Saturday, 23 June 2012

Did you know that La fête de la musique took place all over France on 21st June?

La fête de la musique started on 21st June 1982, it was promoted by Jack Lang who was then Minister of culture ( ministre de la culture) under the president of France ( le président de la France ), François Mitterrand.

Here is a link to a video produced by l'INA ( Institut National de l'audiovisuel) on an event in 1982, in Puteaux , near Paris:

Every year, on 21st June, there are events all over France when amateurs and professional perform in the streets. You can have:
Des chanteurs
( singers)
Des chorales ( choirs)
Des groupes ( bands)
Des fanfares ( brass bands)
Des quatuors ( quartets)
Des duos ( duets)
With all sorts of instruments, such as:
Des violons ( violins)
Des violons alto ( violas)
Des violoncelles ( cellos)
Des contrebasses ( double bass)
Des flûtes ( flutes)
Des clarinettes ( clarinets)
Des trompettes ( trumpets)
Des tambours ( drums)
Des batteries ( drumkits)
and plenty more....

Alliance Française de Bristol et Bath did not celebrate la fête de la musique but the Ecole Française de Bristol did and several French tutors from the Alliance joined in. Ecole Française de Bristol teaches young children from the age of 3 to 12 or 13 and then, students come to French lessons to Alliance Française either in Bristol or in Bath. For more info...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Did you know that it is father's day in France too?

C'est la fête des pères! Time to make a cake perhaps.... Read the poem below about a cake written by Alice, a student in Gwen' s French tuition class. She started with a tiny bit of French and this is what she could write after a few months of French lessons in a group of 8 students:

Dans une ville il y a une rue
Dans la rue il y a une maison
Dans la maison il y a un couloir
Dans le couloir il y a une cuisine
Dans la cuisine il y a une cuisiniere
Dans la cuisiniere il y a un four
Dan ce four il y a un gateau!

Le gateau est prêt!

Le gateau renversa le four
Le four renversa la cuisiniere
La cuisiniere renversa la cuisine
La cuisine renversa le couloir
Le couloir renversa la maison

Et tout le monde mangea le gateau!

Our French intensive classes are nearly all full for June and July, but we'll be starting our regular French lessons in September. For more info...

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Did you know that it is the tennis final at Roland Garros this afternoon?

The final ( la finale) is between Nadal and Djokovic under rather grey skies in Paris.
Why are the stadium and the tournament called Roland Garros? Roland Garros, who lived at the beginning of the 20th century, was more of a football player than a tennis man although he did play tennis with his friend, Emile Lesieur. Roland Garros is mainly known for his bravery as an airpilot during the first world war. When the tennis stadium was built so that the Coupe Davis could take place in Paris in 1927, Emile Lesieur, who was then president of Le stade français, insisted that the stadium should be named Roland Garros in memory of the very brave airpilot of the first world war. Roland Garros was killed in October 1918 during a fight above the Ardennes.
Here is some tennis vocabulary :
A as in 30A: equality of points during a game such as 30-30
As: ace
Juge de chaise ou arbitre de chaise: main umpire who sits on a raised chair.
Juge de ligne: line judge
Juge de filet: net judge
Balle de match: match point
Balle de set ou de manche: set point
Break: same as in English
Double faute: double fault
Faute: out
Terre battue: clay court
Tie-break ou jeu décisif
Let ou filet
same as in English

We have been busy organizing our intensive French courses and now, nearly all the classes in Bristol are full but do consider joining our regular French lessons in September. For more info...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Did you know that it is Mother's day in France today?

La fête des mères is a tradition that goes back to the ancient Greeks and appeared in England in the 15th century when it was called Mothering Sunday, it became official in the UK in 1914.
It started being mentioned in France in the early 20th century but officially, in 1929, and was called: la journée des mères. Under le régime de Vichy, in 1941, le maréchal Pétain asked for it to be put in the calendar ( le calendrier) and became la fête des mères. It became a law in 1950 and it was decided it would take place on the last Sunday in May unless it coincided with Whitsun ( la Pentecôte) in which case it would be a week later. This is exactly what has happened this year so today: dimanche 3 juin, c'est la fête des mères!
Of course, children make cards and presents at school and give them to their mothers, here is an example:

If you would like to find out more about France, think of joining one of our French tuition classes in Bristol or in Bath. For more info...