Julia Frey's Blog (32)

Amuse-Bouche No. 28: Couples Troubles -- bilingual love can be murky...

Chantal, une ado (adolescent) who speaks excellent English with virtually no accent,…

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Added by Julia Frey on July 16, 2012 at 12:32pm — 5 Comments

Amuse-Bouche: Food and the French Tongue -- Twelve Ways to Toss a Salad

From oysters to eggplants, French is stuffed with food metaphors...The other night at dinner, Philippe was discussing food. Not surprising. After all, France is a country with four religions and 400 sauces. (The United States, Philippe opines, has four sauces and 400 religions.) Specifically, the pervasiveness of food imagery in French speech. I recounted confronting my…

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Added by Julia Frey on April 2, 2012 at 1:57pm — 6 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 32: (a re-run) A la recherche du beau temps (I'm on vacation)

A la recherche du beau temps (Searching for beautiful weather...)

 

by Julia  Frey

julia.frey@aya.yale.edu



In one irréductible (defiant) corner of the southeast, a…

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Added by Julia Frey on March 1, 2011 at 4:30am — 1 Comment

Amuse-Bouche No. 31: Pas de Blème, Ségolène. Even bad publicity is good publicity.

Amuse-Bouche No. 31: Pas de blème, Ségolène

 

by Julia Frey

julia.frey@aya.yale.edu

 

 

Even bad publicity is good publicity, and even a typo can do the trick.…

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Added by Julia Frey on February 1, 2011 at 5:00am — No Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 30. Who’s counting? Le monde en chiffre

 

Amuse-Bouche No. 30. Who’s counting?  Le monde en chiffre…



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Added by Julia Frey on January 1, 2011 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

Amuse-Bouche No. 29: Striking differences. Il y a grève dans le RER, et manif chez Chanel

Amuse-Bouche No. 29: Striking differences…

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Added by Julia Frey on December 1, 2010 at 5:00am — 5 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 27: Words à la Mode -- or how to be out of date fast

Amuse-Bouche No. 27: Words à la Mode -- or how to be out of date fast…

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Added by Julia Frey on October 5, 2010 at 8:16am — 14 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 26: L’Esprit Parisien -- Is there "une mystérieuse substance" that makes Parisians exceptional beings?

Amuse-Bouche No. 26: L’Esprit Parisien



by Julia Frey (julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)





Is there une mystérieuse substance that makes Parisians exceptional beings?



Reading Figaro Madame, I saw une pub (pronounced “pewb”, from publicité, advertisement, as distinct from un pub, pronounced “pub”, an English bar) selling “l’esprit parisien”. Quoi ? Depending on context, l’esprit… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on September 1, 2010 at 5:30am — No Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 25: Tous à la Bastille ! In French, you don’t say “Happy Bastille Day.”

Amuse-Bouche No. 25: Tous à la Bastille !

by Julia Frey (julia.frey@aya.yale.edu…

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Added by Julia Frey on July 9, 2010 at 4:00pm — 7 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 23: Là-haut sur la montagne, l’était un vieux chalet. I learned that song in Girl Scouts.

Amuse-Bouche No. 23: Là-haut sur la montagne, l’était un vieux chalet

by Julia Frey (julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)



I learned that song in Girl Scouts. The reality is somewhat different.…



You know how all of France vacations at the beach in August? Not Auguste (my husband). We go to the mountains—hors saison (off-season). As a germanopratine (n., denizen of St-Germain-des-Prés in Paris), the only montagne I know well is the… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on June 1, 2010 at 4:00am — 6 Comments

French kissing: la langue française.

Les Français adorent s’amuser des gaffes que font…

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Added by Julia Frey on May 3, 2010 at 4:30pm — 12 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 21: Shop Names and Word Games -- Store names often combine two French obsessions: shopping and jeux de mots.

Amuse-Bouche No. 21: Shop Names and Word Games

by Julia Frey


(julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)



Store names often combine two French obsessions: shopping and jeux de mots.



