With my boys in Paris in 2015
My friend Andrea called me last week to “pick my brain” about places of interest that she could visit and activities she could do with her three boys when visiting Paris next July. But not just the usual stuff! Something a bit more off the beaten track…
As I started to browse the Internet finding some really fun activities to do with children, I realised that this information might actually be of interest to travelling families. So, here is a list of 8 cool things to do in Paris with little people! And no, we are not talking EuroDisney… Continue reading
When asked about difficult words to translate, “you” would most certainly not top your list! However…
As you will hear in this excellent video from Krystian Aparta, translating the simple pronoun “YOU” is not always as easy as it sounds!! It’s actually often impossible to accurately translate “you” without knowing more about the situation where it’s being said. Krystian describes the specific reasons why it can be difficult, citing examples from many different languages.
Watch this 3mn47 video to learn more!
As you may have read in the news, translators around the world are struggling translating and interpreting Donald Trump’s speeches.
The cause? Run on sentences, disjointed syntax, repetitions and well, let’s face it, limited vocabulary.
According to professional translator Bérengère Viennot, “For translators, Trump is an unprecendented and desolating struggle”.
And as the French say, Bérengère “n’y va pas par quatre chemins” (she does not beat around the bush – no pun intended) by adding bluntly: “When it comes to speaking of something other than his victory, he clings desperately to the words contained in the question put to him, without succeeding in completing his own thought.”
Paristique’s beautiful watercolour interactive map
If you are planning a trip to Paris or just want to learn more about the City of Lights’ history, head to the very cool website called Paristique!
Paristique is an interactive online map where each dot represents an urban element: a street, a square, a boulevard or a parvis (6,840 places in total).
If you want to learn about the origin of a place’s name, all you have to do is click on it and a box explaining the origin and history of that place will open.
Note: the site is exclusively in French!
An example of a street description on Paristique
Guillaume Derolez, a Google engineer and creator of Paristique, carried out an impressive amount of research about Parisian streets on the no less impressive City of Paris’ Open Data website.
The result is pretty impressive with its gorgeous watercolour map, colour-coded points of interest (white for streets, yellow for squares, pedestrian streets in blue).
So if you have some time to check it out, do not hesitate! A good way to practise your reading skills in French!
Source: outilstice.com; paristique.fr; 20minutes;fr;
The biggest festival of French films outside of France!
Now in its 28th year, the AF (Alliance Française) French Film Festival is the biggest film festival in Australia but also the biggest festival of French films outside of France.
Last year, the AF offered 2,450 sessions nation-wide with a programme comprising 48 movies!
This festival is an opportunity to see the best of contemporary French cinema.
This year, it will be screening from the 7th to the 30th of March, opening with “The Odyssey” (Directed by Jérôme Salle / Starring Lambert Wilson, Audrey Tautou & Pierre Niney) and closing with the movie “A bun in the oven” (Directed by Nadège Loiseau / Starring Karin Viard, Philippe Rebbot & Hélène Vincent).
The festival will be presenting no less than 45 different movies in total from directors such as Emmanuelle Bercot, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Nicole Garcia, Benoît Jacquot and Mia Hansen-Løve, Philippe Lioret, Martin Provost, Jérôme Salle, Bertrand Tavernier and Roschdy Zem.
Let me introduce you to Paul Taylor.
Paul is English. He grew up in France, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
He now lives in Paris and quit a job at Apple in order to perform stand-up comedy in both English and French.
He created, wrote and starred his own show on Canal+ called “What the Fuck France!” (excuse my French…). And if you have not heard of it yet, then you really should! In these short and funny videos, the popular youtuber dissects French habits with typical British humour.
His first video “La bise” (“The kiss on the cheek”) hit over 2 million views!!
This week, I am passing on an excellent article from the Embassy of France in Wellington on 17 (good) reasons to learn French.
If you have another good reason, feel free to add it in the comments below!
1. Learning one language is not enough
In today’s world, speaking one foreign language is not enough. Students who speak several languages will increase their chances of finding a job, whether at home or abroad. Learning another language enriches the mind and opens up new horizons, both personal and professional.
2. French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents
More than 220 million people speak French on all the five continents. French is a major language of international communication. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the second most widely taught language after English, and is taught on every continent. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, is made up of 77 member States and governments. France also operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language course for close on a million learners.
3. A career asset
The ability to speak both French and English is an advantage for finding a job with the many multinational companies using French as their working language, in a wide range of sectors (retailing, automotive, luxury goods, aeronautics, etc.). France, as the world’s fifth biggest economy, attracts entrepreneurs, researchers and the cream of foreign students.