A Charlie Brown Christmas (video in French)

A-CHARLIE-BROWN-CHRISTMASJoyeux Noël Charlie Brown Video HERE

(25 minutes in length)

 

 

JOYEUSES FETES de 24/7 in FRANCE !

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A Female Perspective of Paris

Who doesn’t love Paris!?  I was lucky to have lived there for a short time years ago – read why/how in “Solitary Desire – One Woman’s Journey to France” (available on most Amazon sites)

As in any city, it is wise to be city smart and aware of your surroundings, but according to Adrian Leeds, Editor of newsletters “Parler Paris” and “Parler Nice,” her experience of living in the City of Light as a single woman is summarised below.  When I lived alone and worked in Paris, I felt safe as well and observed the obvious cultural differences that she highlights.

“Let’s start with Paris and why Paris is great for single women:

1. Paris is safe. Women can freely travel alone at any time of day or night in almost any district and feel totally safe. This is a very big difference! Do you get into your car and lock the doors fast, like I used to do? Or never go anywhere alone at night for fear of the car breaking down somewhere you wouldn’t want to be stranded? And even in New York City where the subway runs all night long and there are people on the streets at every hour, do you still feel safe wherever you are? I doubt it.

2. Being alone in Paris is never lonely. You can dine alone, have a drink at a café alone, go to a movie alone…and never feel lonely or really ‘alone.’ In fact, being ‘alone’ is the best way to meet someone! Most North American cities are such family and couples-oriented places that being alone makes you stand out, particularly as a woman…don’t you think? And so what do we women do? We hang out with our friends — and that’s a tough way to let a ‘someone’ into the space you had, but filled with ‘them.’ “N’est-ce pas?”

3. Parisian (and most European) men respect and adore older women. Women don’t have to be face-lifted or tummy-tucked to look younger than they are to attract younger men, who see them as wise, worldly and more experienced. And young women can happily and openly choose to be with older men. Age is much less of a stigma for both genders when it comes to love and sex. Remember the article in the Washington Post February 2008, “French Women Don’t Get Fat and Do Get Lucky” by Pamela Druckerman? She wrote, “Just 15 percent of Frenchwomen in their 50s and 27 percent in their 60s haven’t had any sex in the past year, according to a 2004 national survey by France’s Regional Health Observatory. Another national survey being released next month will report that cohabiting Frenchwomen over 50 are having more sex now than they did in the early 1990s.” So, women over the age of 40…go out and buy some sexy lingerie because here you’re likely going to actually get some use out of it!

4. “Parisiennes” dress! By that I mean they dress provocatively on a daily basis and love it, without anyone thinking they are…what’s that awful word?…”slutty?” Being “seduisante” simply means “attractive” and that’s exactly what they are. At 80 years old they’re still wearing fishnet stockings and high heeled shoes. You’ll see more skirts on their hips than pants so they can show off their shapely legs. And I’ll bet you’ll notice more older women braless than you’ll ever see on the other side of the Atlantic. “Quelle horreur!” Sure, they aren’t as ‘perky’ as they used to be, but who cares?…Not the men who are enjoying them!

5. Paris gives you self-confidence. With all these positive aspects on your side, you’re sure to feel more independent and more self-confident about who you are, both as a woman and as a person. And let me tell you something: that’s sexy as hell. Nothing is less attractive than neediness. So, even if you wanted to be ‘alone,’ you’re not likely going to be that way…at least for long! And you can live that way happily the rest of your life…single and happy to be that way.”

(Source/credit:  Adrian Leeds Group)

The 10 Best French Movies on Netflix for French Learners

Source:  fluentU.com / written by Elizabeth Cook

In the mood for a cinematic treat?

Many French learners already know that watching movies is one of the best and most pleasurable ways to learn through immersion.

Some are even aware of techniques for using movies to accelerate their learning.

Finding the movies themselves, though?

That can be a hassle!

You have a limited amount of time and don’t want to waste it watching something boring. Even worse, imagine starting a movie only to find that it involves absolutely no French conversation!

FluentU offers fun, authentic French videos specially selected for learners. You can watch these videos instantly and enjoy several features that give you control and flexibility, such as optional subtitles and active learning tools.

