I need to return to my French language oral fluency by mid-October. What are your best tips and tricks to resuscitate your language skills? Websites? Podcasts? Structured systems? [more inside]
We'll be in Paris on March 13th and 14th. We're staying very close to the Musée d'Orsay but we're willing to travel off the beaten path. Currently we've found Les Climats which seems highly regarded and right up our alley in terms of menu. However... [more inside]
My friend is a French expat living in the USA and is almost finished writing a play--in French. She is looking for some feedback on her work from people who are decent speakers of French and know enough about writing for theater, or fiction in general, but it's been surprisingly difficult to find such people. Do you have any ideas for helping her find such people? [more inside]
I am a university student who takes french as a minor alongside law. My law essays are well received, and even when I miss the mark on the question my professors say I have expressed myself and written a good essay. In french, the opposite is true. I'm struggling with basic structure and linking of my ideas in this second language. Any help or advice? [more inside]
I'm looking for daily local video news from Paris, France, in French, online. [more inside]
Does anyone know of any sites kind of like Metafilter, but in (or at least primarily in) French? I leave "like Metafilter" to your discretion, but mainly I'm thinking of the commenting culture more than "list of links" - an active commenting userbase with generally high quality discussion. I see that this question has been asked in AskMe before, but the sites in the answers seem to all be dead, or turned into shopping sites, or were jokes in the first place (like a link to Google Translate's translation of Metafilter itself).
I need some help in translating further a curio I purchased recently - a short handwritten legal document (approx. 100 words) from Toulouse France, dated year 1672. My paid help has given up, so I am appealing to you! [more inside]
I saw this movie on either IFC or The Sundance Channel about 8-10 years ago. It was almost certainly French, though I suppose it's possible it could have been from Belgium or something -- but it had a very, very French feel. Here's what I remember: (some of the memories may be incorrect) [more inside]
I have some very basic French language skills, and I would like to develop them to the level of working proficiency over the next few months (I am prepared to study hard). I am enrolled in a class and have a tutor. What are some other resources (preferably free ones) that I can work with my own time in order to accelerate my learning as much as possible? [more inside]
I have a small stack of French language more-or-less classic books to read. My French reading is okay but I need a dictionary frequently. My aims in reading them are to improve my reading knowledge of French and to reduce the number of books I have bought but not yet read. (And also to enjoy them in the usual way.) What is a sensible order to tackle these in so that the exotic-ness of the vocabulary, and any other sorts of language comprehension demands, rise progressively? [more inside]
A colleague of mine brought some candy back from France, and there are silly jokes written on the inside of the wrappers. Most of them are cute enough, but there's one that uses a word that I don't know and can't find a definition for. Is it just a nonsense word? [more inside]
I'm looking for a merchant in NYC who sells a good selection of French sparkling hard dry ciders (from Normandy and Brittany). Also great if said merchant has more diverse hard cider options (UK or Scandinavian etc.) [more inside]
Looking for movie recommendations that feature French scenes, spoken French is good too. [more inside]
Some time ago, on one of the national basic cable movie channels (USA, I think) which would run multiple showings of a given film for a month or so, I repeatedly flipped into a period film that amused me each time I watched a snippet. Unfortunately, I never watched enough of the film to get a good idea of the plot, and therefore can't effectively describe the story, sooo... [more inside]
I am currently in Kuwait drinking something they call 'French coffee'. I like it a lot but I cannot figure out what it is and the internet isn't helping (nor is the waitress). Its texture is mealy (unfintered), it's strong, there's a lot of sediment, no milk (none offered either), there seems to be a hint of sugar in it (was offered the option of extra when ordering) and it's served in a cup that is somewhat bigger than an espresso one but much smaller than an American coffee cup. It's definitely not Turkish coffee. What is this stuff and how do I make it at home?
I am trying to translate into French a series of phrases along the lines of "custom(-built) report", "custom(-built) query", etc. but these are not customized according to individual user preferences, but according to their organization's needs. I am trying to use it in the sense of "built-to-organization's-specification" (not out-of-the-box, but not personalization either). In my world, "customized" = added in by the vendor, "configured" = added in by the user or admin, so it would help to end up with a term that avoids the sense of configuration.
