Archive for the ‘French Language’ Tag

Quelle langue est ma langue maternelle

An interesting question since I have spoken English, German, and French pretty much all my life and am functional in all three. On the other hand, there is the question of certification. For example, someone can be a native French speaker, yet not considered such for immigration purposes. The case in point is Emile DuBois, a French woman who was somehow deemed to not speak French according to Canadian Immigration authorities. The Quebec authorities decided she wasn’t a Francophone since part of her doctoral thesis was written in English! Eventually the Quebec authorities saw reason. On the other hand, I have a cousin who emigrated to Canada from the US and only had to converse with the immigration authority to be deemed proficient in French in Montreal.

Go figure!

Canada isn’t on my list of places I want to move to though: even the Francophone parts. I may like Quebec and the Gaspé, but I prefer France or Belgium.

Anyway, I had to say what was my “mother tongue” as part of my application for the DELF. I said “Anglais”. I don’t think it mattered much if it wasn’t French. Even then the purpose of the DELF is to show proficiency, even if one is a native French speaker. There are a lot of reasons for taking the DELF, business or personal. In my case, it is one of the requirements for French citizenship.

Jean-Paul Belmondo est mort!

I’ve known about it for a couple of days since I was greeted by a banner announcing that when I went to the FNAC site to research Apple Macs. Another thing I would have posted about if I were still on Fesses de Bouc. Although, Belmondo is one of the famous French Film stars, he’s more associated with the Nouvelle-Vague. Or “New Wave” in English, but the “vague” seems to carry over since those films tend to be something a certain sort of viewer likes.

He did do some things that were more mass market, but Bout de Souffle tends to be his most famous work. Borsalino is another one he did, but I think of Alan Delon more than Belmondo. In fact, I need to go and watch some of Belmondo’s classics to remember him. I have seen his films, but he’s one of those actors who is an actor and becomes the role so much that you forget about who is playing and pay more attention to the character.

Belmondo will be a definite part of French Culture even if he may never reach the controversiality of a Serge Gainsbourg or bring out the divided feelings Gainsbourg or Johnny Hallyday will raise if you mention them to a French person.

Un village français series 6 DVDs releasing in October!

Amazon France has the release date as 28th of October.  No product data available about this release.Un village français

It seems that there are a couple of networks that have run this series in the past with subtitles: TV5Monde and Mhz ran (runs?) the series in French in Quebec. it’s been officially released in Germany and Sweden (besides France). This series is unofficially on Youtube as well.

I’m sort of surprised that this hasn’t made it to a larger audience.  It’s on a couple lot of lists of “must see” French TV. It is probably the best of the lot (with Engrenages/Spiral coming in a close second).  I mentioned Aleesandra Stanley’s New York Times Article: The Elusive Pleasures of French TV Series– ‘Spiral’ and 3 Other French Shows Worth Seeking Out in another post.

IOffer has copies of this show with subtitles, but I would not suggest doing that as the copies are not “official”. I would guess that they are most definitely bootlegs.  On the other hand, it has long been a gripe with me that the rightsholders do not do their best to make sure a popular programme like this sees the type of release it deserves: both on broadcast and DVD sales.
There is at least an Australian version of series 1 that was released on 11 March 2015. It’s a region 4 release.  Unfortunately, it only appears to be the first series at this time.

Anyway, there is at least one more series to deal with the aftermath of the war since this series deals with the liberation of France.  This series appears to start with an announcement that Paris has been liberated.  I can tell that things will get messy  from the part of the first episode I watched (collabos and resistance will spar it out in post-War France).UVF 5a Actually, a lot of things are going to get tied together in this series, which means that you need to watch the whole thing to have some idea of what is going on.

Alas, the ending of Series 5 may end up being is one of those things that you have to use your imagination.  My vote is that Müller made sure the Maquisards received a standing ovation from his troops before machinegunning them (I hope that’s not too much of a spoiler).  The picture here is a clue to what was happening.

(Yes, I thought about posting a clip of the ending, but that would really spoil it for you.  I’m hoping I have not given too much of a spoiler as is.
I also edited this to get a better version of the ending scene.)

Foutre le Camp

I had something nasty to say here, but I won’t.  If the person the nasty remark was intended for was intelligent as he believes himself to be, he would figure it out.

Anyway, this is actually a notation to myself, but it applies to the person above as well.

Posted 27/04/2015 by lacithedog in French

Tagged with

More French puns

Les_Revenants_1_Yara_Pilartz_articleI was rewatching “Les Revenants” and there’s a scene in the first episode where Camille says something like “J’ai crevé“, which can be taken a couple of ways.

  1. She’s really tired
  2. She’s dead

I’m not sure if the writers intended the double entendre, but it was funny when I caught it.