But when it comes to feature films, you’re sorta left to fend for yourself. Which can be tough.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best films for French learners that are currently on Netflix.

We’ve considered not only the quality of the movies but also the features included—all in order to give you the best possible learning experience.

All you have to do is sit back and enjoy!

The 10 Best French Movies on Netflix for French Learners

In the mood for a cinematic treat?

Many French learners already know that watching movies is one of the best and most pleasurable ways to learn through immersion.

Some are even aware of techniques for using movies to accelerate their learning.

Finding the movies themselves, though?

That can be a hassle!

You have a limited amount of time and don’t want to waste it watching something boring. Even worse, imagine starting a movie only to find that it involves absolutely no French conversation!

FluentU offers fun, authentic French videos specially selected for learners. You can watch these videos instantly and enjoy several features that give you control and flexibility, such as optional subtitles and active learning tools.

But when it comes to feature films, you’re sorta left to fend for yourself. Which can be tough.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best films for French learners that are currently on Netflix.

We’ve considered not only the quality of the movies but also the features included—all in order to give you the best possible learning experience.

All you have to do is sit back and enjoy!

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

What Makes a French Movie Ideal For Learning1

Before we get into the movies themselves, here’s a look at factors that went into their selection.

Read more of this article HERE

 

5 Killer Language Learning Strategies Guaranteed to Help You Make Time

“Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d love to learn a foreign language but I’m just too darn busy. If only I had more hours in the day…”?

I hear you.

Work life and home life are demanding, and those 24 hours a day won’t be getting any longer.

So when are we supposed to learn an entire other language?

I have good news for you. There are effective, surefire ways to make time for language learning. (Yes, even for those of you with the busiest of schedules!)

So sit tight and keep on reading, because here are my five best strategies to make time for language learning every day – and they actually work!”

Read more of this article:

5 Killer Language Learning Strategies Guaranteed to Help You Make Time.

7 Surprising Ways to Practice French Online with Immersion

Reblogged from:  www.FluentU.com

Having a lazy French study day?

All you want to do is sit around in your pajamas and browse the Internet.

That stack of flashcards is just going to sit there collecting dust.

The French conversation program you picked up last week? You know you should start…but today? Psshh.

You don’t even have the attention span to watch a French movie or TV show.

Think your day’s as good as wasted? Think again.

You can create a French immersion experience around your inclination to kick back and veg (or as the French say,glander).

Here are some simple ways to make lazy days more productive.

Practice French Online: 7 Smart Methods for Immersive Browsing

1. Change all your language settings to French.

Just browsing in French will help you pick up everyday language as experienced by internautes (Internet users).

On Twitter, you’ll quickly learn that tweeter (to tweet) has been established as a regular -er verb. If you don’t already know the difference between the third person singular and plural conjugations of the verb aimer (to like), switch to French onFacebook and you can be sure you’ll never forget.

These are little things, but they add up.

You’ll receive your notifications in French, too, and come to associate certain sentences with information pertaining directly to you (so-and-so sent you a message, etc.). These phrases will repeatedly pop up on your screen, so you can’t avoid remembering them.

This is like a supercharged flashcard deck you don’t even have to make yourself!

If you’re not already a social media user, consider trying it out. Twitter is especially fantastic for finding people with similar interests and goals.

Don’t just stop with social media profiles — you can change the language on your web browser, operating system and e-mail accounts, too. Just be careful of doing this if your French isn’t very advanced yet.

You’ll want to take note of how to change everything back in case you find yourself panicking in unfamiliar territory. For example, “settings” is paramètres.

2. Use social media to observe and connect with French speakers.

Once you’ve gotten comfortable navigating around your various social media accounts in French, see if you can track down some French speakers.

You may already have a pen pal or language exchange partner, but socializing with native speakers on a larger, more casual scale has benefits, too. After all, it’s probably something you do all the time in English.

Following, “liking” or just browsing the profiles of French-speaking celebrities is a good place to start. From there you can branch out to connecting with other fans. But if you don’t have anyone in mind, you can simply search for certain French key words to find people who might interest you.

