After a recent dog-walking clash there was no time to linger in the comfort zone of home, dwelling on a negative experience. Une nouvelle expérience awaited just around the corner of North Africa.... LE DÉPAYSEMENT : change of scene * dépaysement can also have a negative connotation, for it also means "culture shock" or "disorientation" AUDIO FILE... Read more →


La Prise de bec - unexpected run-in with a stranger while walking my dog

Ever since I dislocated my elbow while walking my dog, outings with my golden retriever have changed. I am more aware of the dangers around every corner. Giant barking dogs can leap out of nowhere, causing a dog on a leash to react in self defense, and even tiny chiens can wreak havoc. For walks to go... Read more →


By tradition, in France, two minutes of silence are respected at 11 am, the 11th day of the 11th month: it is at this time that the armistice was implemented. Listen to this sentence in French, just below. JOUR DE L'ARMISTICE : also known as Le Jour du Souvenir, and Veterans Day, November 11th is an official... Read more →


I don't have a story to go with today's word. Tout simplement, I learned it Friday night on the backstreets, or les ruelles, of Cassis. About a hundred steps from the old port, Jean-Marc and I were dining with another couple when the word ristourne popped up in conversation. Here's what it means, followed by a few... Read more →


Enjoy Jean-Marc's bilingual story about meeting Lukas and Fabienne Vollmy, winemakers in the historic Panier neighborhood of Marseille. First, today's French expression, followed by its correct pronunciation.... "donner le meilleur de soi-même" : to give one's best AUDIO FILE - hear Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentences in French Click here for the sound file ("donner le meilleur... Read more →


Help edit today's post by contributing corrections--in French or in English, in the comments box. Merci beaucoup! un éboueur : garbage collector, bin man Audio File Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read this sentence: Un éboueur aussi connu comme agent de propreté urbaine ou plus familièrement comme ripeur (pour ceux à l'arrière de la benne), vidangeur... Read more →


Thank you for the wonderful profiles you are sending in, in celebration of this word journal's 15th birthday. It is a pleasure and a gift to read about you for a change, and your "bonne continuation" messages have given me an invigorating second wind! If you did not see your comment posted, scroll down to the end... Read more →


My daughter turned 5 when this word journal began. Here she is at eleven... and recently she turned 20. This week marks the 15th anniversary of this French word journal. You've learned a lot about our Franco-American family over the years. Help me celebrate this journal's birthday by sharing a line or two about you, in the... Read more →


This time of year while scaredy-cats are talking about hobgoblins, Jean-Marc introduces us to houblons...or Humulus Lupulus. On Tuesday he saw them with his very eyes in the historic quarter of Nice, France! Read on about this bois du diable and its relation to beer, in today's column. (Thank you, Eileen deCamp, for this beautiful photo!) un... Read more →


"Languages ​​are not neutral tools: they influence how we talk, think, and represent ourselves...." façon de parler : manner of speaking, way of speaking : so to speak Audio: listen to Jean-Marc read the opening sentence, in French: Facon de parler manner of speaking Façon de parler. Les langues ne sont pas des outils neutres : elles... Read more →