|September, 26, 2008. [
Nice French Lesson by email to an American friend ]
|Hi sweetie !
I know, my precedent email about Bankruptcy was
Bankruptcy, or banqueroute in French, is a
tender spot. But, you have to note that banque-route is like a banque-déroute.
I mean, we have this verb - dérouter - in French, and you - to reroute -
in English, so, a banque-route is a bank-rout.
Espagñol : bancarrota
Deutsch : bankerott
from Italian : banqua rotare
Well, it's not my French lesson of the day, but I don't know why in English
bank-rupt(cy) tend to the rupture.
So, my first lesson of this autumn concerns, AGAIN, this cute letter
"s" in es or os syllables, with these beautiful French
Do you remember ? : Hospital, hostel... or hostess, they become hôpital,
hôtel... or hôtesse in French.
The circumflex accent is written, not spoken, not pronounced. (that is weird
So, this good automne and its good fruits, can you imagine a nice brown châtaigne
in your plate... a nice chast-aigne... a nice chest-nut !
Do you know the word écureuil in French ?
- écureuil -
What can you do with this word ? Can we put an "s" ? Yessss !
- écureuil -
- escureuil -
- escuriol -
- scuriol - (diminutive Latin)
- squirrel -
En automne, les écureuils mangent des châtaignes dans la forêt !
In autumn, squirrels eat chestnuts in the forest !
...eScureuil - chaStaigne - foreSt...
That's all !
|October, 23, 2008. [
French Lesson ]
Have you ever seen this attractive
word : " créée " in a French text ?
That sounds like an exotic Maori
word, but it's really French, used everyday.
You know this verb :
"chanter", that means "to sing".
to sing } infinitive form
chanter } infinitive form
Conjugation - present - verb without "er" + ending :
|or, if you prefer :
|chant | e
chant | es
chant | e
chant | ons
chant | ez
chant | ent
chant | é
We can do the same thing with
"créer", or "to create" :
|cré | e
cré | es
cré | e
cré | ons
cré | ez
cré | ent
cré | é
Créé, a participle, you can study
this sentence : a created man / un homme créé.
You can put an "e", this letter marks the feminine gender in French :
a created girl / une fille créée.
Hercules, a man created by God /
Hercule, un homme créé par Dieu.
Brigitte Bardot, a woman created by God / Brigitte Bardot, une femme créée par
And God created Woman, 1956,
directed by Roger Vadim.
|October 9, 2008
Writer Wins Nobel Prize
By SARAH LYALL Published: October 9, 2008
LONDON — The French writer Jean-Marie
Gustave Le Clézio, whose work reflects a seemingly insatiable restlessness
and sense of wonder about other places and other cultures, won the 2008 Nobel
Prize in Literature on Thursday. In its citation, the Swedish Academy
praised Mr. Le Clézio, 68, as the “author of new departures, poetic adventure
and sensual ecstasy, explorer of a humanity beyond and below the reigning
Mr. Le Clézio is not well known in the United
States, where few of his books are available in translation, but he is
considered a major figure in European literature and has long been mentioned as
a possible laureate. The awards ceremony is planned for Dec. 10 in Stockholm,
and, as the winner, Mr. Le Clézio will receive 10 million Swedish kronor, or
about $1.4 million.
“I am very happy, and I am also very moved
because I wasn’t expecting this at all,” he said. “Many other names were
mentioned, names of people for whom I have a lot of esteem. I was in good
company. Luck or destiny, or maybe other reasons, other motives, had it so that
I got it. But it could have been someone else.”
In a news conference in Stockholm after the
announcement, Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy,
which awards the prize each year, described Mr. Le Clézio as a cosmopolitan
author, “a traveler, a citizen of the world, a nomad.”
“He is not a particularly French writer if you
look at him from a strictly cultural point of view,” Mr. Engdahl said. “He
has gone through many different phases of his development as a writer and has
come to include other civilizations, other modes of living than the Western, in
Last month, Mr. Engdahl provoked a wave of
indignation when he criticized American writers as “too isolated, too
insular” and “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture.” Europe,
he declared, is “the center of the literary world.” No American has won the
Nobel literature prize since Toni
Morrison did in 1993.