For example, if you love movies and you’re browsing Twitter, go up to what should now be the Recherchez sur Twitter bar and type in “J’adore les films.” This will bring up tweets from everyone who has used those words recently.

If you put those words directly in your profile information, it’ll help other movie fans find you.

You can also try searching for French words or phrases as hashtags. Go ahead and start slapping these onto your own tweets while you’re at it! Here are some popular ones:

  • For books or reading: #lire #livres
  • For music: #musique #écouter (this one can also be used for radio or podcasts)
  • For cooking: #cuisine
  • For the latest news: #nouvelles
  • For technology: #technologie

Due to the character limit on Twitter, French-speaking internautes will try to make hashtags as short as possible, which often means cutting out the article. You might think this would cause problems with linguistically ambiguous hashtags like #film or #cuisine. But if you have your language set to French, Twitter will conveniently direct you to French tweets.

Once you’ve connected with some French users, try posting some of your thoughts in French. If you’re a beginner, this might seem daunting, but it’s really a low-pressure situation. You don’t have to worry about pronunciation, and you can take as long as you want to compose what you’re going to say. No matter what, you’ll get some practice in, and you may even get some replies!

3. Surf shopping sites and classified ads in French.

You might be thinking: “Woah, hang on. I can see the benefits of French browsing, but shopping sounds dangerous. What if I accidentally purchase a poodle for a thousand euros?”

Slow down and take a deep breath! For one thing, a lot of the “shopping” you do on the web is the online version of window shopping, and that’s where you want to start. It’ll help get you to the point where you’re comfortable buying, too.

Where to look.

Most larger shopping or classified ad sites like Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist offer service in France and French-speaking countries that you can easily access through menus on their home pages. As long as you’re dream shopping, though, you may as well dream big. Type immobilier and Paris, Bruxelles (Brussels) or any other place into a search engine to browse real estate in that area. Once you’ve found your dream house or apartment, dream-furnish it by searching for meubles. Or just skip right to your dream voiture (car). Just make sure you keep your credit card information out of these ventures!

How to buy (if you want to).

Amazon.fr is a good place to start. The Amazon Currency Converter lets you see exactly how much you’ll be paying before you purchase. French Amazon also offers a “Help in English” page which can be found by following the Aideoption to Autres sites d’aide. This page will walk you through all the steps of purchasing, explaining what the various buttons and options mean.

Every shopping site is a little different, but extensive, habitual browsing is the best way to get to the point where you know what you’re doing. A couple of things to be aware of when ordering products from overseas:

  • You may have to pay significantly more for shipping if you’re ordering from a different country.
  • Most DVDs purchased from France will be manufactured for Region 2 players, so if you’re in the U.S. or Canada (Region 1), you’ll want to purchase a region-free player to make sure you can watch them! You’ll also want to make sure your devices meet other compatibility requirements.

This might all sound a little intimidating, but getting comfortable is about familiarity. Besides, opening up your shopping options is a good idea. French-language books and movies can be priced significantly higher in English-speaking countries, or they may be entirely unavailable.

4. Search for anything that interests you in French.

You probably already know there’s a French Wikipedia.

Start using it, and start searching in French elsewhere, too!

Any subject related to French culture, especially when modern, is likely to produce longer articles in French than in English. And even for more general subjects — why not try French first?

Whether it’s history, music or pop culture, allow your natural curiosity to lead you. On a lazy day, you might not be jotting down every word you don’t know or even finishing every article, but you probably don’t always do that in English either. It’s a heck of a lot better than nothing!

5. Use search functions to check your grammar and spelling.

You may have a good dictionary and a comprehensive grammar book, but sometimes you just need to know quickly if you can say something.

For example, if you’re thinking about posting on a message board about your love of wine, and it occurs to you to say, “J’aime le vin bien,” a quick Google search (in quotes) will reveal that people don’t actually say that. Another search for “J’aime bien le vin” will show that you simply had the adverb in the wrong place.

