Some French Idioms

Idiomatic expressions cannot be understood from the meanings of the separate words, but have a separate meaning of their own – a great way to sound more French in a conversation and most expressions are already familiar in their English meaning.  Bonne chance!

Un clou chasse l’autre.
Life goes on. (Literally: One nail chases the other.)

Avoir un faim du loup.
To be very hungry. (Literally: Hungry like a wolf.)

Tomber dans les pommes
To faint (Literally: To fall in the apples.)

Quand le chat n’est pas là les souris dansent 
When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Je ne suis pas dans mon assiette
I don’t feel up to it/well.

C’est dans les vieilles marmites qu’on fait les meilleurs soupes
Literally: With the best methods you get the best results.

Mettre les petits plats dans les grands. (making a special effort to please)

Long comme un jour sans pain. (Interminable)

Comme le petit Jesus en culotte de velours
Something that tastes delicious and smooth. (Literally: Smooth as little Jesus in Velvet shorts)

Pedaler dans la farine.
To get nowhere fast.

Trop de cuisiniers gatent la petite marmite.
Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Coup de faim.
A small hunger pang.

On ne fait pas d’un âne, un cheval de course même en taillant ses oreilles en pointes. A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf.  (Literally: You can’t transform a donkey into a race horse, even by trimming his ears.)

Metro, boulot, dodo.
Same thing everyday. (Literally: train, work, sleep)

Il pleut des cordes. 
It’s raining cats and dogs.  (Literally: It’s raining ropes.)

Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.
We all make our own bed to lie in. (Literally: Little by little, the bird makes its nest.)

Je pourrais manger un curé frotté d’ail
I could eat a horse. (Literally: I could eat a parish priest rubbed with garlic.)

Charbonnier est maître chez soi.
A man’s home is his castle. (Literally: The coal miner is the master of his house.)

L’arbre cache souvent la forêt. 
Can’t see the forest for the trees.

Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir. 
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Ce qui est fait est fait.
There is no use crying over spilt milk.

VOILA!!

 

 

 

About these ads

St Nicholas… Santa Claus… Father Christmas

24/7 in France:

HO! HO! HO!

Even though some of the American/British folkloric characters don’t come to France, you’ll be happy to know that the jolly old man in the red suit does. Of course, he goes by a different name: in France he’s known as Père Noël, or Father Christmas.

Read more of this article by Margo Letz HERE

 

24/7 in France wishes each and everyone of you a Happy Holiday season and all the best for love, health, & happiness in 2015

 & Thank you for your readership!

Originally posted on The Curious Rambler:

Santa Nast 1881

Even though some of the American/British folkloric characters don’t come to France, you’ll be happy to know that the jolly old man in the red suit does. Of course, he goes by a different name: in France he’s known as Père Noël, or Father Christmas.

History of St Nick
The history of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, dates back to the 4th century, when a priest from the area that is now Turkey came on the scene. He was known for his generosity, said to have performed miracles and eventually became Saint Nicholas, the protector saint of children. The legend evolved over the centuries that on December 6th, St Nick would descend from the sky on his donkey (or sometimes on a white horse), go into houses by way of the chimney and leave gifts for well-behaved children. The children would leave their shoes by the fireplace with some carrots…

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Cannes Film Festival: A Special Visit

Le Palais des Festivals et des Congres is better known as the site of the world-renowned Cannes Film Festival, and it is only open to the public for attending events (400 per year).  I had the chance to be part of a private guided tour of the building and a chance to sit in the theater where the stars sit for the film festival & walk on the stage – oh, la la!

Some interesting facts:

  • the triangular building consists of 9 floors, two of which are underground with 950 parking spaces; each triangular floor is 1400 m2
  • the total space size is 80,000 m2 & was inagurated in 1982
  • the original casino (see photo gallery) was too small and torn down in 1978 to build a site more modern and harmonious to help highlight the city
  • the building is 20% privately owned and 80% by the city
  • In the smaller Theatre Debussy, with 1068 seats, the wood panels on the walls are made of “bois de poirier” (wood from pear trees) which provides such special acoustics that no microphone is needed on stage
  • the “tapis rouge” (red carpet) that the stars walk up on consists of 24 steps and during the festival is changed (560 m2 middle section only) two times per day
  • otherwise, there are red LED lights in the steps, creating a faux red carpet
  • the film festival is the 3rd largest media event worldwide, behind the Olympics and World Cup
  • there was no film festival in 1948 and 1958 due to lack of sponsor funds and it was stopped mid-way in 1968 out of respect for the demonstrations taking place in Paris
  • there are 8-12 people on the film festival jury, who must view each film at least once and sign as proof – there are around 90 films entered in the competition
  • the goal of the film festival is to help promote unknown films that have not yet been seen by the public
  • there is a special row of seats in the main theater for the actors who are in the film being shown to sit
  • the flat screen is 18 x 10m and is the largest in Europe
  • the sound comes from behind the screen which is perforated to allow sound to pass through – there are “grandes oreilles” who are sound specialists to test the sound in case of needing any adjustments (like “les nez” perfume specialists but for sound)
  • films are sub-titled in French and English only
  • it costs 9,000 Euros to rent the film theater