Mr. Le Clézio was born in 1940 in Nice and
raised in a nearby village, speaking English and French. His father, a British
doctor with strong family connections on the island of Mauritius, lived in
Africa for many years while Jean-Marie was growing up. When he was 7, Jean-Marie
traveled to Nigeria with his family and spent a year out of school, an
experience he recalled later in his semiautobiographical novel “Onitsha”
He studied English at the University of Bristol,
graduated from the Institut d’Études Littéraires in Nice, received a
master’s degree at the University of Aix-en-Provence and wrote his doctoral
thesis for the University of Perpignan on the early history of Mexico. He has
taught at colleges in Mexico City, Bangkok, Albuquerque and Boston; has lived
among the Embera Indians in Panama; and has published translations of Mayan
Mr. Le Clézio is not one to seek the limelight.
He once described himself in an interview as “a poor Rousseauist who hasn’t
really figured it out.”
|July 23, 2007
By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: July 23, 2007 www.nytimes.com
There was a time when everyone thought that the
Europeans and the Japanese were better at business than we were. In the early
1990s airport bookstores were full of volumes with samurai warriors on their
covers, promising to teach you the secrets of Japanese business success. Lester
Thurow’s 1992 book, “Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan,
Europe and America,” which spent more than six months on the Times best-seller
list, predicted that Europe would win.
Then it all changed, and American despondency
turned into triumphalism. Partly this was because the Clinton boom contrasted so
sharply with Europe’s slow growth and Japan’s decade-long slump. Above all,
however, our new confidence reflected the rise of the Internet. Jacques Chirac
complained that the Internet was an “Anglo-Saxon network,” and he had a
point — France, like most of Europe except Scandinavia, lagged far behind the
U.S. when it came to getting online.
What most Americans probably don’t know is that
over the last few years the situation has totally reversed. As the Internet has
evolved — in particular, as dial-up has given way to broadband connections
using DSL, cable and other high-speed links — it’s the United States that
has fallen behind.
The numbers are startling. As recently as 2001,
the percentage of the population with high-speed access in Japan and Germany was
only half that in the United States. In France it was less than a quarter. By
the end of 2006, however, all three countries had more broadband subscribers per
100 people than we did.
Even more striking is the fact that our “high
speed” connections are painfully slow by other countries’ standards.
According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, French
broadband connections are, on average, more than three times as fast as ours.
Japanese connections are a dozen times faster. Oh, and access is much cheaper in
both countries than it is here.
As a result, we’re lagging in new applications
of the Internet that depend on high speed. France leads the world in the number
of subscribers to Internet TV; the United States isn’t even in the top 10.
What happened to America’s Internet lead? Bad
policy. Specifically, the United States made the same mistake in Internet policy
that California made in energy policy: it forgot — or was persuaded by special
interests to ignore — the reality that sometimes you can’t have effective
market competition without effective regulation.
Meanwhile, as a recent article in Business Week
explains, the real French bureaucrats used judicious regulation to promote
competition. As a result, French consumers get to choose from a variety of
service providers who offer reasonably priced Internet access that’s much
faster than anything I can get, and comes with free voice calls, TV and Wi-Fi.
It’s too early to say how much harm the
broadband lag will do to the U.S. economy as a whole. But it’s interesting to
learn that health care isn’t the only area in which the French, who can take a
pragmatic approach because they aren’t prisoners of free-market ideology,
simply do things better.
|October, 13, 2006.
© Sony Pictures Entertainment
A Lonely Petit Four of a Queen
By A. O. SCOTT
Published: October 13, 2006 www.nytimes.com
“The problem of leisure/What to do for
The opening lines of “Natural’s Not in It,”
by the Gang of Four, are the first words in Sofia Coppola’s “Marie
Antoinette,” and they suggest one of that film’s paradoxical themes: The
pursuit of sensual delight is trivial compared with other undertakings — just
as “the problem of leisure” is surely more of a privilege than a burden —
but pleasure is also serious, one of the things that gives life its shape and
It may be tempting to greet “Marie Antoinette” with a Jacobin snarl or a
self-righteous sneer, since it is after all the story of the silly teenager who
embodied a corrupt, absolutist state in its terminal decadence. But where’s
the fun in such indignation? And, more seriously, where is the justice? To say
that this movie is historically irresponsible or politically suspect is both to
state the obvious and to miss the point.
