Translations

Here are the translations from the real French post. I can honestly say I never learned these expressions from my high school or university books/classes. I only learned them when I moved to France.

Elle tire le diable par la queue. = She barely gets by (financially).

C’est pas vraiment le Pérou. = It’s nothing to write home about. / It’s not a great fortune.

Ça craint de plus en plus. = It keeps getting worse and worse.

…il y a des lustres. = …a long time ago.

Ça va être chaud ! = It’s going to be tough.

La note va être salée ! = The bill is going to be really expensive.

Ma sœur en a rien à foutre… = My sister doesn’t give a damn about it…

And a few more, in context, for you to figure out:

Rien ne fait radin quand c’est donné avec amour.

Mon frère ainé a des oursins dans ses poches, et aussi dans son coeur.

Elle veut pas aller voir les services sociaux quand elle est dans la panade.

L’Elysée n’avait pas souhaité divulguer le lieu de vacances de Nicolas Sarkozy, mais les médias américains ont finalement vendu la mèche.

Travailler, c’est trop dur ? Avez-vous un poil dans la main ?

Elle reste floue, vague, imprécise, et tourne autour du pot sans jamais en venir au fait

Ça fait un bail qu’on s’est pas parlé !

Real French.

If you only learned textbook French in school, could you understand these sentences? All of them are from one page of a thread that I found on a random forum. This is why idioms and slang are an essential part of any language course! Elle tire le diable par la queue. C’est pas vraiment le […]

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Learning languages for free with the internet.

Tip of the day: Use the internet to take advantage of the public domain. Foreign Service Institute Language Courses: Designed and written by the US government but with no copyright protection. You can download the texts (PDF format) and audio files (mp3s) for free. Not all languages are available for download as the site depends […]

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Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly

Haute-Savoiers? Haute-Savoiens? People in Haute-Savoie! (And anyone else who is interested…) The annual medieval festival in Andilly will be held May 17 & 18 and May 24 & 25 this year. Price is 17 € a day for adults; 10 € for kids. Andilly is located halfway between Annecy and Geneva. Open 10 am until […]

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Why I love Germany

A German with a sense of humor does exist. I was watching Deutsche Welle last night and it was actually in German instead of English. I swear every time I turn on that channel, people are talking in English… Anyway, there was a report on Moritz Volz (he’s a Fulham footballer/soccer player) and how he […]

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Things I learned today

Le premier mai is la fête du travail (labor day) and the only day in France when anyone can sell flowers legally – not just florists. You will see tons of people and places (if they’re open…) selling muguets (lily of the valley) because it’s supposed to bring good luck to whomever you give them […]

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The End Again

Yesterday was my last day as an English assistant for the second year. I’m glad to no longer have to drive nearly an hour to work, but not so happy about no longer having an income. I have a feeling I won’t be able to find another teaching job until September – maybe I’ll even […]

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Adventures in Berlin & Budapest

I’m so exhausted, but I wanted to upload my photos from my week in Berlin & Budapest. Both cities were definitely worth visiting. Berlin was über cheap, but rather sad because of its history (both WWII and the Cold War). Budapest’s architecture was beautiful, but it felt a bit too foreign to me since I […]

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Off to Germany and Hungary

I leave this afternoon for Berlin and Budapest. I won’t be back until late Friday night, and I probably won’t get online much during the week. I’m excited about seeing two new countries but I’m not so excited about flying. If only it weren’t so much cheaper and faster than taking trains. The liquid restrictions […]

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About About.com

There are very few language sites that offer useful, free information to help you actually learn the real language (slang, idioms, informal speech, etc.) About.com’s language sites do include a lot of useful information, but the problem is finding what you want among the bazillion pages and sponsored links that look exactly like the content. […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

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Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.

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