Posts Tagged ‘French Idioms’
Culture is something intangible, abstract but pervasive. It is therefore not surprising that it also tinges the holidays, even those that are internationally recognized and celebrated, giving them a local flavor everywhere and consequently raise their interest. In addition to dealing with some peculiarities of the French language with respect to Easter, this article also addresses the way this holiday is emphasized in France.
Le Portail Linguistique du Canada (Language Portal of Canada) devotes an article to Easter. Among other things, it examines the origins of this religious feast and the customs that surround it. It also gives an explanation of the spelling of the word Pâque(s), the gender, number and articles associated with it. Finally, some French proverbs of this celebration are displayed on the page along with their meanings. In French only. http://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca/bien-well/fra-eng/vocabulaire-vocabulary/paques-easter-fra.html
To increase awareness of French culture, the site LoveToKnow presents an article entitled “ How Do the French Celebrate Easter “ and offers an overview of the games, holidays, and customs surrounding the celebration, focusing on traditional dishes that are prepared and served at that time. In English only.
CLÉ (Le Centre Linguistique pour Étrangers de Tours, en France – Linguistic Centre for Foreigners of Tours, France) proposes a linguistic and cultural exercise for which the two preceding articles will have prepared you. This article is a fill-in-the-blank test about the traditions surrounding the feast of Easter in France. Multiple-choices for answers are presented with each statement to allow you to test your spelling and grammar knowledge while familiarizing yourself with this aspect of French culture. http://www.cle.fr/centre_linguistique-fr-idm-105-n-Exercices-idh-71.html
Happy Easter !
The Quebec Winter Carnival is a major popular festival that emerged from the earliest days of the French colony. The largest winter carnival in the world, it is the third largest carnival after the Rio Carnival and the celebrations of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The word carnival comes from the Italian phrase “carne levare”, that is to say « to remove the meat », because it ends on Mardi Gras which preceeds Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Thus, February is the month of carnivals. Like all other carnival celebrations, the Quebec Winter Carnival is associated with symbols such as orchestral or brass band music, parades and processions with floats and costumes, in the case above, the wearing of a traditional sash : the pointed belt. Today we present three links to learn more about the festivities that surround this great winter celebration.
Carnaval.qc.ca is the official website of the Quebec Carnival. It consists of several sections, among others “About” which details all activities surrounding the carnival and the Teacher’s Corner where you’ll find a school kit consisting of book games, online games and crafts; Fun Zone includes photo albums, wallpapers, a great video called Carnaval in Action as well as excerpts of Carnival songs with French lyrics. http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/en
The French version of the site is available at: http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/
The Virtual Museum of Canada made the Quebec Winter Carnival one of its online exhibits. This site includes sections like The Carnival devoted to the origins of this celebration; the Quebec section briefly traces the history of the city, Merry Carnival! and The Palace explore some of Quebec Carnival’s most famous symbols, and finally, the section Festivities examines some of it sactivities.
For the French version of the site, click on the link: http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Festiva1/fr/mcq/
Finally, the OQLF (Office québécois de la langue française) devotes a page to the Carnival entitled Les mots du Carnaval (The Words of the Carnival) that contains about twenty terms associated with the carnival. Click on each one to obtain a definition. In French only.
Merry Carnival !
Idiomatic expressions are sometimes difficult to understand for a learner of a second language but they are always interesting and often entertaining. Here are three sites that will allow you to become familiar with many of them.
LanguageRealm.com is a multilingual website that offers free translation resources. The page we suggest is about French expressions. They are classified by alphabetical order and the English translation is shown under each one. http://www.languagerealm.com/french/frenchidioms.php
Les-expressions.com offers a dictionary of French expressions including their meaning and origin. You can enter a specific expression in the research box to get information about it or to pick among the meanings or origins available to get all the expressions relating to a chosen theme. The site is in French only. http://www.les-expressions.com/
Finally, we offer you a quiz from FunTrivia.com in which you’ll have to find the French equivalent to some English idiomatic expressions. For an example, did you know that « to take French leave » is translated into French as… filer à l’anglaise (to run away the English way) ? The answer key includes some details about the expressions and the translation of some their words. http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz159841124e280.html