“Marie Antoinette,” which will be shown tonight and tomorrow at the New York
Film Festival and opens next Friday, is a thoroughly modern confection, blending
insouciance and sophistication, heartfelt longing and self-conscious posing with
the guileless self-assurance of a great pop song. What to do for pleasure? Go
see this movie, for starters.
“Natural’s Not in It” (speaking of great pop songs) blasts over the
electrifying pink-and-black opening titles, kicking us into 18th-century
Versailles with a jolt of anachronism. (Later there is some period-appropriate
Rameau to go with the 80’s post-punk Ms. Coppola favors, and a high-top
sneaker tucked amid the fabulous ancien régime couture.) But despite all the
bodices and breeches, the horse-drawn coaches and elaborate perukes, “Marie
Antoinette” is only masquerading as a costume drama. It would be overstating
the case to call it a work of social criticism, but beneath its highly decorated
surface is an examination, touched with melancholy as well as delight, of what
it means to live in a world governed by rituals of acquisition and display. It
is a world that Ms. Coppola presents as exotic and unreal — a baroque
counterpart to the Tokyo of “Lost in Translation” — but that is not as far
away as it first seems.
She is profligate and self-indulgent, yes,
impetuously ordering up shoes, parties and impromptu trips to Paris. She breaks
with tradition by applauding at the opera, and then appears onstage herself. She
takes a lover — a dashing Swedish nobleman — and turns Petit Trianon, a
royal retreat that was a gift from her husband, into a kind of Versailles V.I.P.
room, where she drinks, gardens, reads Rousseau and plays shepherdess. These
activities have often been mocked — and were the source of scandal and outrage
in the years before the revolution — but through Ms. Coppola’s eyes they are
poignant as well as a bit silly.
More on www.nytimes.com
© Sony Pictures Entertainment
|October, 10, 2006.
Crème de la Crème
Editor's name: CB www.chocolatezoom.com
Crème Brûlée, otherwise known as "burnt
cream," "caramel cream," and "crema catalana" is widely
regarded as one of France’s finest accomplishments (next to the Louvre, of
The creamy wonder was first unveiled in Massialot’s cookbook at the end of the
seventeen century. Decades later in the early eighteen century, Trinity College
(Cambridge, UK) announced their "invention" of this revolutionary
Regardless of which European nation gave birth to crème brûlée, I’m mildly
obsessed with the stuff. Literally. And as Amélie put it best, there’s
something magical about cracking that hard caramelized top with the base of the
The traditional recipe is made with just three basic ingredients (which means
that even I can make it!): eggs, sugar, and heavy cream, topped with a fine
crust of caramelized sugar. If you combine all that with chocolate, you’ve got
one of the most exquisite desserts of all times!
More on www.chocolatezoom.com
|September, 21, 2006.
Robin Heinz Bratslavsky http://www.dermadoctor.com
Ah, the French. They seem to take anything and
make it better... at least when it comes to food and fashion, that is. Imagine:
A simple potato. Slice it up, dunk it in some artery-clogging grease and you
have pomme frites or, as we in the States say, French fries.
In the fashion world, a French designer can slap a potato sack on a model, add
some string and, voilå! You now have an haute couture gown fit for a
When it comes to fashion, simply having the word “French” in the description
of an idea can yield big bucks. In 1975, Los Angeles-based Orly International, a
nail care company, introduced what has become known as the French manicure.
Truth be told, the French manicure never had that much to do with the French
(other than for the Parisian runway models who sported the look). The classic
French manicure actually was created for myriad Hollywood starlets looking for a
clean-yet-polished look for their nails.
So what exactly makes a manicure a French manicure? Two words: pink and white.
Oh, and maybe about 10 bucks. Read on and I’ll explain.
Anatomy Of A French Manicure
A French manicure begins like any other manicure, but not all manicures are
equal. To add some more variables to the mix, a manicure on natural nails is
quite different than a manicure on acrylic nails. Let’s talk about the acrylic
More on http://www.dermadoctor.com