Obviously, you can’t check longer or more complex sentences this way, and you definitely can’t trust everyone online to be using correct grammar. But by breaking your sentences up into grammatical parts and seeing how many results they yield, you can get a pretty good idea of whether a certain phrasing is generally acceptable. Google will also try to redirect you if you spell something incorrectly.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, WordReference is another invaluable resource for doing quick French research while you’re online. You may also want to check out these translation apps.

6. Look for and subscribe to French language video and text sources.

You already know that the internet is a great place to find language tools of all varieties, but sometimes you’re not in the mood for a full-blown lesson or anything that’s going to take up a significant amount of time.

This is where French-language YouTube channels come in handy. You don’t need to watch instructional French videos — just regular people filming themselves or their friends. Regular people playing and reviewing video games. Regular people describing their hometown or telling you about their latest vacation.

There’s lots of good material out there, and you can always find high-quality videos on FluentU to keep you company on even your laziest of days.

It’s also pretty easy to find French language message boards and blogs based on subjects that interest you, from gardening and scientific discoveries to a specific band or musical artist. Reading through whatever you can understand and getting a feel for how people communicate online in French will give you exposure to yet another aspect of the language.

In the meantime, you can find and keep up with French language publications through your social media accounts. Some of them may even find you!

7. Pretend like you just found the Internet (and it’s French).

Regardless of how old you were when the internet became commonplace (or whether you were even born), everyone has probably had that exciting moment in which they fully comprehended its possibilities. Still, you probably don’t sit around all day just thinking about how great it is. Now’s a good time to remember and start browsing for pleasure anew!

Rediscover the novelty of The Worldwide Web in your French learning. Experience the joy of following suggested links until you don’t remember how you ended up on a particular site. Hop from friends list to friends list on Facebook. Let your eyes wander. Take in site options, recommended content, ads and promotions.

Be susceptible to advertising. If you haven’t caught on, the things you might consider your worst natural tendencies can be helpful and even necessary in learning a language. If you only learn French in a controlled, disciplined environment, it’s never going to become a truly integrated part of you. So go ahead and stare at ads, the ones you’ve trained your eyes to ignore. Those with moving or changing text are best because they challenge your reading comprehension speed.

Learning French is hard work, but it should also be fun. It should be an activity you can enjoy not just when you’re feeling motivated and social, but also in passive, solitary moments.

So, stay in bed with your laptop. Curl up on the couch with your tablet. Relax on the patio with your smartphone. You can afford it, because — regardless of what it may look like — today you’re getting stuff done.

 

Les Faux Amis / False Friends

15 French ‘false friends’ you need to watch out for

When struggling for the right word in French, it can be tempting just to use an English word said in a French accent. Unfortunately, French is littered with pesky “false friends” that have very different meanings. Here’s 15 to avoid.

Some of these false freinds  can be relatively harmless, if a little inconvenient.

Ask for the “librairie” in France and you’ll be directed to a bookshop rather than a library (bibliothèque), for example. But others can result in ridicule or embarrassment. Anyone who has been in France for any amount of time will be familiar with the most famous of these: “a préservatif” not being something you would add to food to make it keep longer (conservateur in French), but in fact a condom.

But there are plenty more of these false friends you’ll want to avoid so you don’t embarrass yourself or your French guests.

1. Excited / Excité

You want to tell your French friend you’re very excited to come visit them in Paris this summer. “Excité” sounds like the word you should use, right? Unfortunately not. You just told your friend you were “aroused”, probably not what you were going for. Enthusiaste is better.

2. Trainee / Traînée

A particular one to be aware of for anyone working in France. If you’re just starting a new job, don’t try introducing yourself as a “trainee” said in a French-sounding sort of way and hope your new colleagues understand, it sounds very similar to the French word “traînée”, which can mean a smear or trail or, much worse still, a woman  of an extremely promiscuous nature. “Stagiaire” is the right word.

3. Chat / Chatte

A pitfall for anyone who knows ‘ch’ in French is pronounced the way and English speaker would say ‘sh’, but is still lacking in vocabulary. The verb to chat – ie, have a light conversation with someone – in French is bavarder. But chat pronounced with an ‘sh’ sound in the beginning can mean ‘cat’ or, if you pronounce it with a hard T at the end, slang for a woman’s private parts (chatte in French).

