Do you have a cow? – “La rate au court bouillon” & a few other French idioms

On va quand même pas se mettre la rate au court-bouillon!

It’s our way to say something like “Bahh we won’t get worked up/have a cow!”. It means in French : “We won’t put our spleen in the stock”. Yes the bodily organ in the broth…

Well obviously we won’t worry to much for this…

 

On n’est pas sortis de l’auberge

We have big problems to deal with, therefore “We’re not close to be out of the inn”.

Yeah, “We’re not out of the woods yet”…

 

A la Saint-Glinglin

Well, there’s no Saint Glinglin in France (or anywhere), therefore it means : “When pigs can fly”.

Never

 

Ça mange pas de pain

For “It can’t do any harm”, we say “It doesn’t eat any bread”. Makes sense?

You can always try…

 

La confiture aux cochons

To give jam to the pigs is our “To throw pearls before swine”. Yours is better, right?

It’s useless, lost energy

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Don’t learn French, it’s a mess – Part 4 : Letters you don’t say

You have in English a few letters “you don’t say”, like the K in knife. If French, if you try to speak what your read, you’re dead.

We love useless letters. AND we sprinkled all this with difficulties.

We love the final useless S, and you have to say Paree for Paris (BUT you have to say it for the city of Reims). I know…

Forget the P and the S in Temps (time), and don’t say the C in Tabac (tobacco). Haut (up) is pronunced “Ho”.

Imagine you have to say “I want” : Je veux. OK, you say “Je ve”, that’s all.

“A knot”? Un nœud – just say “Un ne”.

PFfffff…

Monsieur” is worse, because… Oh forget it!

Other cities? You say all the letters of Brest, but forget the final S for Orléans or Calais, OK? Metz : says “mess”. Bruxelles? Well, some say Bruxel, some others Brussel. Rahhhh!

We don’t say the M in Automne, we don’t say the P in Compter (to count), we don’t say the D in Grand or in Dernier, or the G in Long. But we have to say it if it’s féminine : Dernière, “the feminine last”…

Yes, the genre. A car in feminine. Oh hell… that’s another article, right? 🙂

Thanks for reading! Bonne nuit !

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English words I struggle with

Lawmakers concerned about Trump’s mental state summoned a Yale University psychiatry professor who said : “He’s going to unravel, and we are seeing the signs.”

I understand it’s something about collapsing, but I’m not sure. It’s knitting vocabulary, right? When do you say that about a human being? Isn’t this verb a bit positive too (like unravelling a mess)?

I guess that stiff upper lip sounds UK, but I’m not sure? Do you use it in America? Does it mean composure and phlegm like in France, or is it colored with coldness? In French, “le flegme Britannique” is a way to stay calm in all circumstances, even if your house is bombed. Thus there’s an (almost) invisible smile in it.

I ask, because stiff is tough and rigid, right?

Shanty is a mystery. Is it a ruin, a small ruin, a sweet ruin? Isn’t it a little house? Is a shanty town a poor ghetto, or can it be a quiet chalet village for tourists? It’s a sailor’s song too??!

What’s the difference between ruse, trick, cunning?

I have a big problem with reckon. First, it’s a false friend, because “reconnaître” in French is “to acknowledge”. OK, it means to estimate and to consider, but also to think. In this last meaning, does it sound Southern, or do you say it in Massachusets too? Reckon on, reckon with, reckon without : do you SAY them?

To bedight : do decorate. Is it vintage? Never said? Funny?

To diminish, to dwindle : What is the difference? To peter into… When do you use this??

Colloquial and familiar…

Ohhh…

Someone told me one day that to learn a language is an infinite process. Tonight I feel terribly weak.

 

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : arrowvideo

“It wasn’t a mini-tornado, these don’t exist”

As the weather is a bit stormy these days in France, some trees fell, some houses lost their roof, and you read articles in the press telling about mini-tornadoes, with an explicit picture (you can google.fr “mini tornade”).

Immediately, weather specialists stand up in furia and learnedly explain to the community that “It wasn’t a mini-tornado, these don’t exist”. You see their point : categories, how “real” tornadoes appears, etc.

As if you’d slap your little boy in the face because he plays with cars. “It’s not a car, silly, it’s a toy car!“. Bim!

There is something to notice here, a pattern we should watch closely.

At first you want to say “Breathe, buddy”. This thing looks like a mini-tornado, so why can’t people use this word? What’s the point with definitions, here? Isn’t, like a “toy car”, mini itself enough to say “not real”? What if we obey? It’s not a mini tornado. So what?

 

It’s like a cristallization of our problems with words and reality.

  1. Reality is real. Your house really lost its roof, even if mini-tornadoes “don’t exist”. Words are impartation, values – and names are conferred words.
  2. When we think about someone, we have a bunch of labels all ready, and the person disappears under stickers. It is convenient, but wrong.
  3. We often amalgamate the word and the reality, which deprives us from intelligence. A word closes the box, letting us stuck in stupid simplicity.
  4. What else?

 

“Haecceity” is about Labels on your Forehead, from where I copy paste this :

Deleuze says we are more accurately longitudes and latitudes, a group of different speeds and slownesses, an individual, a singularity, constantly inventing grapes of possibilities, a play of forces or encounters.

