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October 30, 2007


You might want to focus on prepositions and reflexive verbs (or don't, as this is rather boring. I'm sure that with a precise and verbal turn of mind like yours you'll come to always get it right in time just from listening).

I really love that photo.

Thanks, Jean! The challenge at this point is not gathering vocabulary or making myself understood, but beginning to speak and write phrases that sound French, rather than sounding like a native English speaker making sense, but butchering the French language. I'm hoping to put some real effort into it during the next two months and see if I can forge ahead a bit. Precise comments and corrections are more than welcome. I know you and others don't want to hurt my feelings, but feel free to write me offline or here about mistakes I'm making. I won't be upset!

Yes, I was going to suggest prepositions -- such as à côté de doesn't take the article -- but it's a bit tedious as Jean says. Also "hâtif" seems like a very high level of diction for a "souper" but maybe it's used more frequently in québecois??

Fun post, though. You must be tired. Crevée.

The first thing that struck me: hairs are not rouge but roux (feminine rousse).

Merci beaucoup. Had three years in high school over 40 years ago but still it comes back even though it's little used.

Pica: it's fun and challenging but crevée is about right.

LH: Is that true even when they are not even close to natural color - as in hot pinkish red bordering on fuschia? aieee. I guess I'll learn the intricacies eventually!

Jean, thank you so much for the detailed correction you sent me offline.

You and me both, Pablo! And bienvenue to my blog and comment thread - glad to have you here.

Comment dit-on en francais 'Way to go Beth!'?

I thought like Beth, that 'rouges' is right here, looking at the photo. As right as 'cheveux roses' or 'cheveux bleus'.

Thanks, Saif, I needed to hear that!

And Jean, yes, the hair looks auburn here but it was really, well, artificially dark pinkish red. I don't even know what color that would be in English! (I bet I won't forget "roux", though!)

Beth, well done, you really are forging ahead! The few mistakes are minor and I'm sure you already know what they are. I have no doubt at all that you (and Jon) will be speaking fluent French by this time next year.

Oh, Natalie, that is very kind and encouraging. I know there are plenty of mistakes, but the good part is that my comfort level has increased greatly. I'm understanding a lot more of what I hear, and don't seem to have much trouble communicating. Last night at a concert I talked to the woman in back of me during the intermission, and she - unusually for Montreal - spoke no English and therefore didn't switch. So I was able to engage in a French conversation for ten or fifteen minutes and had to listen carefully and respond, because she was alone and really seemed to want to talk to me. It went quite well! I just talked as fluidly as I could, didn't worry about making mistakes, and we had a perfectly decent conversation about music, piano-playing, work, etc. That told me I really had made some progress.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.