiques (political prisoners) it held. The storming of Bastille gave heart to the masses as the Bastille was viewed as the ultimate symbol of the monarchy’s absolute power. That very night hundreds of people began to tear down the Bastille, stone by stone.

 Just over a month later, on 26 août 1789, the new assembly voted for the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens), a constitution that set out the individual and collective rights of all French people, regardless of social class.  

 And so la République française was born.

Celebrating 14 juillet in Paris

Le quatorze juillet has been a jour férié (national holiday) since 1790. And in Paris it brings quite the doozy of a celebration.

In the morning, an enormous défilé militaire (military parade) struts down the Champs-Elysées to salute le Président de la République (President of the Republic) and other high-ranking French politicians who greet the procession at the Place de la Concorde. Low-flying military jets roar overhead in a spectacular flyby, the tri-colors of the le drapeau français (the French flag) trailing behind them in clouds of smoke. Of course, everyone sings l’hymne national (the national anthem), la Marseillaise.

 When night falls, thousands of people swarm toward the beautifully-lit Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) to watch the feu d’artifice (fireworks), which burst into life just behind the legendary tower. Those not at the Eiffel Tower might be dancing the night away at the exhilarating bal des pompiers (Firemen’s Ball). These balls – hardly formal events – take place in firehouses all over Paris and are open to the public, usually with just a suggested donation.

 Sounds good, non? Come to Paris and celebrate with us!  Bonne fête!

Will you be in Paris for le 14 juillet? How will you celebrate?  Share with us (in French, if you like) below!

(photo: Sergii Rudiuk / Shutterstock.com)

French Health Food Vocabulary

The gastronomic delights of Paris can make even the most health conscious people want to fling caution to the wind and indulge in the many temptations available. The breakfast offerings alone – pain au chocolat, chausson aux pommes, croissant aux amandes, for example – can make you drool with desire.

But don’t think you’re “being French” by heedlessly scarfing down these goodies every day. Despite the so-called French paradox, most French people seek to eat balanced, healthy meals without excessive indulgence in the richest dishes.

If you want to eat healthy in Paris, there’s little excuse for not doing so. Paris’s legendary markets offer wondrously fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables, grains and meats. And every year, it gets easier and easier to find quality bio (organic) foods, whether at restaurants, market stalls or in supermarkets.

If you plan on preparing much of your own healthy meals, you’ll have no problem finding a chain organic shop, such as Naturalia, Biocoop or Bio C’Bon or even neighborhood boutique shops such as Le Carillon d’Olivier. In ordinary supermarkets, there’s almost always an organic products section – just look for packages marked with the green and white “AB” label.  (AB stands for “Agriculture Biologique,” which means that at least 95% of the products’ ingredients are organic.)

In terms of organic open-air markets, the best ones are Marché Raspail, Marché Batignolles, and Marché Brancusi. If you can’t make it those, be assured that you can almost always find at least one stall selling organic produce in any market.

While you won’t have trouble finding organic products in Paris, you may have difficulty finding exactly what you’re looking for, as Paris doesn’t necessarily have the same health foods as North America or the UK.  

To make things a little easier for you, we’ve provided below: (i) a translation of common health foods available in France, and (ii) common terms on packaging labels. Bon appétit!

 

French Health Food Vocabulary

Almond Butter – beurre d’amande

Almond Milk – lait d’amande

Buckwheat flour – farine de sarrasin / noir

Chickpeas – les pois chiches

Flaxseed /Linseed oil – graines de lin / huile de lin

Coconut Oil – L’huile de coco / l’huile de noix de coco

Coconut Milk – lait de coco

Gluten-Free – sans gluten

Grass-Fed beef – boeuf nourri au fourrage

Hazelnut Milk – lait de noisette

Oatmeal – Flocon d’avoine

Quinoa – Quinoa

Soymilk – lait de soja

Tofu – Tofu

Wheatgerm – germe de blé

Wheatgrass / Wheatgrass juice –   Agropyre / Le jus d’herbe de blé

 Whole wheat – blé complet

 Wild salmon – saumon sauvage

 Raw milk / Unpasteurised milk – lait cru

 