Are there any online communities conducted in Spanish or French that are kind of like Metafilter? [more inside]
A bunch of years ago I read the first chapter of a French novel. It was funny. In that first chapter the narrator's family spends a day picking mushrooms, then eats them for dinner and they all die. The writer was French (possibly Belgian), with a 'punchy' name as I remember it. The novel was 'comic' (I think), and not especially long. I want to say it was written between the 50's and 60's but don't remember why I think that. There's a chance the author is also known for some other, non-writing endeavor (a la Nick Cave). I never wrote down the name of the novel or the writer because both had lodged in my head. Well, they've become dis-lodged and recently I went mushroom picking and spent the whole time trying to remember this novel and/or its author. Please. I've googled to no avail.
About 20 years ago I was shown an album by a female painter. I would like to find out who she is, but I am having remarkably little success searching on the web. [more inside]
My 9 month old baby likes it when I sing to him, but I am horrible at remembering song lyrics. He's a fan of "Feliz Navidad," which is cool because it has about 20 words to remember and the Spanish keeps him interested. What other happy, easy-to-remember songs should I learn the lyrics to and sing? English, Spanish, and German are all in my wheelhouse.
I heard a kid's song that I would describe as French swing (a bit like the style of the Triplettes of Belleville). I didn't get a good listen to the lyrics, but two things stood out: a chorus that started with the words "Click, Clack...," and a couple of spoken interludes to someone named Michel(le), who may have been a cat. Can you name this song and artist? [more inside]
Is there a French equivalent of Coursera.org or other websites hosting free online courses? The French language offerings on Coursera itself are limited to technical classes and one history of religion class.
Can anyone translate the French lyrics of Grenadine's "Sainte-Flavie" into English for me? Google Translate results are typically incomprehensible. Lyrics inside. Thanks! [more inside]
What is the structure and rhyme scheme of a French Canadian sailor's lament? Anglophone sailors have the sea chanty, a song for work... but I understand francophone sailors in the Maritimes have both upbeat songs for work, and slow, sad songs for downtime, called laments. How are these structured musically and lyrically? Are there any translated examples?
Let's say you wanted to ask something like "Do I look fat in this?" Doing so would cause many or most people to take your feelings into account when answering, and so if the answer really were "Yes, you look fat in that", you might not get an honest answer. So, if you really did want an honest answer, in English you might also say something like "Please don't worry about hurting my feelings", or "Please don't pull any punches", or "Please be brutally honest". How would one say the same sort of thing in French? Not necessarily direct literal translations of those phrases, but preferably a standard (and perhaps idiomatic) phrase getting the same point across.
I have a child starting grade 1 french immersion, and am looking for some (very) early reading books in French. Said progeny responded astonishingly well last year to a phonics-based early literacy series in English by Usborne (this one). Can anyone recommend an equivalent in French? Is phonics even a thing in French? [more inside]
I took French in school and it was fun. However I did not keep up with it and here I am. I want to re-learn French again. My goal is to familiarize myself once again with all that I learnt and then start reading novels in French (which, once upon a time, I could do) [more inside]
Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
I would like to learn French in New York. Difficulty: I have taken years of French at school, and none of it seemed to stick, besides the ability to read the back of aspirin bottles and cereal boxes. [more inside]
I'm looking for some French or Dutch language podcasts that I can use to practice my comprehension. However, I'm looking for something more like Uhh Yeah Dude, Jordan Jesse Go!, or another "two people talking, being funny, and themselves" type podcast, rather than an NPR type show. Do any shows come to mind?
