Patterning Unusual : thus my own casual #blogging #French #poetry – #ESL #meta

“It’s what I do that teaches me what I’m looking for”, says Pierre Soulages (painter). This is exactly what I felt when I began to blog in English.

Well, I’m French, and if I’m able to write in English, I’m still and stay an ESL (English as Second Language) guy. It’s a strange way to stay focused, I can tell you!

I thus know I make little mistakes everywhere. At the beginning I asked some friend to fix them, then I had to think about it and decided to let go, and forced to learn a certain form of casualness.

There are mistakes left – I hope it’s a little charming (?)…

I add some French words here and there, voilà, your turn to learn!

I have to make it short too, because

  • 1/ I know you don’t have time
  • 2/ I’m not skilled enough, and my vocabulary is poor

I learn new words and idioms in each article, though, because I have to dig for them (I use Word Reference now, my neighbourtab all day long). Call it “ESL stairs”.

I also don’t care about inventing new words (I often aggregate two), most of the time because I hesitate between two.

As I present tools, dials and levers here (which are usable concepts, right?) in one-paged-articles, I really have to forget to be rigorous, and I know I take many shortcuts. That’s fun (or funny?) –

I catalog here all the tools I found useful in my life, and it makes me explore my shelves, which is a source of good bliss and reassessment – oh a new word!). I hope some of you will peck the seed…

I really observed and gazed at some other people’s blog to understand how to pattern and structure articles, and how to title them. I did it my way, then…

 

All this produce a sort of “Poetic License”. My few norms are strong (produce a short tool minilecture), but I really acquired a freedom I had to learn… from being an ESL.

Some neuroscientists say that having another language is good for the brain. Why wouldn’t you try to blog in French, ehhh?

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

 

 

In French, there’s a SPACE between the word and the exclamation point

In English :

  • GO!
  • Do you Love me?

In French :

  • ALLEZ !
  • Dis, tu m’aimes ?

Well, so what? Oh, nothing, dear! But it’s SO deeply rooted in me that when I write in English I have to think about it. It bothers me like a “mistake I have to write”. I gives a tight aspect of the end of the phrase. And each time I write in French, I feel relieved, like, errr, when a woman takes off her bra after a long day. Ahhhhh.

Aaaah, relief!

Aaaah, quel soulagement !

It’s like… well… It’s like the end of the phrase needed some AIR. I like to imagine that… it’s linked with our sense of slowness. La promenade. There’s no hurry to put a “!”, let it breathe, voilà.

 

Thanks for reading ! For reading!, sorry. Follow me!

#snoopy #charliebrown #peanuts #comics

 

 

“A little bike in the coffee pot” : idioms about craziness

Let me present you two French idioms about craziness :

  • Il travaille du chapeau (he works from his hat)
  • Il a une araignée dans le plafond (He has a spider in the ceiling)

Both say the same of course. I found in english :

He has a screw loose (I love this one!), he has bats in his belfry, but also “go bananas” (more angry? Then we’d say “Il a fait un caca nerveux” : He made a nervous poo) or “Out to lunch” (which seems slightly different and both made me laugh for ten minutes, at least).

OK, we have more too in French :

  • Avoir les fils qui se touchent (his strings are touching each other)
  • Parler aux murs (he speaks to walls)
  • Il lui manque une case (he lacks one compartment)
  • Il a un pète au casque (he has a bump at the helmet)
  • Il est pas fini (he’s not finished)
  • Il a un petit vélo dans la cafetière (he has a little bike in the coffee pot).

Like it? Try this page in French. For example, Portuguese say “He has little monkeys in the attic”.

Well, there’s something weird upstairs, right? 🙂

Thanks for reading!

#dance #bw #farist

 

“Quirky Churning”, The Happy Fisherman Tale, or how I really got new words #ESL

Learning English is a pleasure I can’t really describe… but some people in America, (learning French) understand me because they feel the same BIG INNER SMILE when they make further progress. Why, et pourquoi? Je ne sais pas… It’s like feeling your own brain growing like a little tree!

In my about file I wrote :

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

And of course I make mistakes! For example, I find really hard to remember that you don’t put a space between a word and “!” and “?”. In France we do ! Sorry : we do!

How can I get more words, vocabulary or idioms, out of learning stupid lists?

The more effective way has been to read a book in english, underlining all the things I don’t get (words, but also “in context complexities” or phrases constructions), and then ask to a native speaker.

