Ma langue au chat, Tortures et délices d’un anglophone à Paris

Mon petit accent récit extrait de Ma langue au chat, Tortures et délices d'un anglophone à Paris (Seuil/ Points Editions, October 2017) Vous avez un petit accent, me dit-on. Tout le monde a un accent. Mais pas forcément un petit accent. D’ailleurs, s’il était si petit que ça on ne dirait rien du tout. On ne fait pas remarquer à une dame qui se promène avec un chihuahua Vous avez un petit chien, madame. On dit plutôt : Qu’est-ce qu’il est mignon, votre chien. Ou bien : Il me fait les gros yeux, celui-là. Quelque chose comme ça. C’est que le chihuahua a la taille conforme, alors que mon accent est hors norme, il n’a pas grand-chose de mignon, je ne sais pas s’il a des yeux, mais il est assez dur de la feuille. C’est une espèce de créature, de corps étranger enfoui en moi. Normalement, mon accent devrait rapetisser avec le temps à force d’imiter les sonorités françaises, se camoufler comme un phasme contre une branche, complètement disparaître. Mais c’est l’inverse qui s…
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Celebrate Mother’s Day in France

An outing for Mother's Day might be to the Mothers monument in Paris 13th. Some consider the Monument aux Mères Françaises in the eponym park at 21 boulevard Kellermann to be austere and soviet-styled, but we must take into consideration that it was inaugurated in 1938 and thus view it in context of the between the wars depression era.  The sculptures laud Mothers after the tragic loss of so many men and boys in the first world war and encourage them to stay at home to care for the family.The monument was renovated in 2013 and the cleaned sculpture is much less sad looking. There are 5 sculpted groups by artists Pierre d'Euville, Henri Bouchard et Alexandre Descatoire. The three texts on the momument are by Albert Lebrun, Edmond Labbé and Victor Hugo. Plants and flowers brighten this little garden in the 13th arrondissement. It is perhaps not the prettiest sculpture from today's viewpoint, but do you know any other cities that honor their mothers with a monument? In that way Fr…
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English Books Paris: New Arrivals at Bill & Rosa’s Book Room

English Books Paris?

Each week in the Book Room online, we recommend newly published English books we love. We also present some in French or bilingual, for kids or adults, fiction or non. Many are books about France of course, but there are many different subjects.

Discover the Bill & Rosa's Book Room concept. Come visit us - it is a nice spot up and downstairs at FUSAC to Read, Write, Relax and Buy, Donate, Borrow used English books Paris (and some French too, we are in France after all!). There is also the Power-of-the-Postcard desk and unique cards and postcards to write to family and friends, a jigsaw puzzle table, reading chairs. To discover our 4000+ titles visit our Click and Collect List. Near metro Porte de St Cloud. 42 rue du Chemin Vert 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt. Come over (Click for our opening hours) and find out why we call it Bill and Rosa's!

Now for this week's new books:

COURTING DARKNESS First in a duology, th…

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Why is it called? Part 2: French place names

Why is it called… Part 2: French place names or toponyms Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Place names are also called toponyms. We've learned Paris was named for the Celtic tribe the Parisii who lived in the area (why the Parisii were called that is still up for discussion), that the Seine was named for the nymph Séquana. Here are some other topoynms from the Paris area. Feel free to add your town in the comments. Versailles: The most likely origin of the name Versailles, first mentioned in 1038 as land belonging to a person named Hughes, comes from the Latin word versare which means to turn over (verser, reverser in French) and probably referred to Hughes’s agricultural efforts of clearing and preparing his land for planting. “Un versailles” or “versail” in old French refers to cleared land. Stains: The name of the town of Stains, a town north of Paris, rings strangely in anglophone ears because we hear a noun that means "a mark that…
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Furnishing your Paris apartment creatively and on a budget

Furniture

Ikea is practical, intelligent, not too expensive and usually looks good. It is not a bad way to furnish your Paris apartment. But you do have to first bring it home then spend hours putting it together (unless you call someone to do it for you – see the Services section). But perhaps you’d like something different in your Paris apartment, after all everyone shops at Ikea - it is far from unique. Here are a few ideas for some personalization that doesn’t cost too much.

