Insights into the French way of life and European travels by an Australian living in the Loire ValleyHeader photo: Blois in spring, 2016. All photos on website copyright by Rosemary Kneipp unless specified otherwise. All rights reserved.
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Category Archives: French language
Friday’s French – acte de naissance, extrait d’acte de naissance, copie intégrale, birth certificate, entry of birth
In my work as a sworn translator in France, the document I am asked to translate and certify the most often is the birth certificate. In France, it comes by various names: acte de naissance, extrait d’acte de naissance, copie … Continue reading
Place sounds like is would be an easy word to translate from French to English and vice-versa. Well, it isn’t. Only rarely does it mean the same thing in both languages. I can think of a couple of situations where … Continue reading
These are more of those look-alike words that the French call faux-amis. We’ll start with courant which has a few different meanings. We’re only going to look at adjectives here. Les dépenses courantes d’une maison, for example, are ordinary or … Continue reading
I was talking to my Australian friend Susan from Days on the Claise recently and she mentioned the different meanings of propre in French. It does seems strange that the same word should mean both “clean” and “own”. My trusty Dictionnaire Historique de … Continue reading
Friday’s French – savoir-faire, savoir-vivre, savoir-être, know-how, expertise, interpersonal skills
Savoir-faire looks like a word that should mean the same in French and in English. But it doesn’t! Savoir-faire in English is the ability to act or speak appropriately in social situations. Savoir-faire in French, however, means skills acquired by … Continue reading
It’s galette des rois time again. This is the cake used to celebrate the Epiphany in France, the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, the day on which the three kings reached Bethlehem. It has become an essential part of New … Continue reading
Susan Walter from Days on the Claise was wondering recently about the use of gigue and gigot when referring to a leg of venison or lamb. I was not aware of the term gigue as I don’t often buy venison! … Continue reading
Chantier is an interesting word. The photo below is a perfect illustration of its three main meanings. Un chantier is a place where some sort of construction work is going on. It is also the construction work itself while the third … Continue reading
There is a popular belief in France that nectarines and their cousins, brugnons, are combinations of peaches and other fruits such as plums and apricots. Jean Michel was quite adamant before I was able to prove the contrary. He even … Continue reading
It’s roast chestnut season. If you come from Australia, you probably think there is only one kind – the edible sort you read about in English novels. Not so! In French, there are two different words: marron and châtaigne and the … Continue reading