Sunday, 31 January 2016

Two important events this coming week in Bristol and in Bath:

First of all our show of short sketches and word games is taking place this coming Tuesday in Bristol. Audrey, our French specialist tutor, will show, as usual, that with encouragement, a positive attitude and enthusiasm, students, with an average level of French, can create amusing situations, play on words in French and generally have a good time. We will find out what has happened to our famous detectives like Sherlock Holmes, in a show called: Elémentaire, mon cher.....
Here is a link to a sketch from last year in which Le général de Gaulle gave his favorite recipe in a show called Maître chef: 
Do come and join in the fun, for more info... 

Then, on Friday, 5th February, Alliance Française de Bath is showing a selection of short films from My French Film Festival, in French with English subtitles. 
Cécile and Véronique, two of the French teachers in Bath,will show some of the short films from the selection which includes various topics such as French Kiss, Paris Comedy, Crime scene, Animation and more.
Join in the discussion and vote for your favourite short film.The evening is for all Alliance Française students and anyone interested in the French language and in French films. 
For more info... 

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Did you know that the next French cineclub is next Sunday?

The film is called Welcome by Philippe Lioret with Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi and Audrey Dana.
It is a drama taking place in Calais, Simon ( Vincent Lindon) is a swimming instructor ( maître nageur) at Calais swimming pool ( la piscine de Calais), his wife, Marion ( Audrey Dana) has left him. She is involved with helping the asylum seekers ( les demandeurs d’asile) and seems to despise Simon who shows no involvement.
To impress his wife and to try and win her back ( la reconquérir), Simon takes the risk to help in secret a young Kurd refugee ( un jeune réfugié kurde) who is desperate to learn to swim in order to swim across the Channel ( pour traverser la Manche à la nage). He is determined  to join his young girlfriend who lives in England with her family.

The film is in French with English subtitles.
Come and join our French teachers and students to discover what happens and why it is called Welcome, at The Lansdown pub on Clifton Street, for more info…

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Do you know Le canal St Martin?

It is situated in Paris between the 10th ( le 10ème )and 11th ( le 11 ème) arrondissement and was built in 1822, mainly to bring drinking water ( de l'eau potable)  to the Parisians. It is not very long, only 4.55km, has nine locks ( neuf écluses), two swinging bridges ( 2 ponts tournants), two fixed bridges for cars ( deux ponts fixes pour les voitures) and some pedestrian bridges ( des passerelles pour les piétons).
Le canal St Martin is well-known for its tourist cruises ( ses croisières pour touristes), Parisians like to come for walks and picnics on its banks ( ses berges). As part of  the project " Paris respire" ( Paris breathes) introduced by La mairie de Paris, the roads alongside the canal ( les voies sur berge) are closed to cars ( sont fermées à la circulation) on Sundays ( le dimanche) and bank holidays ( et les jours fériés).
Doesn't it look beautiful???


Between January and April 2016, some work ( des travaux) is being done on the canal for its maintenance ( son entretien) and its improvement ( son amélioration). To start with, the canal is being emptied ( est vidé).
And guess what has been found in it? Take a look at these few images:

Alliance Française Bristol and also Bath are still enrolling students in some French tuition groups as there are a few places available, for more info...

Sunday, 10 January 2016

It was a year ago!

Hommage all this past week to the victims of the dreadful attacks that shook Paris last January. First of all the carnage in the building of Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, 7th January, killing so many of the talented, well-loved cartoonists and journalists as well as policemen, then on Thursday, 8th January, the killing of the policewoman in Montrouge, a suburb of Paris, and on Friday, 9th January, the attack at the supermarket  l'Hyper Cacher leaving ordinary shoppers dead. The three murderers ( the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly) were all killed by the police on the Friday.
The commerations started last Tuesday where plaques with the names of the victims were unveiled in Paris, culminating today by a ceremony on La place de la République where the big march took place a year ago.
As well as a short speech by François Hollande, there were some readings and some songs like Les prénoms de Paris by Jacques Brel, " ..... C'est Paris la France, c'est Paris l'espoir... " and our French rocker Johnny Hallyday came to sing the song he wrote last year in memory of Sunday, 11th January, 2015 called Un dimanche de janvier.

Here are the words for Un dimanche de janvier:
Des millions de regards
Et de larmes à peine essuyées
Des millions de pas sur les boulevards
Un dimanche de janvier
J’avais ta main petite
Dans la mienne recroquevillée
Nos cœurs battaient
De plus de en plus vite
Ce dimanche de janvier
Là, nous avions marché en silence
Au milieu de la foule immense
Et le vent à notre place
Chantait sans fin sur la place
Pour apaiser la peine
De tout un pays soulevé
Nous étions venus
Sans peur et sans haine
Ce dimanche de janvier
Pour garder en mémoire
Nos héros d’encre et de papier
Nous étions restés debout jusqu’au soir
Ce dimanche de janvier
Là, nous avions marché en silence
Au milieu de la foule immense
Et le vent à notre place
Chantait sans fin sur la place
Mais depuis dans nos villes
Et nos villages fatigués
Ô dis-le moi que nous reste-t-il ?
Du dimanche de janvier
Que reste-t-il
De ce dimanche de janvier ?
Mais que reste-t-il
De ce dimanche de janvier ?
Oh que reste-t-il
De ce dimanche de janvier ?

Click on this link to see a short video of today's commerations.

For more info on our French courses and French events...

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Bonne année et bonne santé pour 2016!

Happy New Year and Good Health! This is what the French tend to say at midnight ( à minuit) on 31st December ( le 31 décembre) drinking a glass of champagne ( un verre de champagne), having spent the evening ( le réveillon) with their friends.

The night of 31st is called le réveillon du jour de l'an or le réveillon de la St Sylvestre. Why la St Sylvestre? Because it is the name of the saint on the French calendar on that day. Who was St Sylvestre? He was a pope between 314 and 355 but he has nothing to do with the new year, apart from the fact that sylvestre comes from the Latin, Silva which means forest. Trees, like the Christmas tree (l'arbre de Noël) are associated with this time of year.
The first day of the year has pagan origins and goes back to Julius Caesar which instaured it, it was then dedicated to Janus, the god with two heads, one looking back and one looking forward. It became officially the 1st of January in France in the 16th century with king Charles IX ( le roi Charles IX).
Now the French president presents his best wishes for the year to come to the French people ( présente ses vœux aux Français) from the Elysée palace ( le palais de l'Elysée).
There are normally some fireworks ( des feux d'artifice) on l'avenue des Champs Elysées where big crowds gather. But this year, because of the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13th November, there were no fireworks, only a show of lights on l'Arc de Triomphe, still a lot of people came.

If you would like to find out more about French customs or simply learn French as a beginner ot at any level, you can enrol with Alliance Française de Bristol or de Bath, for more info...