Who is the largest sponsor for the Cannes Film Festival?  (guess in comments box)

Do you know these stars ?

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PHOTOS: (some photos courtesy of Jean Mellinger)

 

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The view on the ride home on the train was splendid as well!

sunset from the train

sunset from the train

Matisse in Vence

Reblogged: Written by Margaret Clare in Provence-Alpes for thegoodlifefrance

Nestling into the hillside above the little town of Vence in the Alpes-Maritimes lies the Chapelle du Rosaire or, as it is often called, the Matisse Chapelle de Vence.  Henri Matisse lived in Vence after the war when he was recovering from illness. The district in which the Chapelle is located in the town is now called Matisse District…

Vence – in the footsteps of Matisse

Matisse, recovering from an abdominal operation, advertised for a young and pretty nurse to assist him. Monique Bourgeois, the nurse who fulfilled the role, later became his model and eventually a Dominican nun in the convent in Vence.
Sister Jacques-Marie as she became, retained her friendship with the artist and later asked him to help design a Chapel that the nuns could use for their devotions. The Mother Superior frowned upon this relationship – but the project carried on regardless.

Matisse wrote that he did not choose the work for the Chapel, but instead he believed he was chosen by fate – it was an expression of spirituality. He believed that God had given artists the beautiful light to compose their paintings and this was his way of sharing – through this sacred commission. Although Matisse had been born a Catholic he was an atheist – but the Chapel gave him a chance to realise his life’s work.  When completed, he stated that it was ‘his life’s masterpiece’.

The Chapelle’s design is centered on the light, which he used in all its glory. The luminosity of the sun streams through the stained glass windows, which reflect the colours of Provence – blue for the azure sea and sky, green for verdant grasses and yellow for the plentiful sun. The walls are covered in white ceramic tiles, which have the figures of the Madonna and Child and St Dominique in his robes painted on them. The Stations of the Cross are represented as a tableau – black on white tiling. The pain and suffering is clearly portrayed in this Composition. The result when the sun streams through the windows means the colours are painted onto the white tiles – producing a dancing, ever changing artwork.

Everything inside the Chapelle and outside was included in this, his end of life, task. The altar, the crucifix, the roof tiles and the mystical spirals on the roof which are almost oriental in appearance. The roof tiles are a luxuriant blue – in complete contrast to the usual Provencal ochre tiles.

Matisse completed this work in 1951 and died in Nice in 1954. Sister Jacques-Marie was given the final punishment for her friendship with the artist – she was forbidden from attending his funeral.

The Chapelle is located next to the Dominican convent and on the side facing the Convent is a Roundel painted into the Apex – 2 entwined, nude figures, male and female. I smile wryly when I see this as I feel it was Henri Matisse’s final arrow for the disapproving nuns – they would forever have to look upon a slightly risqué painting….

Video of the Chapel by BBC Presenter Alastair Sooke – who was moved to tears by the beauty of the little Chapelle and its significance in the life of Matisse and all that it portrays:

Versailles, Les secrets des Rois

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Video (4 minutes – in French)  HERE

BUT if you watch it on YouTube, you can click on the CC box to choose video subtitles in other languages!

 

Also, inviting you to check out the blog “Le Bal des Courtisans

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Christmas in Nice

The Christmas Village willl take place from 6th December 2014 to 4th January 2015 in the heart of Nice, on the Place Massena.
Every day from 11 am to 8 pm (9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays), come and admire the illuminations, do your Christmas shopping at the crafts chalets or go for a spin on the skating-rink.

FULL ARTICLE & VIDEO:
Christmas in Nice.