Tag: French

“Si jeunesse savait; si vieillesse pouvait. If youth knew; if age could.” - Henri Estienne  (1531–1598)

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english

Ten things you might not have known about the English language

Hey, English speaker! Congratulations. You speak a language that straddles the globe like nothing before. Statistically, English is unlikely to be your first language and you are likely to be from an educated background. Again, congratulations. Here are ten things that you may not have known about this wonderful language of ours: 1. It is […]

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Not French

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Saudade is a Portuguese words describing a feeling of missing someone or something, similar but not equal to nostalgia

7 foreign words you need to know

While Caroline James has already challenged the belief that there’s anything like an untranslatable word, we nonetheless felt inspired to explore the lexicon of foreign languages in search of interesting words that don’t have an exact equivalent in English. Such an endeavour can often yield amusing results, but also give insight into the peculiarities of […]

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wind

Weather idioms: winds and storms

We recently took a look at idioms from around the world that use rain as a metaphor; today we turn our attention to those from German, Chinese, Russian, and more, that use winds and storms to get their point across. 1. In den Wind schreiben Language: German Translation: To write in the wind What does it […]

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French flag

Quiz: French words no longer used in French

Read the paragraph below; even if you don’t think you speak French, you’ll probably understand exactly what is being said… Imagine a rather bijou little hotel tucked away down a Parisian cul-de-sac, the kind with a rather louche air of faux decadence where the ensuite has a bidet and every night there’s a cabaret in […]

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Word in the news: could you cope with 'cope'?

Word in the news: could you cope with ‘cope’?

You may have seen in the news that French students sitting a baccalaureate exam about Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel Atonement were asked to discuss ‘How is Turner coping with the situation?’, Turner being the male protagonist. ‘Question M’ quickly became a hot topic on social media, with students complaining that the word coping was too […]

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Where is the etymology of our curse words?

Curse words, etymology, and the history of English

Have you ever noticed that many of our swear words sound very much like German ones and not at all like French ones? From vulgar words for body parts (a German Arsch is easy to identify, but not so the French cul), to scatological and sexual verbs (doubtless you can spot what scheissen and ficken […]

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