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521 posts tagged with French.
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French MOOCs

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.
posted by lirael2008 on Sep 22, 2013 - 2 answers

Can you translate these lyrics French ->English?

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]
posted by HotToddy on Sep 20, 2013 - 6 answers

What do I need to know about a French Canadian sailor's lament?

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?
posted by Slap*Happy on Sep 18, 2013 - 3 answers

"Please don't pull any punches" (or something) in French?

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.
posted by Flunkie on Sep 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Phonics-based "first reader" books in French?

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]
posted by ~ on Sep 16, 2013 - 7 answers

Learning (or re-learning French)

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]
posted by ladoo on Sep 5, 2013 - 10 answers

Balzac's Benchwarmers

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]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 1, 2013 - 4 answers

Where can I learn French in NYC? In my apartment??

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]
posted by bquarters on Sep 1, 2013 - 14 answers

I'm looking for some French or Dutch language podcasts

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?
posted by spacetableleg on Aug 29, 2013 - 2 answers

Voila! Looking for charming French cartoons in the US

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]
posted by nkknkk on Aug 28, 2013 - 10 answers

French speakers; shameless free translation request

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]
posted by andraste on Aug 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Seeking French Comedies / Why Is Netflix Searching So Bad?

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]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Aug 12, 2013 - 13 answers

French Relative Prounouns

I have used every google resource available and I still cannot understand French relative pronouns. [more inside]
posted by sawyerrrr on Aug 10, 2013 - 7 answers

Parlez-vous francais? No. Not for 13 years.

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]
posted by PuppetMcSockerson on Jul 30, 2013 - 12 answers

No, Seriously, Pardon My French

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]
posted by Rykey on Jul 19, 2013 - 12 answers

Delivering French canapés to a nursing home in Austin, TX: possible?

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?
posted by scody on Jun 30, 2013 - 7 answers

Is this originally a French proverb? And is my grammar correct?

"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"?
posted by mrducts on Jun 30, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me learn the French accent with speech recognition for Mac?

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]
posted by wnissen on Jun 25, 2013 - 2 answers

How did we get from "tax haven" to "tax heaven" to "tax hell"?

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]
posted by ipsative on Jun 23, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for a french animated short

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]
posted by homodachi on Jun 13, 2013 - 6 answers

Chansons françaises comme celles de Charles Trenet

Francophone Mefites- what other mid-century French singers should I be listening to? [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull on Jun 4, 2013 - 5 answers

105x74mm Index Cards

Where can I find 105x74mm index cards in the US? [more inside]
posted by pbh on Jun 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Sticker residue on my French Dressmaker's form...

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!
posted by thelensman on Jun 1, 2013 - 16 answers

Sprial, Season 1, Episode 8?

What the heck is going on in Spiral, Season 1, Episode 8? *SPOILERS UNDER THE CUT* [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite on May 24, 2013 - 0 answers

It's from Vivre sa vie.

Can someone who speaks French tell me exactly how this quote should be formatted? [more inside]
posted by MiaWallace on May 20, 2013 - 7 answers

How to say "au revoir mon professeure" in a slightly more creative way?

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]
posted by kbar1 on May 20, 2013 - 4 answers

What to do in Montreal?

I'll be in Montreal and Longueuil, Quebec, Canada for two weeks. What budget-friendly things should I do there? [more inside]
posted by GlassHeart on May 12, 2013 - 17 answers

Explain the French legal system to me!

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]
posted by mippy on May 10, 2013 - 10 answers

French SF/Fantasy Novels (in the original)

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]
posted by serelliya on May 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Pls help me remember this french film about a poor girl...

I rented this film on VHS in 1999. It is about a younger french girl, living with her mother in a trailer park. Mother is a drunk, they are poor, she tries to get a job at a food stand at one point (??) There is love interest and conflict and some kind of crisis. I loved this movie and have thought about it often since I saw it but I am afraid that my memories may have started overwriting my recollections. She is a little bit of a feral child, medium length brown hair, very striking. Please help!
posted by n9 on Apr 14, 2013 - 6 answers

Easy French or French-English Podcast recommendations?

I'm learning French, and am looking to increase my exposure to spoken French. Among other things, I've been listening to the Coffee Break French series of podcasts, which has been very helpful, but I'd like to add in some podcasts that aren't specifically about learning French -- podcasts that are by native French speakers and made for a French-speaking audience, but which ideally are fairly accessible or at least roughly comprehensible with some effort to someone who has only a patchy knowledge of the language. French news podcasts might be valuable to me, for instance. Bonus features: podcasts that are also broadcast in English, podcasts that are about scientific topics, and podcasts that are about or are produced in francophone Africa. Recommendations?
posted by Scientist on Mar 14, 2013 - 17 answers

Postcard to Japan

I want to send a postcard from France to this restaurant in Japan where my friend is a cook. There appears to be an address on the front page of the website, but I'll be damned if I can make out what it says, much less recreate it on a postcard in a way that the French post can parse. I'm sure I could ask him myself, but I would prefer to surprise him. Can anyone help me with this?
posted by Evstar on Mar 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Could a fluent French speaker translate this for me?

I would like to know what the beginning of this song says translated to English from French (I'm assuming it's French; at least that's what it sounds like to me). Also, if there's any relevant information you can give me about the French that would be great (e.g., "It's a quotation from..." or "Everyone in France knows that this means..."). Nicolaas Jaar - Etre (Single Link Vimeo).
posted by uncannyslacks on Mar 10, 2013 - 8 answers

Are there other French TV shows I can watch via Roku?