My husband would like to improve his (very limited) French comprehension by watching cartoons or other children's shows in French with our four-year-old daughter. We have access to Netflix streaming, Amazon prime, Roku, a DVD player etc., and are willing to spend a little $ for something charming that will appeal to adults and children both. [more inside]
Going through family papers, my partner recently found a 1950s newspaper article in French, detailing his grandfather's visit back to the area of France in which he spent most of his time in WW1. Google Translate gives us a stilted, semi-incomprehensible translation. We've recently been transcribing his grandfather's war letters and this article would be a wonderful addition to the document. I would be very grateful and owe a favour to anyone willing to have a go at turning it into English for us. It's only 276 words, so hopefully not too difficult. Text is under the cut. [more inside]
My wife and I greatly enjoy French comedies (recent examples inside). Netflix's proprietary Obfuscatron-4000 searching system has cleverly adapted to our viewing tastes by making French comedies difficult to identify and put in our queue. Can you recommend additional titles that are available on Netflix, either on disc or streaming? [more inside]
I have used every google resource available and I still cannot understand French relative pronouns. [more inside]
I graduated high school having been in french immersion and when I graduated I did the testing and I was offically bilingual. Hurray! However, that was over 10 years ago and I have hardly spoken it since I graduated. Now, suddenly, my job wants me to get my french proficiency tested to see if I can satisfy the required language requirements for my branch. (We need to have X# of people able to speak French because a percent of our clients speak french as their first language, and right now we're down a person apparently). Au secours! [more inside]
Native or longtime speakers of French, as it is spoken in France: How does my spoken noob French come across? Link to embarrassing sound file inside. [more inside]
Through work, I have struck up a correspondence with an extraordinary translator and writer located in Austin, TX. Advancing age, declining health, and (from what I have gleaned) lack of local family members have conspired to put him in a nursing home. He's mentioned a craving for better food -- specifically for French canapés. Is there any French bistro or gourmet market in Austin where I could arrange for some beautifully prepared treats to be delivered to him?
"Beauty is the sister of vanity and the mother of lust". My translation in to French: "La beauté est la soeur de la vanité et la mère de la luxure." I originally saw this phrase in French as "La beauté est la sœur de vanité, et la mére et la luxure". So that would roughly translate as "Beauty is the sister of vanity and the mother of lust". I have also seen it expressed in English as "Beauty's sister is vanity, and its daughter lust." My translation would be: "La beauté est la sœur de vanité, et la fille de la luxure." I asked on Yahoo Answers if my grammar was correct, but one of the responses said it should be "la mère" and not "la fille". Hence, my question. Is it originally French in origin? And if so, is it mother of lust or daughter of lust? Either way my translation would be: "La beauté est la soeur de la vanité et la mère de la luxure." Or La beauté est la soeur de la vanité et la fille de la luxure. Are these two translations grammatically correct? Also, is La necessary before "beauté"?
I am looking for a currently supported Mac product to help me improve my atrocious French accent. I would really like software that uses speech recognition for a good chunk of the lessons, because I can read well enough (despite being a rank beginner) but need all the help I can get on the conversational side. [more inside]
Has anyone come across good sources on the history and evolution of the term "tax haven"? I am looking for sources detailing at least its first appearance in written or spoken English, and if possible the date in which it was (wrongly) translated into French as "tax heaven" (paradis fiscal). [more inside]
Help me find a specific short, red-hued animated video about a demon, a beaked guitar player, and a topless girl. It has no dialogue, and is set to a French song. Plot details inside. [more inside]
Francophone Mefites- what other mid-century French singers should I be listening to? [more inside]
Where can I find 105x74mm index cards in the US? [more inside]
We received this dressmaker's dummy from our client with old sticker residue on her. Too many items to shoot to just Photoshop the spot out, so I'm desperate for a permanent solution- The obvious point here is I can't throw her into the washing machine as she's wooden directly under the fabric that needs cleaning. Already tried a small bit of Goo Gone, with a clean white cloth, but I think it may just be moving the gunk around and not removing the residue as I'd hoped. I read about lighter fluid (butane), WD-40 and some others, but am obviously hesitant to do anything that may permanently discolor this spot even more. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
What the heck is going on in Spiral, Season 1, Episode 8? *SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT* [more inside]
Can someone who speaks French tell me exactly how this quote should be formatted? [more inside]
This week, my daughter (a sophomore in high school) will be bidding adieu to her French teacher, who is is retiring. Daughter is artistic and has decided to make a card for Madame but is looking for inspiration. [more inside]
I'll be in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, Canada for two weeks. What budget-friendly things should I do there? [more inside]
So SO and I are watching the first season of Spiral (Engrenages) and there's something about the procedural process that confuses me - suspects are brought in, and then soon after meet with a 'Judge' who decides a sentence - but unlike UK or US shows, this is done in a private office, not a courtroom. Can someone explain this to us? (No spoilers, if you know about French justice but not the programme!) [more inside]
I recently discovered an awesome local bookstore in France, hence I'd like to pick up a French-language SF/F novel that isn't a translation and would be difficult to find in the US. Suggestions? (Subgenre preferences below the jump) [more inside]