When we start out learning French, we’re usually taught making nouns and adjectives plural involves adding an -s, or an -x to words that end in -eau or -eu. This is broadly speaking true. But only broadly speaking. Take a look at the following examples: les aides-comptables efficaces les abat-jour orange les tire-bouchons noirs les […]
Here’s a technique for learning how to express yourself as a native might do.
For a new era, a new vocabulary. As Britain prepares for its Brexit election, a new chapter in the often awkward relationship between Britain and France begins. If you’re English and travel to France, you’ll find Brexit is a frequent topic of conversation, so brushing up your vocab is good preparation. Le Brexit entered the […]
Conversation isn’t so easy when you start out learning a language, especially when there are several native speakers around. Often the exchanges seem to whoosh past; by the time you’ve formulated your own thoughts, the moment to express them has passed. Preparing in advance for such situations isn’t that straightforward either. The author E.M. Forster […]
When we speak words that have been written on a page, they take on a life of their own. When we read out loud we add rhythm and emphasis, or vary the pitch of our voice. The technical term for the additional baggage of spoken language is “prosody” – and it’s a very important part of successful communication.
Alvin was the only Asian boy in our class, so he came in for a lot of bullying. Mostly he’d smile forgivingly, though one time he cracked. “You take too much piss!” he complained. His comically ungrammatical observation just prompted more fits of hysterical laughter. There are many definitions of what is and isn’t grammatical, […]
It was my grandfather who first introduced me to French culture. ‘Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better,’ he taught us to repeat, suggesting we said it out loud to ourselves each day, as a way of staying healthy and keeping our spirits up. As I grew up, I got this advice […]
The coast of Northern France is still dotted today with bunkers and blockhouses – remnants of fortifications built by Nazi Germany to defend against Allied invasion. It’s in one such relic near the village of Audresselles that locals make a gruesome discovery. A dead cow, its entrails bloated with the remains of a human body.
Is there a France that’s been left behind? That’s the accusation that’s racking the conscience of the country’s politicians this month, as they come to terms with les manifestations des gilets jaunes. Thousands of people wearing yellow security vests have been blocking roads up and down the country, in protest against rising fuel prices. The […]