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : jenamalone

 

 

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An Ardent Patience & Depuzzlement Processes : seeds in Chronicle 29

People underestimate kids, right?

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  1. Someone hears a sound, and doesn’t understand what it is about
  2. Then hears it’s a voice – of unknown words
  3. Then hears it’s his language, but doesn’t understand the phrases
  4. Then gets the phrases, but doesn’t get what one is talking about
  5. Then understands and stands up

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Les enfants aux ailes de rue – Street-Winged Children.

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It’s time to repost this : Some French feel-good movies to choose from

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Exploring mood? Google “Best Albums 2017”. I’m on it! What are yours?

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In a conversation about things and events and ideas, do you focus on the sense and the logic, or on what you feel, the specifics? That’s a real question…

Oh, both, dear : naturally. How to weave/dance? Finding invariances in the particulars…

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Serenity as a sign of love.

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A good friend, or your child, has a problem, an hesitation. Needs you. You then develop a big bubble of attention, a gigantic ear. You focus & try to ask questions – useless or trappy or good questions. The purpose is to help him/her to give birth to a solution – to help the depuzzlement process…

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À l’aurore, armés d’une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes.

In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.

Arthur Rimbaud

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Here’s a secret (or a question) :

People have different burdens, different ways to be bereaved (“deprived of loved ones”).

I remember telling a friend, in a letter, more than twenty years ago, about my difficulties with my lover, who had lost her mother at the age of 11.

“Go to the cemetery, with her”, she answered. Ohhh…

There are many types of bereavement : death, cutting bonds because of serious misconduct, friendship loss, remoteness… It creates, I’m sure, a black veil, with a crow under. Who can pinch. It’s maybe our responsibility to come close to the veil and whisper : “Let’s go to the cemetery”.

Talking about a dark past, wrong choices from people you loved, or the loss of a mother. Holding up (a little) the veil. See if there’s a sail under, ready to inflate and breathe. Or not.

Who will be the one who says : “Let’s talk about the past”? What can it bring? What if the answer is “No, never”?

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Forgetting the past to move forward is like to erase maps and the knowledge on the maps.

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My friend was a teacher for kids “with big problems”. She wrote me a long letter about these children who became worried – thus violent – when they began to understand that a special freedom comes from… learning. Then, she said, they go on, and calm down.

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Interesting situation, when you want the balance to change but the other one doesn’t want the balance to change.

Funnier : you want to change something, but the other one wants to change another thing. Here you are both of you pushing on different doors…

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Dervishes

Dervishes

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Coding & Composing : What are your lost Kingdoms?

I call a Lost Kingdom an activity you loved in the past, and you don’t do anymore today.

For me it’s coding (I programmed a lot when I was maybe 15) and composing (from 20 to 25). Today, it’s over.

But :

  • In 1993 I had to learn HTML because I wanted to have a clean code for my http://www.maison-page.net – it was delightful, and I have to say I felt this really weird feeling to put on these old shoes. Coding is building something, with immediate tests and gratifications. It’s a little mathematics too. Logic. It puts your brain in a grid of logic, building, making tools. I love it so much! De facto, my page was and stays very fast. Sorry, no PHP or Java here…
  • Five years ago I bought a midi keyboard and began to work with GarageBand. It amazed me, gave me pleasure, and I composed maybe 20 or 30 new tracks. And I remember now… not the music, but the state I was in when I was working on them.

 

The idea of Lost Kingdoms leads me to this idea. Some activities push us in different states. You can play Lego, have a clever conversation for hours, write a poem, take your cam in the countryside, watch a mantis praying, build a cabin in your garden : it’s a “way of thinking”, and your brains knows and recognizes it. Your grow from this.

Lamenting on Kingdoms lost is useless, I agree. Go back to it. Or find new ones : learn an instrument, travel Italy, begin Chinese or horseback riding (question : why not simply “horse riding”??). Bake new cakes . Put your brain in new grids. It’s good, believe me.

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!

 

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Instagram : teget

 

 

Wrong way up for children : Tablets & TV

Parents think that their child is a genius, or at least, “is on advanced for his age”.

Thus, a computer tablet looks like perfection : with letters, words, multiplications, that’s very cool!

But many studies showed something : there shouldn’t be a single minutes of “screens” time before the age of 3. And no tablet before 6.

Child development is a big thing. They have to grow so many aspects! TV before 3 and tablets before 6 is messing with motor and language development, socialization skills and empathy.

I talked many times with speech pathologists who say that screens (TV all the time, tablets for preschooler) are a disaster. And they told me it’s becoming a real problem today…

And also this : “High exposure to background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years”

In France, one man (Serge Tisseron) studied that for years. He talks about the rule of 3-6-9-12

  1. No screen before 3. Not a minute.
  2. TV OK, but no video game or tablet before 6.
  3. They’re OK, but no Internet before 9, with a parent.
  4. Internet OK after 12, with care.

Before 5 years old, never more than an hour a day.

Google : “screen time children development”

What do you think?

 

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