FUSAC For Sale ads and other websites are a treasure trove of used items. If you find an ad for a moving sale just after it goes up you can possibly furnish a whole Parisian apartment at once! And more than just furniture you’ll find the practical items like small appliances and ironing boards for a song. If you find more than you can carry give a quick call to one of the man with a Van ads to schedule a pickup (again see the Services section).

Izidore: Is the online « garage sale » or…

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Why is it called? Part 3: Foods

Why is it called? Part 3: Foods Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Why are mushrooms called champignons de Paris? How do foods get named? There is often a story. Here is a short list of (mostly French) foods or dishes that are well-known in the Paris area and how they got their names. We invite readers to add their own favorites or ask about other foods for which they would like to know the origin in the comments. Champignons de Paris The first mushrooms in France were grown in 1670 by Jean de La Quintinie, gardener to Louis XIV. (You may still visit the King's garden in Versailles, it's called the Potager du Roi and it is a fascinating history of gardening and early techniques.) Under Napoleon I, mushrooms were grown in Paris in areas protected from sunlight, notably in the catacombs. Later in the XIXth century the majority of former quarries and grottos under Paris, which had the perfect constant temperature of 17°C were used to cultiva…
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Why is it called? Part 4: Clothing Etymology

Why is it called...? Part 4: Clothing Etymology Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Why are bérets called that? How do clothes get named? There is often a story. Here is a short list of some clothing articles and how they got their names, etymology. We invite readers to add their own favorites or ask about other clothes for which they would like to know the origin in the comments. We'll try to find the answer. Charentaises A charentaise is a general French word for slipper. It refers however to a specific pantoufle usually plaid which came from the area near Angoulême in the Charente region of France about 300 years ago. Hence the Etymology comes from the place. The area had many paper mills. At the time paper was made from rags and leftover felt pieces from the paper making were used to line wooden shoes, making them warmer and softer. A bit later a shoemaker from the town of La Rochefoucaud in the Charente had the idea to add a rigid s…
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Why is it called? Part 2: French place names

Why is it called… Part 2: French place names or toponyms Have you ever asked yourself why something is called by a particular name? Place names are also called toponyms. We've learned Paris was named for the Celtic tribe the Parisii who lived in the area (why the Parisii were called that is still up for discussion), that the Seine was named for the nymph Séquana. Here are some other topoynms from the Paris area. Feel free to add your town in the comments. Versailles: The most likely origin of the name Versailles, first mentioned in 1038 as land belonging to a person named Hughes, comes from the Latin word versare which means to turn over (verser, reverser in French) and probably referred to Hughes’s agricultural efforts of clearing and preparing his land for planting. “Un versailles” or “versail” in old French refers to cleared land. Stains: The name of the town of Stains, a town north of Paris, rings strangely in anglophone ears because we hear a noun that means "a mar…
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Rental Lease and contract in France

Recent news: The City of Paris is constantly trying to better or at least adjust the rental system. In an attempt to make Paris less expensive to live in they are now reinstating rent ceilings for a 5 year test period for all new or renewed leases signed as of July 1st, 2019. You can find out the average price of rent in an area given in price per month per square meter based on the address, size and age of the building which you put into the rent calculator (in French).

Also recently created is also a new type of lease called the Bail Mobilité. This rental lease applies only to furnished rentals that are a maximum of 10 months. There is no security deposit and rents must be within the regular ceilings. The lease must state why this type of lease is needed. If the rental goes past ten months, it becomes a normal furnished apartment lease renewable annually.

Once you have found your apartment in France it is time to sign the lease. Below you'll find infor…

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