This month's vocabulary roundup is a walk through a candy shop--pick and choose your favorite French words along the way! Relax and enjoy the sound file for a rainbow of French terms we learned this month. And if you enjoy this journal and find it ...

Email not displaying correctly? View it here

   

Contact Us • Join This List • 


 

94 Useful French Words (listen to them here)

Jackie Espinasse euro bonbons briancon france bonbons chocolats en vrac calisson nougat candy
This month's vocabulary roundup is a walk through a candy shop--pick and choose your favorite French words along the way! Relax and enjoy the sound file for a rainbow of French terms we learned this month. And if you enjoy this journal and find it helpful in any way, please take a moment to support it. Merci beaucoup!

 

CLICK HERE to listen to Jean-Marc pronounce the words as you scroll down the following list :

1. Facing Bankruptcy - Face à la faillite

un commerçant = store keeper
toiletteur pour chien = dog groomer
une tondeuse à cheveux = hair clipper, hair cutter, trimmer
calme-toi = calm down
un urinoir = urinal
Il faut simplement fermer les yeux! = Just close your eyes!
un teckel à poil dur = a wire-haired dachshund
la maîtresse = mistress
une blague = joke
c'est un poisson d'avril = it's an April Fools' joke
on est le premier avril = it's April Fools' Day
chez le coiffeur = at the hairdresser's

Coffee tables mirrors iron wood france
Handmade in France - visit my sister-in-law's website Courbes et Diagonales.com


2. Ma Belle Soeur - My Sister-in-Law

le fer = iron
la belle-soeur = sister-in-law
un paravent = a screen
un amour = a love
tout court = period, plain, simply


3. Dents de Sagesse & Un Gros Mot - Wisdom Teeth & A Swear Word

une mère indigne = unfit mother
la dent = tooth
la sagesse = wisdom
les dents de sagesse = wisdom teeth
le doudou = security blanket or favorite stuffed animal
la robe de chambre = robe
les petits pois = peas
la marguerite = daisy
une boisson = drink
l'oreiller (m) = pillow
le creux = hollow
le congélo = freezer
bon rétablissement! = get well soon!, hope you feel better right away!


Blue bicycle handmade doily mercerie sewing shop

4. La Mercerie & Bonne Lecture - The Notions Store & Happy Reading

une chanson = song
hélas = unfortunately, regrettably
l'histoire = story
l'astuce beauté = beauty tip
bonne lecture = happy reading!

5. Submit a Word. Let's Write a Story

remuer les choses = to stir things up
on y va! = let's go!
la plume = feather
l'hippopotame (m) = hippopotamus
une caresse = caress
(plus a list of 125 of your French words)

1-coucher du soleil
6. Our Fictional Story! (Part I)

(As most of the French words were featured in the story, here is vocabulary from the day's quote, by Gustave Flaubert)

vouloir = to wish
l'humanité = mankind
toiser = to look at scornfully, to look up and down, to measure
l'orgueil = pride
le néant = nothingness
l'oeuvre (f) = works (art)

Boulangerie
7. Frappadingue: Part II of our story

There were 130 French words scattered through our story. Here's a selection of them:

la déchetterie = dump, recycling center
le caoutchouc = rubber
barjo  = nuts, crazy
chatoyer = sparkle, shimmer
la guimauve = marshmallow
englouti = swallowed, devoured

8. Boulot - Guess who found a job in Bandol?

un petit boulot de vacances = seasonal or summer job
CV (le curriculum vitae) = resume
trop cher = too expensive
gratuitement = for free
un petit-ami = boyfriend
le cadet/la cadette = youngest, youngest child
dans les nuages = (head) in the clouds
le faux nom = alias
rêvasser = daydream
le lundi de Pâques = Easter Monday

Asperge fraise de pays asperagus local strawberries
9. Stationner + We surprise our daughter at her new job

le pépin = glitch, hitch, snag
le boulot = job
la corniche = coastal road
stationner = to park
un débardeur = tank top, camisole, slip top
les couverts = cutlery
un pourboire = tip, gratuity
le tartare de bar = raw sea bass fish
la daurade = sea bream fish
Papa = Dad
maître d = maître d'hotel = head waiter, top professional