For those who are not familiar with the series, Camille died in a bus crash four years before the show “begins” and reappearing in the “present”.  Naturally, her family is a little shocked to see her.
While I like the English language a lot, I am finding that French does have some fun words to play with (also see baiser).   Baiser would have been useful for the person who was a little over affectionate with his SO at the airport drop off lane:

Pourquoi ne allez-vous pas ailleurs si vous voulez baiser votre petite amie?

Somethings just don’t translate well to English.

Phrase du jour

je n’en ai rien à foutre

Je ne pouvais pas à foutre

50 years of Dogmatix/Idefix

Dogmatix2015 is the 50th anniversary of Dogmatix/Idefix’s appearance in Asterix and the Banquet. He is Dogmatix in the English translations. The original French name is Idéfix, itself a pun on the French expression idée fixe (fixed idea) meaning an obsession.

Molly Shattuck should have taken the kid to France…

"Look at that interesting painting over there...!

“Oh, look at that interesting painting over there…!”

I still don’t think she did it, but the more I think she should have taken the kid to France when I think about what is alleged to have happened.  This is a riff on my previous post where I said:

 Hell, thinking about it, she could have afforded to fly her and the kid over to Paris on the Concorde and stay at a 5 star hotel in the day for a naughty weekend (15 is the age of consent in France according to Code Penale, Article 227-25): why would she snog him in a parking lot?

Seriously, she could have been as outrageous as she is alleged to have been but have gotten away with it.  Well, she would have to make it look as if they had a chance encounter to not run afoul of US law, but she could meet him at the Musée d’Orsay and steer him up to Gustave Courbet’s L’Origine du monde. She could say something erudite about it such as: “the ample, sensual brushstrokes and the use of colour recall Venetian painting. I find his use of sepia tones quite masterful. Don’t you?

Then, she could say “Tu pourrais me baiser si te veux…”  She could explain that she meant he could kiss her if there are any untoward (or unwanted) assumptions which come from that request since the word “baiser” can be taken a couple of ways. This was a malentendu caused by her ignorance of the French language (Oh, I should have said “Tu pourrais m’embrasser si te veux…” silly me.).

Tant pis if he declined the propositions since she could head to a clothing optional beach where she would receive what would appear to be a red carpet greeting until she realised it was men’s tongues hanging out since she is a canon (super nana?).

She would also have the option of picking up a local if the kid rebuffed her offer as well.  She could also have gone to Portugal (AOC is 14) or Spain (AOC is 13) if she was really intent on young talent.

If the kid had taken her up on her proposition and she brought her sprogs, the noises could be explained by her saying she was trying to get the proper French pronunciation of the number one. She was very happy when finally she got it right (un, un, un, un AHHHHHHHHH). [1]

Vive la France!

[1] An alternative explanation could be that they were discussing 20th Century music. The topic of authorship and female voices in electrovocal music came up.  Ms. Shattuck was merely performing Berio’s Visage as an example of that genre. (Yes, although this piece was composed as a radio programme, it can also be performed as a stage work. It is the musical setting of a ‘drama’ that has never been written.)

Another option would be to say they were doing an impression of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg.

Good one

I was doing a search and Google (English) gave this as a suggestion. Pretty funnyCe quoi ce bordel crop

French characters

The French keyboards used to drive me nuts when I worked in Belgium, but you need the characters if you don’t want the following problem:

pêche, péché

C’etait vraiment un peche pour le pecheur de manger la peche.
C’était vraiment un péché pour le pêcheur de manger la pêche


Aimer le pecheur deteste le peche.
Aimer le pécheur déteste le péché

The solution is to use ALT codes to get the properly accented character.

ALT codes only work with the numeric keypad, NOT the row of numbers across the top of your keyboard. So they won’t work on a laptop unless you hit number lock to activate the number pad “built into” the right-side of your keyboard, which is a big hassle because then the letters won’t work. Bottom line, if you’re on a laptop, choose a different keyboard rather than messing around with ALT codes.

To type accents with ALT codes, hold down the ALT key, then on the numeric keypad type the three or four digits listed here. When you release the ALT key, the character will appear.

a with grave accent
à ALT + 133 À ALT + 0192

a with circumflex
â ALT + 131 Â ALT + 0194

a with tréma
ä ALT + 132 Ä ALT + 142

a e ligature
æ ALT + 145 Æ ALT + 146

c with cedilla
ç ALT + 135 Ç ALT + 128

e with acute accent
é ALT + 130 É ALT + 144

e with grave accent
è ALT + 138 È ALT + 0200

e with circumflex
ê ALT + 136 Ê ALT + 0202

e with tréma
ë ALT + 137 Ë ALT + 0203

i with circumflex
î ALT + 140 Î ALT + 0206

i with tréma
ï ALT + 139 Ï ALT + 0207

o with circumflex
ô ALT + 147 Ô ALT + 0212

o e ligature
œ ALT + 0156 Œ ALT + 0140

u with grave accent
ù ALT + 151 Ù ALT + 0217

u with circumflex
û ALT + 150 Û ALT + 0219

u with tréma
ü ALT + 129 Ü ALT + 154

French quotation marks
« ALT + 174 » ALT + 175

Euro symbol (also mentioned here)
€ ALT + 0128

Posted 06/10/2014 by lacithedog in French, french language

Tagged with

Unintended consequences

I did a post a while back about how my paypal account somehow defaulted to French. I decided to keep it that way to work on my French.

