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.
Last Saturday, I was at some friends’ celebrating the end of rugby season (or rather trying to make it last a little bit longer!) with my husband and two boys. We are not talking adult rugby but Under 9 , so the driveway looked a bit like a school playground gone completely mad with around 15 tough kids running wild!
At one point, I went looking for my 8-year-old as he was nowhere to be seen, and found him, upset, hiding behind the house. He told me that one of the other boys had “bullied” him. I never got the full story but from what I understand, the said boy probably said something mean and carried on playing.
Call me old(-fashioned) but I just cannot get into abbreviating what I type! So, yes, it takes me for-e-ver….
When I see my kids’ texts, I am just amazed at this whole new language they seem to be using with such ease!
And I feel very very old(-fashioned)…
So here is a list of common French text abbreviations you (and I) might find useful:
There is one topic I have always been passionate about, as a teacher, a mother and a writer, and this topic is bullying.
I loathe bullying and my heart sinks every time I hear of bullying stories driving beautiful young souls to despair. I believe that no child should feel alone, insecure or threatened.
So when I see a campaign or an initiative which goal is to help eradicate this sneaky from of violence, I need to share it with the world! And I cross fingers people will get on board and help fight this worldwide epidemic.
Do you know Le Forum?
Because if you don’t, well, then, you should!
Le Forum is a bookshop which was established in Fremantle in 2004. It is an independent bookstore dedicated to bring the best of French culture to Australia’s doorstep. All of their products are also accessible via their online-selling shop and available to be shipped across Australia and New Zealand. If you are in the Perth Area, you can even visit their shop (address below)!
- Australia’s largest selection of French language books
- French Authors translated into English
- Resource material for students and French teachers
- Books about Australia for our overseas visitors
- DVDs: A selection of French movies subtitled or available in both languages.
In Addition, they organise:
- Story telling sessions
- Book club
- Book signing, meet the author
Events will be announced on the ‘home’ page of their website (see below).
Another wonderful initiative is French Books on Wheels Inc (Le Van du Livre) which is a registered not-for-profit association in Australia. The project aims at meeting francophiles and francophones and familiarise them with French language publications through cultural exchanges all over Australia. With their partner ‘Le Forum’, a selection of books, magazines and DVDs is for sale in the van.
Working in the Van is Anne Mangeant, who has been living in Australia for 15 years and who represents Bayard and Milan Presse, the educational magazines for children and young adults. Also working in the Van is Jacques Bernard, who set up the first and only French bookshop Le Forum in Australia 10 years ago. He is very active in the Association Internationale des Libraires Francophones (AILF) which is based in Paris.
I have had the pleasure to meet them both and must say that they are extremely nice and helpful! Definitely part of my “Amazing Frenchies in Australia” category!
So do not waste any more time and go and browse their well-stocked website or shop!
Le Forum, your French bookshop in Australia
3 Westgate Mall, Fremantle WA
(between Adelaide and Cantonment street)
(08) 9 3355 730 – firstname.lastname@example.org
ABN: 45 161 606 496
«Crari», «staive, «wesh»… Les expressions… by liberation
REPORTAGE VIDÉO (cliquez ci-dessus)
A l’occasion de la semaine de la langue française et de la francophonie, Libération a demandé à des élèves de 5e du collège Françoise Dolto dans le XXe arrondissement de Paris, quels étaient leurs mots ou expression favoris.
Fanny LESBROS et Cécile BOURGNEUF
Staive = On s’en fout / C’est ta vie
Vas-y ! = Arrête !
Wesh = Bonjour
Ma gueule = Mon frère / Aussi, pour attirer l’attention
Trop = Beaucoup / Très
Tu fais trop genre = Tu te la pètes
Elle fait sa meuf = Elle fait sa belle
Fais pas crari = Arrête de craner
Connaissez-vous d’autres expressions?