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 to.

Because le lundi de Pentecôte has once again become a jour férié, that means many people are taking an extra long weekend this year between Thursday, May 8 (V-E Day, aka End of WWII in Europe Day) and Monday, May 12. Normally, faire le pont refers to taking a long, 4 day weekend. However, people are now saying faire l’aqueduc to refer to the long, 5 day weekend. How witty.

Apparently the French think it’s weird when pharmacies sell over-the-counter medicine on shelves so that customers can choose their own medicine, rather than behind the counter where customers have to ask for it and the pharmacist just gives them whatever s/he wants. TF1 was reporting on some pharmacies in the UK that sell OTC drugs in front of the counter. ::gasp!:: I wonder if they know that’s how it always is in the US – prescription drugs behind the counter and non-prescription drugs in front of the counter. What’s so bad about that? I always thought it made no sense to keep everything behind the counter, which is especially embêtant for foreigners who can’t explain very well what’s wrong or for anyone in general who’s too embarrassed to explain what’s wrong…

I always knew the word ampoule meant light bulb or blister. David told me that cloque can also mean blister, which I thought was strange since I knew the expression en cloque meant knocked up and at first, I didn’t really understand how they could mean the same thing. But it just refers to the shape of either the blister or the pregnant woman’s belly. Strange, and kinda gross, but it does make sense to me now.

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  • Milie

    Hi Jennie,
    Well, no public holiday here in Australia for 1er mai, and of course no “ponts” in case of public holiday on Tuesday or Thursday!
    Anyway, I thought about you this morning while surfing on the web for information about translation. I found this interesting website: http://www.proz.com/ You may already know it. Good for you to communicate with people already working in the industry, to discuss about translation, have an idea on how they work/charge, etc. ;-)
    Courage for the job hunting, you can do it Jennie! Even in that weird country! Have a relaxing w-e, you deserve it, even if you don’t have a job at the moment.
    Hauts les coeurs !

  • Milie

    Hi Jennie,Well, no public holiday here in Australia for 1er mai, and of course no “ponts” in case of public holiday on Tuesday or Thursday! Anyway, I thought about you this morning while surfing on the web for information about translation. I found this interesting website: http://www.proz.com/ You may already know it. Good for you to communicate with people already working in the industry, to discuss about translation, have an idea on how they work/charge, etc. ;-)Courage for the job hunting, you can do it Jennie! Even in that weird country! Have a relaxing w-e, you deserve it, even if you don’t have a job at the moment. Hauts les coeurs !

  • Milie

    P.S.: don’t be impressed by http://www.proz.com/ translators’ resumes. You’re also a skilled translator Jennie, and one day you too will pay your bills and travel thanks to your skills :-0

  • Milie

    P.S.: don’t be impressed by http://www.proz.com/ translators’ resumes. You’re also a skilled translator Jennie, and one day you too will pay your bills and travel thanks to your skills :-0

  • Katie

    Thanks for teaching me the word for blister!

  • Katie

    Thanks for teaching me the word for blister!

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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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