La bise 101

 

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.

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Le retour des bons points !!!

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

Discover Paristique!

paristique

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!

Paristique Map example

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;

Don’t miss the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2017!

AF Film Festival 2017
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.

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Off the Beaten Track: 8 cool things to do with kids in Paris

With  my boys in Paris in 2015

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

40 useful French text message abbreviations

Texting

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:

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11 useful websites to learn/teach French!

 

Learn French

Whether you are learning French or teaching the “langue de Molière”, you probably have found yourself in the situation of trying to find some cool and useful websites to assist you with your French.
And if you indeed have, then you probably know how frustrating this process can be!! So many places to look, so little time, right?

So in order to save you some precious time, I have put together a list of some of my favourite sites, for all levels.

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