This month France was moved by the death of Arnaud Beltrame, a police officer who was killed after substituting himself for a hostage in a terror attack in the south of France.
To describe actions in the past, French is similar to English, but it’s also significantly different. To get on top, a little bit of theory can help.
Learning the nasal vowels
Is the French language sexist? That’s the claim of 314 education professionals, who have have launched a petition calling for changes to grammatical rules which they say echo the prejudices of a patriarchal society.
Do you speak interlanguage?
Clearly articulated vowel sounds are an essential part of good French pronunciation.
Masculine or feminine? Getting the gender of nouns right is a key to fluency in French.
It’s election year in France and the news is dominated by claims Republican candidate François Fillon spent almost a million euros of state money to pay his wife for an allegedly fictitious job as his assistant.
After the festive excess, it’s back to the gym.
“Je voudrais un six-pack,” I explain to Jean-Nicholas, le gérant.
“Je ne comprends pas.”
“Vous savez, avoir des abdos comme Ronaldo… Ca s’appelle comment en français?”
“Ah, vous voulez dire des tablettes de chocolat!”