Monday, May 29, 2006

Je comprends!!

Listen, learn, laugh (and read)

Ouh là! The vocabulary I've been learning lately IS coming in handy.

Not exactly talking about working the words in a French conversation but understanding them and the words that surround them. I'm grasping sentences! I know Eddie isn't talking about a "smile" under the table. I can laugh when the French laugh. Bien sûr, it helps that half the stand-up is in English.

Je comprends I understand
Ouh là wow

la vidéo: Eddie Izzard, "Dressed to Kill"
Found on the internet (You tube) today

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cat got your tongue?

You'd think that if you've heard one cat "meow"- you've heard them all. But a French cat goes "miaou".

"Here kitty kitty" or even "ici minou minou" is not going to get a French cat near you. You have to say "bi biss".

But saying "viens ici, mon minou" might get your sweetheart near you. Or not.

un chat/une chatte = a cat (m/f)
le minou = the cat, kitty cat, pussycat (m+f); can be used as a term of endearment
viens ici, mon minou = come here, my cat

Cat got your tongue could be translated with:
tu as mangé ta langue = you ate your tongue
tu as avalé ta langue = you swallowed your tongue

Animal sounds and commands from around the world

la photo: a one-eyed cat (no photoshop retouching here!)
à Neuenbürg en Allemand, en août 2002

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Who's afraid of-- a smile?

La question du jour had me thinking about creepy, crawly, slimy snakes and insects. Berk!

I shuddered at the thought and looked over the answers that were already there.
The first answer perplexed me. Les souris? Huh? I read it out loud to myself. Hmmm... sounds familiar.

Oh yeah, smile. Wait. What?! Smile? She's afraid of a smile? I read the second answer.
Someone else is afraid of this animal?! Maybe it's slang?

I looked it up online and was greeted
by smiles. Below the bright smile I found something that may indeed cause fear (although not for elephants): a mouse.

berk = yuck
le sourire = smile, grin

je souris = I smile

tu souris = you smile

la souris = mouse, computer mouse

la photo: Mascot of the Dubai Summer Surprises

aux Émirates arabes unis, juin 2005

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

Today, there are a lot of muchachos and muchachas celebrating General
Ignacio Zaragoza's underdog victory over French invaders at the Battle of

Puebla in Mexico in 1862. A stampede of cattle was even set off as part
of the effort
to stop and literally crush the invasion.

Today, Cinco de Mayo is also widely celebrated in the United States where it seems to be doubly as festive than in Mexico. And indeed, why not?
Mexican-Americans have twice the reason to celebrate: Zaragoza's victory also prevented the French from helping the rebel Confederates.

Understandably there isn't any celebrating in France today. However, the French
don't have to wait long to celebrate and enjoy a day off: May 8 is la fête de
la victoire!
On Monday, France and the rest of Europe celebrate the end of the
Second World War.

Cinco de Mayo = 5th of May
la fête de la victoire! = VE Day

la photo: Apache Canyon Ranch Bed & Breakfast
à Laguna (Albuquerque) au Nouveau-Mexique, en septembre 2001

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

under the sea

sous les mers

There's a lot going on under the sea. It's not just for fish or divers. If you are a science fiction enthusiast and a lover of extraordinary voyages then it's for you, too.

Sous-marin, the Nautilus of Jules Verne's imagination covers 20,000 leagues or 60,000 nautical miles of Captain Nemo's adventures. Sur terre, countless readers of all ages around the world are discovering this French novelist's work everyday, in their own language. He remains the most translated novelist in the world, according to UNESCO statistics.

But if you do like history and diving as well– then go to the Island of San Telmo on the coast of Panama. Standing on the beach at low tide you can already see one of only five existing submersible crafts that were built before 1870. Dive in to get a closer look at the Sub Marine Explorer invented by Julius Koehler and imagine yourself vingt mille lieues sous les mers . . .

sous-marin = undersea; submersible; submarine

sur terre = on land
vingt mille lieues sous les mers = 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (published in 1870)

L'illustration: Unter dem Meer

Illustrateur: The nephew's imagination covers a Din A4 page. He unknowingly accepted the challenge of
this week's IllustrationFriday theme.