10. A French Grandmother's Advice for a Happy Marriage

une tournée = a sales round (sales prospecting)
le marché = market 
une pulsion =an impulse
un conseil = a piece of advice
ne boude pas! = don't sulk!
C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!
It's awful—intolerable—when a wife or a husband sulks!
la grand-mère = grandmother
la mamie = grandma 

la guerre = war
porte-à-porte = door-to-door
une cuillère = spoon
méprisant(e) = contemptuous, scornful
un petit salon de dame = a woman's sitting room
faire la tête = to sulk, to give somebody the silent treatment
le plat du jour = the day's special (in a restaurant)
un kilo = a kilo, or 2.2 pounds
une cave = cellar
un jambon-beurre = a ham sandwich with butter
un pan-bagnat = a sandwich made with tuna and olives (specialty from Nice)
une autoroute = motorway, highway
le café au lait = coffee with milk

ALL THE WORDS LEARNED THIS YEAR - Check them out:

 
 

To live well love well (c) Kristin Espinasse French Word-A-Day
The painted sign reads: "To live well, love well, and let the others say what they will!" Pour bien vivre, bien aimer, et laisser dire. (Picture taken during a family vacation.)

   Reorder your favorite French products:

    EMBRYOLISSE concentrated lait cream - customer reviews here.
    BIODERMA Makeup remover - see the reviews here
    AVENE thermal spring water - check out the reviews here
    KLORANE  dry shampoo - all hair types, adds volume - read the reviews here
    La ROCHE-POSAY Anthelios sunscreen - see the reviews reviews here

Muguet lily of the valley france fête du muguet may 1st offer flowers
Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget...Monday is La Fête du Muguet....
       
 
 

To Leave a Comment Click Here.

Faire la tête + A French grandmother's advice for a happy marriage

Jean-Marc and Kristi's wedding at the cathedrale in Marseilles France

If you have followed this blog a while, you've seen this photo a million times. Jean-Marc and I were both scared to death about an imminent "for life" decision! Soon after this picture was taken, we got some very good marriage advice from Jean-Marc's grandmother. Twenty-three years later, it is still one of the best tips for a healthy relationship I've come across -- even if we occasionally break the rule! (Mais bien sûr!)


TODAY'S WORD: faire la tête

        : sulk, pout, be in a huff, look cross


AUDIO FILE & EXAMPLE SENTENCE


Click right here to listen to the sound file, recorded by Jean-Marc


Faire la tête, ça veut dire "bouder", c'est à dire montrer du mécontentement tout en restant silencieux, passif. -sensagent
To sulk, means to "bouder", or to express annoyance while remaining silent, passive.

Improve your spoken French with Pronounce it Perfectly in French or  Exercises in French Phonetics


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE

    by Kristi Espinasse
 

I notice my husband is shaving this morning, something he rarely does anymore, now that he’s working from home as a wine sales rep.

"Where are you going?" I ask.

"En tournée."

Prospecting? Where? I wonder.

"In Saint-Raphaël."

Saint-Raphaël? My mind fills with visions of the foamy sea, sandy beaches, sidewalk cafés and brasseries, the boardwalk, the boutiques, the marché, and the glamorous Belle Époque architecture.... Suddenly a pulsion comes over me. The pulsion to pout.

"I didn't know you were going out today...." I grumble.
  
"Well, do you want to come with me?" Jean-Marc offers.

"You know I can't come with you. I have work to do!” With a huff and a puff I leave the room.

***

In 1994 the only conseil Jean-Marc's ailing grandmother gave me before I married her grandson was this: "ne boude pas." Don’t boude when love gets tough! “C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!

I hurried to look up the word bouder just as soon as I returned from Grand-mère’s modest apartment in Lyon to Jean-Marc’s studio in Marseilles. I was hesitant to ask my husband-to-be what the word meant. What was it that was so terrible, so insufferable… something a husband or wife should never ever do? And why had Jean-Marc’s grandmother selected this bit of counsel above the rest?

"Germaine," as Jean-Marc’s mamie was called, was a stern woman who saw the collapse of a family fortune. In Morocco, after the war, she peddled house linens from her Estafette (a converted military supply vehicle) as there were six mouths to feed. When her husband, a prisoner of war, returned from la guerre, Germaine continued to "wear the pants," selling her linens porte-à-porte, while her husband went seaside to cast out horrific battle images along with his fishing line.

