Writing in another language

I’m French. I write in English. Why? Here’s what I see :

  • Blogging in English forces me to me short and simple.
  • So it’s like pendrawing instead of oil painting. Water instead of wine.
  • I constantly check (and thus learn) vocabulary.
  • So I have to think about the French vocabulary too.
  • I am not distracted by any search of French “Style”, and it’s a relief.
  • I quit my well known ground, to find another babyway to walk on another soil.
  • Writing in French is like “too easy”, it flows fast (as I type) from ideas to words.
  • Writing in English is more like building a little plane-model with unusual words. It’s slower, and a pleasure too.
  • There’s a playing child pleasure into it.
  • As it’s not my “tongue”, I feel really more chilled out when I write here.
  • Therefore I can focus on my little tools, not “How to say that in French properly”.
  • I invent words with a smile.
  • I make mistakes on purpose… with a smile.
  • I know and feel that I miss something, and I have to ignore it, and let go.
  • I can speak English, but I’m also quite lost in it. I explore, then.
  • I learn constantly about American culture, just by watching the way this language expresses things.
  • Idioms are different, and each time it’s like finding a jewel.
  • It’s probably an exercise for “one day write in French”, with new eyes and muscles-of-the-brain gained from writing in another language.
  • It can also be a way to voluntarily lose bad habits in my own language.

 

Beautiful books are always written in a sort of foreign language, said Marcel Proust. That’s a great seed for the mind, don’t you think? It’s about style. When I’ll “write back” in French, I’m sure I’ll be richer, then, because of my English exploration years…

Merci!

 

#French #Blogging in #English : un Songe

OK I’m French, I knowwww that I make mistakes. Sometimes I even make mistakes on purpose, like when I use nouns as verb. Thus… at night : I bed, then in the morning I coffee. I should have written that “I mistake on purpose”…

Blogging in English? Why?

Because it’s not my native language, so I HAVE to make in simple and short. Simple because I don’t have all the vocabulary. Short because… I know you don’t like to read long articles on your smartphone. Therefore short is good. It also forces me to be synthetic.

I asked some friends “how does it sound?”, but they were really not able to tell me. Charming Frenchy? Awkward foreigner? Disturbing little flaws? I don’t know if it brings colors or botherness

Yes, OK, botherness : no, OK. I liked it, though!

What I heard also is that it sounds French ALSO because of the way ideas are expressed (How so? Casualness? Impoliteness?), or even because… American people just simple don’t think like that, or say that. Parfois, un article vient d’un simple songe…

Songe? What’s between “think” (penser) and “dream” (rêver), in English? We have this verb : songer. And a splendid noun : un songe…

Bonne journée. Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : mariadelsur

 

Obedient “to the finger and the eye” is the French “beck and call”

“Obéir au doigt et à l’œil” (“to obey the finger and the eye”) is the French way to say that you’re at somebody’s beck and call.

I found out that it comes from “beckon call”, which makes sense, right? By the way, I learned a word : Beckon – “gesture to come”. 

How do you say that in your language? In common use, what’s the radioactivity of “beckon”? Is it neutral like “to call over”? Or does in imply a little slice of servitude? What are the differences between to yield, to comply, to obey, to submit?

What are the dials and levers here? If you’re at somebody’s beck and call, what does it show? Is it about fear? Power? Is it about persons, or systems, companies?

What about the beckoning person? How come this person expects you to act this way? Has he enough power to get you back in “the right track”? Or does he have to understand that “people are not all obedient”? What a shock!

What happens, in a situation where you’re supposed to comply and you don’t? Failure to comply, disobedience, rebelliousness? Why would you? A frontier has been crossed? Did you change? Did you grow up? Has the whole system changed? Did you change your mind? Why?

In what territory to study this? Kingdom? Management? Spouses? Clients/employees? Politics? Parenting? What are the limits of beck and calling?

suviriggs_-____

 

In #French #Zodiac, a Virgo is a… Virgin, oops!… ( #language & #astrology )

Well, that’s true. In English you have a very poetic way to name zodiac signs. In French we stay closer to… to what, after all?

A Virgo is a Virgin in France, une Vierge. So you can imagine the embarrassment of a Virgo when she’s asked, and the smart smiles of the guys, haha.

What else? Aries is un Bélier (a Ram). Leo is just a Lion. Libra : Balance (it’s Scale, yesss). And Pisces are Poissons (Fishes, yep).

How about your language?

I’m a Taurus. Hi! I post the positive keywords, OK? The negative? Well…

Thanks for reading! Bonne journée !

 

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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

 

“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