Most people know or have heard of “la bise” as a French form of greeting. But what is “la bise” exactly and most importantly, how does it work? If you are one of the many people left discombobulated by the mysterious Gallic custom, read ahead!
First things first, who on earth came up with such a silly idea?
Well, apparently, it is all the Romans’ fault as they would be the ones who started this curious business! They used to have three different types of kisses: the romantic kiss (saevium), the religious or friendly kiss (osculum) and finally the greeting kiss (basium – word at the origin of the French word “bise”) which they would use in a very similar manner the French do today.
And though kissing was actually banned in France during the Plague for obvious health and safety reasons, the “bise” resurfaced during WW1 to never leave again!
These days, “faire la bise” is pretty much a social convention.
Ah les bons points, que de bons souvenirs….
C’était le siècle dernier (eh oui, cela ne nous rajeunit pas), mais comme je les attendais avec impatience ces bons points quand j’étais à l’école primaire. Même s’il est vrai que je passais plus de temps sous le bureau de la maîtresse qu’à trier ma collection de points, je me souviens encore du bonheur procuré par ces petites images sans prétention ! Une simple vache dans un pré ou un chaton coquin, aucun texte, mais la fierté de l’obtenir n’avait aucun équivalent!
Et je me rends compte en enseignant le français à des élèves de l’école primaire, que la carotte, mes amis, ça fonctionne toujours! J’aime pouvoir récompenser et encourager mes élèves et surtout je préfère célébrer les réussites plutôt que de sanctionner les erreurs. Et le côté ludique des bons points me semble convenir parfaitement à l’âge des apprenants.
Et plutôt que d’essayer de trouver un fournisseur local (eh oui, je suis en Australie!!), j’ai découvert qu’il était possible de tout simplement créer ses propres bons points. Tout ce dont vous avez besoin est d’un ordinateur, d’Internet, de Word, d’une imprimante et si possible d’une plastifieuse!
Et pour vous faciliter encore plus la tâche, il y a de nombreux modèles prêts à l’emploi en ligne.
Vous trouverez ci-dessous mes préférés: 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!!