In a conversation, you can ask “when and where” a word is used (rarely? daily?). It’s the way I heard about this word, “quirky” (original, bizarre, excentrique, et aussi sans doute farfelu). Each time I get one, I’m like a happy fisherman, thankful. Merci!

When you text with a native speaker, you sometimes meet a strange word, a never seen word, it’s like meeting a little trinket in a King Cake!

Yesterday I heard about a “churning brain” for the very first time in my life! I didn’t ask, this time, but I checked on the Reverso app.

The old pyramid of “how do we learn” (Google image it) is pretty accurate here.

Meeting native speakers learning French taught me another thing :

When you have to explain a word and a way you use it, you enrich yourself, you climb too!

PS : A higher level is to watch a movie without subtitles. It goes fast and my brain overheats, like “running after the meanings and getting it but stop you go too fast silly!”. Haha. Not for two hours. Or with the English subs, thanks.

Merci ! Bonne journée ! Thanks for reading!

#leaves

“A Well Seasoned French”, or how to be an ESL is a source of poetry

Being French, learning English from day to day, is a source of poetry, of mysteries, of surprises and difficulties.

ESL is for English as a Second Language. I always liked to learn english. From my 12 years  (“Andy has a dog, his name is Mustard. Andy loves his dog”), until now. I have happily a few friends today who can help me if I have questions about English.

It’s not about vocabulary (you have pretty good websites about this, my preferred one is Reverso). It’s mostly about the subtilities, and idioms, too.

(My last question, for example, was for the word “crafty“. I asked myself if it was colored negatively or not. A little girl who can repair her doll alone, she’s crafty ? Hummm… Good dictionaries gives me : sly, clever, shrewd, cunning, but nobody seems to be able to explain me the subtilities, sigh…)

What you don’t know, you English or American people, is the whole pack of complicated subtilities you have to dig when you are NOT from there.

I got an example just today :

I had a friend who’s blog was named, let’s say, A Well Seasoned Article. I loved this title so much ! You know why ? Because I thought that she built “seasoned” like :

“a preterit to Season (like summer, winter) for a poetic use”

I loved it ! I did not know, until today, that seasoned meant “flavored”, or… “experienced” (and the circle closes itself, isn’t it crafty ?).

Well, do you remember that you FORGOT that the name of the group The Police is based on police ? And that you don’t think about Washington (the man) when you say Washington (the State) ? Well, when you learn a language, you are new to many words. You realise that you can watch a watch, that “hang up” the phone is a bit illogical (“UP ? Really ?”), and that you have to dig, really, to understand the differences between Impressed, Awestruck and Dumbfunded.

More : some English words are written the way French words are. Sometimes it’s fantastic ! If in a poem you read “She sang”, you just see a woman singing, but “sang”, in French, means “blood”. Immediatly, she sings under (or to) the clouds, and these clouds are dramatically red. A whole landscape appears. Funny, right ?

Other example : pain, in French, is bread. Each time an ESL reads you have pain, you have some bread. Voilà.

Your language, you see ?, is a bit strange, or tastier when you’re a foreigner. Yum ! Food !

Let’s invent this tool :

If you’re blocked on a text, an article, a paragraph, translate it ! If you’re a bit lazy, you’ll have to make it simpler. If you are full of energy, you’ll search for subtilities in the “other language” : it’ll give you ideas, patterns, new lights, seeds.

 

#chocolate #chocolat #lenôtre

 

 

 

 

Is your Insulin Pump a Female ?

OK I’m French. When I began to learn english at school I was interested, but also surprised by two things.

1 : In English, things have no gender. In French, things do have a gender. La voiture (car, female), la maison (house, female – does it make sense ?), le soleil (sun, male) et la lune (moon, female).

OK, I know, “un arbre” (a tree, male) is difficult to say for an American…

So you see ? For us, a car and an house, the rain and the moon are female. A pen, a month, a tree, and the sun are male. In France, a dress (une robe) is female, and trousers (un pantalon) : male.

Well it doesn’t matter, you could say. But i does matter, poetically at least, no ? A car is obviously a female, for a French. I assure you !

2 : In English, possessive pronouns agree with the possessor. It’s the contrary here.

If the car belongs to Mary, it’s HER car. But if it belongs to John, it’s HIS car.

Well, in french, il s’agit de SA voiture. Her car. In both case. Because it agrees to the noun !

…and a car is a female, as you know.

So, well, your insulin pump, this little assistant, une pompe, is a female. Say hi !

Tool : in case of lukewarmness, just check the french translation. Add the gender in front of each element. Then try a little systemic therapy, hahaha.

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