Category Archives: French culture

Fête de Noël 2014

Fête de Noël chez Susan We had our annual Fête de Noël last week. Present, former, and potential students and friends gathered together to chat in French, eat, drink, and sing French carols.  The rich, beautiful voices of our two … Continue reading

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Puzzling out Quebecois from TV5

TV5 is such a fun way to learn French! A complete novice can get the melody from listening to the language in the background. Intermediate students can follow talk-shows, cartoons, films, soap operas and cultural shows with or without subtitles. … Continue reading

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The latest tempest in a silly symbol

La Sculpture américaine vandalisée, place Vendôme (via Etienne R.) The latest offense an American is perceived to have made against the French was an abstract inflatable Christmas tree, called “Tree.” Paul McCarthy, its American sculptor, created it for Fiac , … Continue reading

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Duras Retrospective – cinematic and personal

To celebrate Marguerite Duras’ centennial, Lincoln Center is showing a retrospective of her films. It was also 45 years ago  last month that Lincoln Center presented the first of her films ever to be shown in America. The film was … Continue reading

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Attention: Fans de Duras !

La Voleuse, le film sur lequel je viens d’écrire va être retransmis une 4e fois en 2 mois ce vendredi, 18/7, à 3h30 du matin (c.à.d, jeudi après minuit). Une occasion de voir un film de Duras pas connu par … Continue reading

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Perils of Mixing up “Tu” with “Vous”

Carolyn V. sent the following wink at the perils of confusing Tu and Vous: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-og-bastile-vous-tu-20140711-htmlstory.html The dangers are serious! Already at 21, I made a peer feel that I was presumptuous when I said “tu” to a good friend of … Continue reading

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New word: Europhobes

Ta Da! New Feature of Back Bay Français: Language Tip of the Month! Two new French words have sprung from the recent victory of the Front National (far right) in the election for the European Parlement: “europhobes” et “eurosceptiques.” It … Continue reading

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The importance of the humble baguette – Part 3

Stephanie writes: So attached are the Parisians to their beloved baguettes, that I have even been in quite a few Chinese or Indian restaurants, where there has been a basket of baguettes on the table (just in case?). The French … Continue reading

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The importance of the humble baguette – Part 2

Stephanie continues: When I first moved here, I thought that to buy a baguette, you walked into the boulangerie and simply said “une baguette, s’il vous plait”. Little did know, that 99% of French people SPECIFY “au moins” the “cuisson” … Continue reading

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The importance of the humble baguette – Part 1

Stephanie writes: I never knew, before I came here, how important la Baguette is to the French. For example, my mother-in-law gets panicky if, during dinner, she notices that the bread is disappearing too fast, like say, the kids are … Continue reading

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