Search Results for “label/French Lessons”

French Lessons: Tenir la chandelle

There are certain phrases that are just better in a foreign language. Tenir la chandelle is one of them. Think about it, what does “being the third wheel” actually mean? Tricycles exist. But the French version of the same phrase – tenir la chandelle – makes me chuckle because if you’re the odd wo/man out when hanging out with a couple, then you are “the one who holds the candle.” How romantic! French Lessons is an ongoing series where I teach you French words and cultural lessons while beefing up... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Le Pediluve

This week I decided that if you ever want to know what it feels like to be an Olympian you need go no further than the French swimming pool. Each time I go my mind is a bit blown by the sheer lack of speed and innovation in swimming strokes that witness visit after vist. It was so awesome to watch the French swimmers medal at the Olympics, because on the rarest of occasions (ok, twice) have I found anyone who can challenge me in the pool. In any case,... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Toucher du bois

Toucher du bois as the French say translates to “touch wood” or in U.S. English “knock on wood.” (Le bois = wood). With the roller coaster of finding an apartment in Paris (thank you for all your amazing comments and sympathy!) I definitely need a little luck on my side. But thanks to yesterday’s post I received my best apartment lead yet. But before I jinx it, je touche du bois! P.S. Did you see last week’s animated gif lesson? One of my favorites! French Lessons is an ongoing series... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: le bronzage cycliste

Down in Nice, where there was actually sun (le soleil) and not enough sunscreen (la crème solaire), I learned an important term for summer: le bronzage cycliste. Given the Tour de France is on now, there is something charming that the French have dubbed these unfortunate tan lines after cyclists, rather than the English equivalent of a “farmer’s tan.” I’m surprised I don’t see more bronzage cycliste (as in Il a le bronzage cycliste) at the Paris swimming pools – where speedos are required for men – but then again,... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Santé

Santé! To health. It’s the French version of “cheers,” and a very important word as you’ll likely find yourself in many situations involving wine or champagne with any time spent in France. The main key rules are to always make eye contact with the person you are cheers-ing with, and when it’s a group of people, arms should never cross – just be patient and let each moment happen. Speaking of drinking etiquette, don’t miss Joanna Goddard’s How to Drink Wine guide illustrated by Gemma Correll. p.s. I’m currently in... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Les Soldes

Last week’s lesson was all about window licking (lèche vitrine), but today is all about buying. In fact, today officially marks the start of les soldes, the twice yearly sales that take place across France (think France’s version of “Black Friday”) over the course of a few weeks in order to make room for next season’s stock. Seeing as this month has felt more like fall than summer, for once I actually am in the mood to buy up some sweet summer pieces. I’ve also been eye-ing un sac à... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Lèche Vitrine

If there is one thing the French have made me that I was not before, it’s a window shopper. With their adorable displays, items and prices listed (required by law, yet oh so practical, so I know if I should even bother going inside) and their signs that say “vitrine en cours” [window in progress] when either element is not yet up to par, there is a certain attention to detail and je ne sais quoi that pulls me in. But in France one doesn’t just window shop, you lick... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: un éclair

This weekend while I was helping a photographer friend shoot a wedding at beautiful chateau in Tours, 2.5 hours outside of Paris, I learned a very important French word while watching the storm roll in during our dinner break: un éclair. While I have long been familiar with the wonderful oblong pastry filled with cream filling and covered with icing – typically chocolate or coffee flavored – the fact that the same word is used for “lightning” amused me greatly. So as we finished our dessert, we also enjoyed regarder... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: Il m’a posé un lapin

Rendezvous has long been one of my favorite French words as it can apply to a “meeting” of any sorts, from a visit to the dentist to a hot date. Il m’a posé un lapin is a phrase that makes me laugh. Literally “to put down a rabbit” is the French way of saying “he stood me up.” I’m still not sure how un lapin – a rabbit – has anything to do regarding human relations, so if you have any insights, please share them in the comments. French Lessons... Read The Rest →

French Lessons: un bisou

If there is anything France has inadvertently done to me is that it’s made me an awkward hugger. I’ve become quite the fan of les bises, the light kiss [un bisou] on each cheek as a greeting and a parting. So the main problem lies when I go back to visit the US and I find myself naturally going for les bises only to at the last minute remember we hug in America, and the result is a rather awkward hug (usually by the end of a trip I get... Read The Rest →

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