Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Vote this blog into immortalité!

I Learn French -- that is, this very blog you're reading -- has been nominated as one one the top language-learning blogs of 2014 (which proves the nominator has not been reading it!). Whether you agree or not, click below to vote. Placing high would be trop bien!

Click on the link below, the scroll down to "I Learn French" and click. Then repeat. Merci beaucoup!
Vote the Top 100 Language Learning Blogs 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

French train désastre - the real truth

You may have heard the news, reported gleefully by the American press, that France's railway service just received hundreds of new train cars that -- zut alors! -- are 8 inches too wide for over a thousand stations.

There's been a lot of finger pointing going on in France right now, but, having spent years trying to learn French, I think I know the real explanation of how the inexplicable could've happened: Someone got confused because the paperwork was...in French!

Happens to the best of us.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Watch your mouth!

15 things you think you're saying in French that mean something quite different! (And can be quite embarrassing)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Is "Bon appétit" Déclassé?

In an op-ed in today's NY Times, an American expat living in France is scolded that "bon appétit" is not an expression used by people who are “well brought-up.” Here's what I've observed in several trips to France:

The French are always wishing someone a bon something. When you enter a shop you are greeted with bonjour; when you leave it, bonne journée (have a nice day). In the afternoon, you may be wished a bon après-midi or its more loquacious cousin, passez un bon après-midi. Late in the afternoon, come some magical time that only the French know, bonjour becomes bonsoir when you come and bonne soirée when you go. In between, at dinner, you may be wished bon appétit before you eat and bonne continuation during. At the end of the meal, the waiter might wish you a bonne fin de repas or even (and this one is a little too clinical for my taste) a bonne fin de digestion.

Well, if bon appétit is déclassé, I can't imagine what the writer's stuck-up friends would make of bonne fin de digestion!