Archive for the ‘French’ 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 WorldviewTV5.ca 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.)

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.

I’m realising I’ve spent way too much time in Pays Francophone

Since I can catch that this is (a very good) parody of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin (amongst other French cultural references lately). And, this seems appropriate given that ‘Allo ‘Allo was a soft porn parody of Secret Army (I’ll confess that I watched episodes of ‘Allo Allo after watching Secret Army since SA is pretty heavy stuff).

Anyway, here is the original, which sounds like the soundtrack to a porn film (and if you are at all familiar with Serge Gainsbourg, you know he did some seriously weird shit).

With that, I’ll leave you to enjoy steak frites and a glass of vin rouge.