My first encounter with Germaine had me watching the once-authoritarian-now-frail woman eat the eyes right out of the fish on her plate! No sooner had I recovered from the fact that the French serve their seafood with its heads and tails intact, than I witnessed this unforgettable eye-popping scene!

Apart from Germaine’s advice not to sulk, she taught me where all those forks, knives, and cuillères belong on the French table, at once thoughtful about her bourgeois upbringing, and méprisante of it.

***

The French word bouder, it turns out, means “to pout”. From bouder comes the noun boudoir, which originally meant "a place in which to sulk". Though the dictionary says that a boudoir is "un petit salon de dame," it is really nothing more fancy or exciting than a pouting room.

I return to my sulking place, and continue to work and to sniff. Je boude, je boude!

"We'll leave in 10 minutes?" my husband suggests, popping his head in from the hall.

"I didn't say I was going with you!" I snap.

"Well, if you change your mind, I am leaving in 10 minutes."

I continue to faire la tête, or "be in the sulks," while my husband prepares for his surely glamorous tournée along the French Riviera. At my desk, I peck at the faded keyboard, staring into the dismal screen. I can’t concentrate on writing a story when I’m so busy obsessing about my husband’s freedom:

"Monsieur Espinasse goes to the sunny Riviera," I grumble. "Monsieur Espinasse would like the plat du jour. Would Monsieur fancy a glass of champagne with his foie gras?"

Despite my ridiculous imaginings and the cynical commentary that accompanies them, I know that reality is quite different. My husband’s door-to-door sales day will be spent lugging 18-kilo boxes of wine from one cave to another, navigating medieval roads, trying to find parking in a small French village full of one-way streets!

The glamorous day will continue as he stops for lunch at a grimy roadside gas station where he’ll pick up one of those preservative-rich sandwiches: un jambon beurre or un pan-bagnat. He’ll wash that down with a cup of bitter coffee before rushing to the next appointment. Finally he will weave in and out of traffic on the autoroute, struggling to get back to our village in time to pick up our son from basketball at the end of the day.

Meantime I will be working freely at my computer, trying to write the next great American story (or so my imagination would like to think!). To my left, there’ll be a café au lait, before me, the adventure of my choice, if I will but find the words to transport me there. Will I ever find the words? Oh, to be transported!


"Do you know what the word boudoir means?" I am out of breath, catching up to my husband, who is loading cases of wine into the trunk.

"Comment?" What's that? he asks.

"Boudoir. It's French," I reply.

"No. I don't know that word. What does it mean?" Jean-Marc asks, opening the car door for me.

“A sulking place,” I laugh. “It’s a place to bouder, or to be in the sulks.”

"Are you in the sulks?" Jean-Marc teases.

“Oh no, not me!” I glance out of the car window, to the heavens above. I hoped Germaine was watching. God rest her courageous, peddler’s soul.

I look over to the other peddler, seated beside me. Germaine would be proud of her grandson, who has, in his own way, followed in her steps.


***
This story is from 2006, and is included in the book First French Essais' Venturing into Writing, Marriage, and France.


French Vocabulary


une tournée
a sales round (sales prospecting) 

le marché
market 

une pulsion
an impulse

un conseil
a piece of advice

ne boude pas!
don't sulk!

C’est terrible—insupportable!—une femme ou un mari qui boude!
It's awful—intolerable—when a wife or a husband sulks!

la grand-mère
grandmother

la mamie
grandma 

la guerre
war

porte-à-porte
door-to-door 

une cuillère
spoon

méprisant(e)
contemptuous, scornful

un petit salon de dame
a woman's sitting room

faire la tête
to sulk, to give somebody the silent treatment

le plat du jour
the day's special (in a restaurant)

un kilo
a kilo, or 2.2 pounds

une cave = cellar

un jambon-beurre
a ham sandwich with butter

un pan-bagnat
a sandwich made with tuna and olives (specialty from Nice)

une autoroute
motorway, highway

le café au lait
coffee with milk

First-French-Essais-book-cover

 

First French Essais is available here in paperback or via Kindle

       
 
 

To Leave a Comment Click Here.

   

Email subscriptions powered by FeedBlitz, LLC, 365 Boston Post Rd, Suite 123, Sudbury, MA 01776, USA.