Terminology on French food packaging labels:

Valeur énergétique – Calories (energetic value)

Matières grasses – Fat

Lipides dont acides “gras saturés” – Lipids composed of “saturated fats”

Glucides – carbohydrates

Glucides dont sucres – carbohydrates included sugar

 Protéines – protein

Fibres – Fibers

Sel – Salt

Poids Net – Total Weight

Par Portion – By portion/ serving size

A consommer de préférence avant le [date]: Preferably consumed before the [date]…

 

Have any questions about French health food vocabulary? Ask us in the comments below!


How to Learn French Noun Gender: Part II

Last week, we wrote about the importance of learning French noun gender and presented multiple categories of words that tend to be either masculine or feminine.

This week, we want to give you 3 more important clues to use to assess whether a French noun is masculine or feminine. We use the word “clue” as opposed to “rule” because – alas – in every category, there’s almost always an exception. But once you memorize and internalize these clues you’ll get the gender right, let’s say… 8 out of 10 times.

Not bad, eh? Here we go:

Clue #1: Most words that refer to men are masculine; those that refer to women are feminine.

Le père (the father)

Le fils (the son)

La tante (the aunt)

La soeur (the sister)

 

Clue #2: Certain nouns are always masculine or feminine regardless of the gender of the person/animal referred to.

Always masculine nouns:

Un ordinateur (a computer)

Un témoin (a witness)

Un manteau (an overcoat)

Un cheval (a horse)

Un guide (a guide)

Always feminine nouns:

Une voiture (a car)

Une souris (a mouse)

Une maison (a house)

Une école (a school)

Une personne (a person)

Une victime (a victim)

 

Clue #3: Certain French nouns endings indicate that the word is either masculine or feminine. Exceptions abound, however. We’ve included the more common ones below, but be always be on the look out for more.

Typically masculine endings:

  • -age (le reportage, sondage, fromage, village)/ Exceptions: la plage, la cage
  • -acle (le miracle, spectacle) / Exceptions: la bâcle, la bernacle, la debâcle
  • -eur (un aspirateur, un ascenseur)/ Exceptions: la chaleur, la couleur, la fleur
  • (le café, marché) / Exception: la clé and words ending with té (see feminine)
  • -eau (bateau, réseau, drapeau) Exceptions: l’eau, la peau
  • -ème (le deuxième, le cinquantième) / Exceptions: la/le troisième, la/le quatrième,
  • -in (le vin, le train) Exception: la fin, la main
  • -ing (le shampooing, le jogging)
  • -isme (le tourisme, organisme, imperialisme)
  • -ment (le gouvernement, appartement)
  • -oir (le soir, le miroir, le devoir)
  • -oi (le tournoi, l’emploi)
  • -ou (le genou, le trou)

 

Typically feminine endings

  • -ade (la limonade, la façade)  Exceptions: masc & fem: le/la nomade, le/la malade
  • -ance (la croissance, la nuance, une ambiance)
  • -aille (la bataille, la taille, la paille)
  • -ée (une idée, la chausée) Exception: le lycée, le musée, le pygmée
  • -ette (la baguette, la courgette)
  • -euse (la chanteuse, la berceuse)
  • -ience (la patience, une experience)
  • -ine (la tartine, la terrine) / Exception: le moine
  • -rice (actrice, directrice) / Exceptions:  le dentifrice
  • -ssion (la passion, une emission) / Exceptions: le bouton-pression
  • -tion (l’information, la question, une ambition)
  • -té (la beauté, la fierté) / Exception: Le blé
  • -tié (la moitié, la pitié)
  • -tude (une habitude, la certitude, la gratitude)
  • -ure (une allure, la candidature)

 

HOMEWORK: Pick 3 masculine word endings and 3 feminine word endings and find 3 new nouns with those endings. Write your answers in the comments below! And, of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us below or contact us.