Are there other French TV shows I can watch via Roku? [more inside]
posted by lxs on Mar 7, 2013 - 3 answers

Looking for an old textbook.

My seventh grade French textbook had particularly charming illustrations. I don't remember the title of the book or what the cover looked like, but I'd know the illustrations if I saw them. They were mostly, if not entirely, in black-and-white and featured young people doing ordinary things like going to the beach. This textbook was used in about 1989 in a public school in southern New Hampshire. Is there any way of finding out more about it or perhaps buying a copy online? I suppose I could ask the school but I'd rather not.
posted by gentian on Mar 2, 2013 - 5 answers

Tips for learning advanced vocabulary and grammar in a foreign language?

What are your tips and techniques for learning advanced vocabulary and grammar in a foreign language? [more inside]
posted by kristi on Feb 26, 2013 - 15 answers

Help me learn advanced French food and restaurant vocabulary.

Please recommend books, websites, and other resources to learn more advanced French food and restaurant vocabulary, so that I can read menus and cookbooks, navigate restaurants, and describe food ("salty," "sweet," etc.). [more inside]
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston on Feb 16, 2013 - 17 answers

What are the (French) lyrics to this song?

Can you help transcribe (I guess) a few lines of French from Lafayette Blues, by the White Stripes? [more inside]
posted by Nabubrush on Feb 7, 2013 - 6 answers

The DaVinci Quote

Help me track down the origin of this Leonardo Da Vinci maxim, of which I can only find a French translation. [more inside]
posted by padraigin on Feb 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Do you speak French? Could you help me translate this?

My piano teacher gave me the music for this. The video is of one of my fave pianists (Cortot) giving a masterclass on the piece and I'd really like to know what he's saying. (Hope this is the appropriate place to ask.)
posted by mermily on Jan 27, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me find a hulking French-English dictionary

I'm looking for the biggest, most complete French-English dictionary available in one volume. I'm aware of Le Petit Robert, but I need French-English, not French-French. The biggest I've found so far is the Collins-Robert, but that can't be the biggest. [more inside]
posted by gnossie on Jan 26, 2013 - 12 answers

Ça me manque depuis 15 ans

Teach me how to make Cancoillotte cheese from things I can buy in an American supermarket or (unlikely) where to buy it for shipment to the USA (Nebraska). [more inside]
posted by jepler on Jan 22, 2013 - 12 answers

Why are shampoo labels more often than not in English & French?

Now my guess is that it's so they can sell the same thing in both the U.S and Canada but why does this seem to be unique to shampoo and not other products commonly found in the supermarket like detergent?
posted by zeoslap on Jan 22, 2013 - 15 answers

Simple French-language fiction?

I spent 4 years learning French in high school, and have retained just enough since then to vaguely eavesdrop on a fellow commuter's French novel the other day. I would like to brush up on my reading comprehension, and could use some suggestions for some simply written fiction to pick up. [more inside]
posted by thirdletter on Jan 16, 2013 - 25 answers

Help me find this officer's uniform from the 1955 movie "French Cancan"?

There's a character in the 1955 movie "French Cancan" who wears a very fancy uniform. He wears a light blue double-breasted jacket with white braid and bright red pants with stripes on the sides. I think it is some kind of old fashioned military dress uniform. You can see the outfit 0.26 seconds into the trailer (warning:there are 26 seconds of cancan dancing first). My question is: (1) What sort of uniform was this? Or is it just a costume they made up for the movie? (2) Where/how could a modern person most affordably get a similar outfit of sufficiently good quality to wear around town at fancy occasions that are not Halloween?
posted by steinwald on Jan 13, 2013 - 9 answers

Parlez vous éducation?

I am in Seattle. I'd like to learn French, to the point where I could (in 6 months, say) carry on a rough conversation with someone in Québec or France. I have knowledge of a few words but would essentially be starting from scratch. With which group/center/school should I take classes, but most importantly: why? (In other words, what would make that class better than those offered through alternatives?)
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 25, 2012 - 9 answers

Can't do ALL THE THINGS right now.

In 2013 I will have 2-3 hours a week to spend learning one or more of the following: French, guitar, advanced math (stats, calc). Which will benefit most from this limited amount of study effort? [more inside]
posted by riddler on Dec 15, 2012 - 6 answers

Le Pop Super-Bon!

Le Pop Super-Bon! Can anyone suggest French bubble-gum pop that's especially au courant? Like Yelle (particularly her first album), only more recent? Stuff good for dancing or for cleaning the house. I've seen these threads, but they're a bit stale. Merci à tous!
posted by Capt. Renault on Dec 14, 2012 - 6 answers

Are air quotes international, or localized?

Do Francophones (or other users of non-English quotation marks) use “air quotes”? [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Dec 12, 2012 - 7 answers

Looking for specific quote by Charles de Gaulle on the alliance

My boss (I work in Tokyo for an independent think tank) has asked me to track down a particular quote for him by Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces and first president of the French Fifth Republic. Specifically, he is looking for a quote in which de Gaulle says something about the alliance not sharing a common destiny... I've been looking like crazy but have yet to find anything along these lines? Any ideas?? [more inside]
posted by amirachel on Dec 11, 2012 - 4 answers

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