The unexpected advantage is that if anyone pretends to be Paypal and sends me something in English–I know it’s a scam.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a good idea to change the default language if you can’t speak it.

Posted 01/10/2014 by lacithedog in French

Tagged with ,

un village français saison 6

It seems that this was shown from the 4th of March until the 4th of June on French TV, yet the DVDs are not out.

I haven’t gotten as far as finishing the fifth series yet, but I have seen the ending and am intrigued as to WHAT Müller will do.   We know he is a sadistic fuck, but how much of one remains to be seen.  He was a really, bad guest of Chassagne,  but Chassagne deserved it.

Anyway, Series 5 ended with a nice cliff hanger.  Part of me wonders if Müller doesn’t have a sense of the dramatic himself and want to see how it ends as well.

Series 6 gets the people of Villeneuve to the time of the Liberation (AKA D-Day and the following).  There is also an upcoming series 7, but I think anything beyond that would be a real treat!

Anyway, I wait for the DVDs to be released since I’m hooked on this soap opera.

I can only imagine

OK, I’m on a website and for some reason I flip on the language selection as a pure lark. This pops up:
languages 2OK, the usual thing is to have one of the official languages (e.g., French or English in Canada; Flemish, French, or German in Belgium), but English in the other countries.  I’m really curious as to what the result is.

I can only imagine.  Does it imply that the English is written in the accent of the country in question: “Ze package eet is on eet’s way..”

OK, this liking of things French may have gone a bit to far!

PUTAIN! Mon compte de paypal est en français! Ce quoi ce bordel?!?!?

paypal compte

I should have guessed when I started getting e-mail from them in French. I thought it was because I had done a couple of transactions with France in a few minutes, but the notifications were from anglophone transactions (transactions with anglophones?).

corriel paypal

Actually, if this happens to you go to the language in “options relatives au compte” and switch the language to something you can understand.

Personally, I’m keeping it this way, but it was a bit weird getting a French website.  It also seems I’m not alone in having this happen as well.

Bumme Heure

This is my response and message to the New York Times’ Aleesandra Stanley for her Article: The Elusive Pleasures of French TV Series– ‘Spiral’ and 3 Other French Shows Worth Seeking Out.  I agree with her that Engrenages (Spiral) is really good as is The Killing (which is also what it was called when broadcast in the UK, which was Danish and not French–so, I’m not sure why she mentioned it, but…).  Anyway: here’s my comment.

Really elusive for one of them: Un Village Francais.  That is the only one of them which has no English subtitles.  It’s also fairly expensive too boot since it’s pretty much a region two item.  Amazon UK has the first series on sale for £30 (it’s the only one with subtitles–French subtitles).

My french is good enough that I probably don’t need the subtitles, but I also don’t want to spend between £30 and 125 for the series!

Only the Returned (Les Revenants) and Spiral are available on Netflix.  I’m not sure if Maison Close is available in the US.

On the other hand, there is a fifth show for this list: Braquo, which I think is a US release, but also not on Netflix.  I have a region 2 copy, which happened to be cheaper (As was Maison Close series 1).

I have to add to this that I have been wanting to see Un Village Francais since Audrey Fleurot and Thierry Godard from Spiral are in it.  I’ve been looking for a copy and your article made me a bit hopeful.

Everyone who has seen it has said it is really good: so, it’s kind of a bumme heure that it’s not available en anglais.

And expensive to boot!

Anyway, I haven’t seen two of these, Returned (Les Revenants)  and Maison Close, and will take her advice.  I am upset that no one has decided to market a subtitled Un Village Francais since everyone who has seen it has said how good it it,  I’m pretty sure a UK (or Aussie version) would be a whole lot less expensive than the current French release.

Also, one other point it seems that the French release of Un Village Francais only has French subtitles on series one.  The rest of them have no subtitles.

Also, I decided to price check for this.  The series DVDs are pretty expensive, but L’Integral (series 1-5) works out to be 58,49 (about US$84.54).  That would be the best option, except that it doesn’t come with English (or French subtitles other than Series 1).  I hate ordering a DVD only to have it become available later with subtitles.  Also, having subtitles lets me share it with my friends.

Actually, there are aftermarket subtitles available for this series.  They’re free and “work”, but you get what you pay for.