4. Apology / Apologie

So you’ve accidentally let out a loud burp at a French dinner party. Cringing of embarrassment, you quickly let out an “apologie”. The only trouble is that in French, you’ve just told them that you “condone” or “justify” such table manners. “Pardon” and “excusez-moi” are both polite apologies to use.

5. Bless / Blesser

The verbs have quite opposite meaning. While a well-meaning English-speaker might feel the temptation to throw out a “blessez-vous” when someone sneezes, try not to. In French, the verb “blesser” translates into “injure”. The expression to use here is: “à vos souhaits”.

6. Chair/ Chair

Looking for a chair at a party? Use the term “chaise”. “Chair” in French means flesh and you might get some weird looks if you tell the party hosts that you’re looking for some.

7. Slip/ Slip

This one could easily get your knickers in a knot. Especially since “slip” in French translates into “men’s briefs”. If you’ve had a slip and you want to tell your French friends about it, better to use the verb “glisser”.

8. Pill/ piles

You have a brutal headache and you head to the local pharmacy in search for pills to cure you. To the French, it will sound as if you’re asking for “piles”, or batteries. To avoid confusion (and to make sure you get rid of your headache), better to ask for brands like Aspirine or Doliprane.

9. Air Con/ l’air con

No, no matter how much of a French accent you put on in pronouncing this one, it is a deceitful ‘false friend’ that could land you in hot water. It would be hard to offend a French person more than telling them they have “l’air con”. In the ears of a French person, you’ve just told him or her that they’re “stupid”.

10. Sensible/Sensible

Identical, right? Not so. “Sensible” means “sensitive” in French and it’s probably not the best word to use when describing yourself in a job interview. Try “raisonnable” instead.

11. Blanket/Blanquette

Don’t be surprised if, after asking your neighbour to lend you a “blanquette”, he or she turns up on your doorstep with a ready-cooked meal. “Blanquette” is a much-loved veal stew ( Blanquette de veau) which has little to do with keeping you warm at night. But “une couverture” will help you cover up.

12. Terrible/Terrible

This is a tough one, because although the word can have the same meaning in French as it has in English, it is often used to express just the opposite, i.e. that something is “great”. And it all depends on your tone of voice. You safest bet to convey that something is terrible in the Anglo-saxon sense of the word is to use the word “horrible”.

13. Tongue/ Tong(s)

This false friend will hardly get you into any trouble, but it sure could cause some confusion with almost any French listener who might wonder where exactly this conversation is going. Tongue will most likely sound like “tongs” (pronounced with a silent s) which means thongs, or flip-flops. If you want to stick to discussing your tongue, say “langue”.

14. Introduce/ s’Introduire:

As if an introduction in France wasn’t a fraught experience already, one of the most two-faced of ‘false friends’ in French is the verb “s’introduire”. Naturally, you would think it means ‘to introduce’. It actually means to penetrate, insert or enter. So next time you meet a group of French people and you want to suggest you should all introduce each other”, the verb you’re looking for is “se présenter”.

15. Luxurious/luxurieux

This one is particularly nasty because even though “de luxe” means luxury, as you would imagine, if you want to say “luxurious” don’t try to say it with a French accent, because it will probably come out as “luxurieux” which means “lustful”. If you want to say “you went to a luxurious hotel at the weekend” your French guests might start thinking you spent the last few days in the company of DSK.

 

Source/Credit: The Local

In Support of Total Immersion

A French American Life

I grew up during the old-school era of second-language learning. We filled in the blanks, conjugated verbs, and memorized vocabulary lists. Entry level classes, and sometimes even intermediate and advanced classes, were taught in English. Speaking in the second language was a part of those classes, but not a huge part, and when we did speak, it was awkwardly and amidst classmates making fun of each other’s accents.

Today, language learning is (thankfully) progressing toward total immersion. In my college classes, and in the high school and junior high classes that I’ve observed, instructors use the target language to teach. Students are expected to participate by speaking, and by writing and reading in the foreign language. Oh, how far we’ve come! It seems so obvious that to learn a language, the best method is to be immersed in that language. After all, that’s how we learn our first language, right? Hearing it…

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