Walking to dîner with Albert and Maria, we passed their favorite librairie (bookstore, not library): Mona Lisait (Mona was reading). Great calembour (pun)! We don’t do that much in the United States. In France, “punny” shop names abound.… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on April 1, 2010 at 4:00am — 1 Comment

Amuse-Bouche No. 20: A la recherche du beau temps: today all Gaul is dotted with dripping rain.

Amuse-Bouche No. 20: A la recherche du temps...… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on March 1, 2010 at 7:30am — 10 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 19: La paperasserie (red tape) -- How do you say “Catch 22” in French?

Amuse-Bouche No. 19: La paperasserie (red tape)



by Julia Frey

(julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)



How do you say “Catch 22” in French?





My husband and I need French permis de conduire (driver’s licenses). Makes me nervous. French paperasserie (red tape) is notorious. Of course, bureaucracy has a bad rep everywhere. Lately Le Monde discussed the nightmare of trying to pay a fine in Russia. And we won’t even mention the… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on January 31, 2010 at 6:20am — 25 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 18: Getting the etiquette. At dinner don't put your "pieds dans le plat".

Amuse-Bouche No. 18: Getting the etiquette



by Julia Frey

(julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)



Foot-in mouth disease is rampant, even among the French



At a multilingual dîner en ville (dinner of powerful people), the pretty daughter of American personnalités (VIPs), in Paris to learn French, provoked well-bred amusement by mixing up j’ai chaud (I’m hot = too warm) with je suis chaude (I’m hot = aroused). The notables… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on January 7, 2010 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 17: My Little Cabbage -- If you learn only one word in French, make it "chou".

Amuse-Bouche No. 17: My Little Cabbage



by Julia Frey

(julia.frey@aya.yale.edu)



If you learn only one word in French, make it chou.



Sunday night, coming back from the country, everyone’s starving.



Philippe: “Venez donc chez nous, manger à la fortune du pot (Come to our house and eat potluck). Nous avons de la soupe aux choux (cabbage soup).”



Bénédicte, our local food expert, steps… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on November 30, 2009 at 12:00pm — 10 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 16: Say it with flowers, but don’t give a friend chrysanthèmes!

Amuse-Bouche No. 16: Say It with Flowers

by Julia Frey



But don’t give a friend chrysanthèmes !





“Comme c’est bizarre,” says Colombine, “every year for la fête des mères (Mother’s Day: in France, the last Sunday in May) ma belle-mère (my mother-in law) gives me a cactus!”



“C’est peut-être symbolique,” I answer. The arid cactus, with its prickly defense system, makes me craindre le pire (fear the… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on November 1, 2009 at 8:30am — 7 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 15: Fleas and friperies. The world is full of objets encombrants (nickname: “les monstres”).

Amuse-Bouche No. 15: Fleas and friperies

by Julia Frey



The world is full of objets encombrants (nickname: “les monstres”).



Lydie and I love to chiner -- to go bargain hunting for brocante (“collectibles”, i.e. bric-a-brac). La chine doesn’t come from la Chine (China, same pronunciation) but from échine (spine), because rag and junk men used to carry their wares on their backs. We too wear backpacks as we… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on October 1, 2009 at 2:15pm — 4 Comments

Amuse-Bouche No. 14: Ramadan, Madame ? Ramadan runs for 30 days. In 2009, it's 21 August - 19 September

Amuse-Bouche No. 14: Ramadan, Madame ?



by Julia Frey



Ramadan runs for 30 days. In 2009, it's Friday, 21 August, to Saturday, 19 September.



There’s nothing more amusing than two foreigners trying to communicate in a third language. I’m having trouble understanding Mahmoud’s Algerian-accented French. He, in turn, cracks up whenever I say his name (a variant of Mohammed), because my hard American consonants make it sound like mammouth… Continue

Added by Julia Frey on September 15, 2009 at 8:00am — 10 Comments

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