Sunday, 26 June 2016

Did you know that Alliance Française de Bristol is running a wine workshop in French next Tuesday?

Ludovic, sommelier at the  one Michelin star restaurant Wilks in Bristol, will be helping students to choose a wine according to the dishes to be eaten: accorder les mets et les vins.
Did you know that with un Vouvray, you can eat du foie gras or for those who don't like it or who are anti, you can have thin slices of smoked salmon  ( de fines tranches de saumon fumé)?

What would you choose with un vin doux naturel? Would you think of dark chocolate ( du chocolat noir) or cherries ( des cerises)?

I won't reveal all the secrets......... students will be eating and trying out wines, all organic and purchased at Vinetrail in Bristol. They will be discussing the tastes and combinations with plenty of suggestions from Ludovic.
I will be shopping and cooking on Tuesday!!
If this French wine tasting workshop tempts you ( vous met l'eau à la bouche), you may like to know that Ludovic will be running a similar one on Tuesday, 19th July. For more info...

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Idioms, idioms and more idioms!

As you know languages are full of idioms and the French language is no exception, here is a story with lots of idioms written by Robin, in one of Martine's French tuition classes:

A – J’ai entendu dire que tu as trouvé une nouvelle amie.
B – Oui, elle est jolie comme un cœur.  Elle est blonde comme les blés et, en outre, elle est gaie comme un pinson.  Vraiment, j’ai eu de la chance de la trouver.
A – Mais, c’est une vraie perle !  Est-ce que c’est la vérité – je sais bien que tu peux mentir comme tu respires…
B – Tu es quelle sorte d’ami ?
A – Est-ce que c’est la nouvelle nénette dans le service comptabilité ? 
B – Oui, c’est évident que tu l’as aperçue.
A – C’était impossible de ne pas la remarquer, elle est maquillée comme une voiture volée.
B – La vie va mieux avec un peu de couleur, non ?  Regardes-toi toi-même ; tu es ennuyeux comme la pluie !
A – Mais cette fille est bête comme ses pieds (et sa taille est 48 !)   On dit qu’elle fume comme un pompier et elle boit comme un trou.
B – Ah je comprends ce qu’il y a ici, c’est simple comme bonjour : tu es jaloux !
A – Moi !  Je ne lui ferais même pas de l’œil si elle était riche comme Crésus !
B – Non, non, non, certainement, tu es jaloux ; c’est gros comme une maison.  Et elle n’est pas bête, elle est très perspicace, elle m’a dit que je suis beau comme un dieu.  Voilà !  

For fun, see if you can translate the following properly:
jolie comme un cœur: pretty like a heart??
maquillée comme une voiture volée: made up like a stolen car???
bête comme ses pieds: as silly as his/her feet???
boire comme un trou: to drink like a hole??
simple comme bonjour: as simple as saying good morning?

Don't forget our French intensive classes are running in July too in Bath and in Bristol. For more info...

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Euro 2016 is here!

It is the 15th edition starting at Le stade de France in St Denis, near Paris, on 10th June to finish on 10th July.

The opening match ( le match d'ouverture) is between la France et la Roumanie at le stade de France like for the final match ( le match de clôture).
24 teams (24 équipes) are playing this time with countries which have never played before in this competition, like l'Islande, l'Albanie, la Slovaquie, le Pays de Galles ( Wales) and l'Irlande du nord.
Some countries did not qualify like les Pays Bas et la Grèce for instance when, in fact, they had done well in previous years.

The competition is made of five rounds:
  1. Le 1er tour : 1st round
  2. les huitièmes de finale: the round of 16
  3. les quarts de finale: the quarter finals
  4. les demi-finales: the semi finals
  5. la finale: the final
The matches are taking place all over France, from Lille to Bordeaux to Marseille and St Etienne to name just a few.
Some "fans zones" on big squares ( des grandes places) have giant screens ( des écrans géants)  broadcasting the matches live ( en direct), they should attract big crowds.
To all lovers of football: Have fun! Amusez-vous bien!

 Don't let this stop you from joining our French intensive courses, for more info...

Since I wrote the blog on Friday, some violent incidents have taken place between supporters and some are now in hospital, I wish them a good recovery and hope that the violence will stop.
Souhaitons un Euro 2016 où seul l'esprit de compétition est en jeu!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Did you know that there are big floods in and around Paris?

They started in the middle of the week between Orléans and Paris and now they are moving into Normandy.
The Seine is flooding, we say La Seine est en crue (la crue comes from the verb croître which means to grow), Vigiecrues which is a body part of the ministry of the environment is checking the situation and issuing warnings to the population.
At present, many museums in Paris near the Seine like le Louvre, le musée d'Orsay, le petit et le grand Palais, la bibliothèque Mitterrand, are closed and their artefacts have been moved to safe areas.
It is now likely that the flooding is moving West of Paris, Vigicrues has issued a warning about Rouen right to the estuary of the Seine for today onwards.
Of course the situation in Paris is attracting a lot of onlookers especially at le pont de l'Alma where the statue of le zouave has been the marker for floods since it was erected in 1856.
Why is there un zouave on le pont de l'Alma? Le zouave was a fighter in the Crimean war in the middle of the 19th century, the 3rd regiment of les zouaves took the enemies' canons, so the statue was in commemoration of this victory which took place near the town of Alma.
The various levels of the Seine during floods have been recorded with photos of le zouave with water at different levels of its body. The water is usually below its feet ( ses pieds).

But in 1910, the Seine reached its shoulders ( ses épaules) at 8.62m, in 1955 it reached its waist ( sa taille)  at 7.12m, at the moment the water comes to its thighs ( ses cuisses) at 6.09m.

It is important to note that Météo France measures the level of la Seine at le pont d'Austerlitz where it is more reliable, but this bridge does not attract many tourists, it is much more exciting to take photos of le zouave!

 Let's hope that la décrue will come soon ( la décrue from the verb décroître meaning reducing) so that life will get back to normal.

If you wish to find out about life in France, develop your vocabulary, you can join our intensive courses either with Alliance Française de Bath or Alliance Française de Bristol, for more info...