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Showing posts from October, 2010

Comment traduire les poissons

Quand je vais au restaurant en France j'ai souvent du mal à traduire les noms de poissons comestibles. C'est très compliqué! Je m'étais promis de rédiger une liste, mais j'en ai trouvé une déjà faite (en plusieurs langues aussi): Est-ce que quelqu'un peut m'expliquer pourquoi les Français consomment si peu d'églefin qui est un poisson très répandu dans la mer du nord et qui a un goût très semblable à celui de la morue?

L'Argent de Poche

This is one of Truffaut's minor works and I've just watched it again for the first time in several years. The film consists of a series of episodes in the lives of a group of children from the town of Thiers. There is very little plot, plenty of observation and a few memorable scenes, notably when little Grégory falls from the window of a flat and walks away unscathed (apparently unbelievable, but based on  faits divers ). Two main child characters emerge, each one representing aspects of Truffaut's own youth, one coming to grips with adolescence and relationships with the opoosite sex, the other a victim of neglect and physical abuse. The primary teacher offers another aspect of François Truffaut, the father figure. There are a good few classroom scenes, reminiscent of Les 400 Coups and whilst the teachers are more enlightened, what they are teaching seems to have progressed little since the 1950s. In a way, this was the film that Les 400 Coups was meant to be, befor

Foreign language assistant scheme in jeopardy?

From The Independent Century-old teaching programme suspended after spending cuts By Kevin Rawlinson Saturday, 23 October 2010 Fiona Bruce: the BBC newsreader taught children English in a school over the Channel in Saint Quentin. She spent the 1984/85 academic year in France For more than a century, British students have been travelling abroad to teach in foreign classrooms as language assistants. The tradition could now be in jeopardy after the British Council, which runs the programme, was forced to suspend next year's selection process following George Osborne's budget cuts. J K Rowling, Fiona Bruce and Angus Deayton are among the scheme's notable alumni, while Alastair Campbell, who admitted to not being a "natural teacher", famously used the time to begin writing the "soft porn" that woul

Ipad report

I'm really happy with my ipad. I use it nearly every day. Most of all I appreciate its "instant on" and its portability around the house. If we get wi fi-ed up in the staff room at school, I shall use it there too. Apart from checking email and web browsing I have made good use of a number of apps. I like the Metoffice app for instant access to weather reports, including current radar and satellite views. The Living Earth app gives instant weather and cloud cover from cities around the world. The Ebay app is easy to browse. I've occasionally used the app, but our slow broadband connection makes live TV unpredictable. I've made good use of the imdb cinema app and daily use of the Guardian app. The latter is designed for the i-phone and bears little resemblance to the newspaper format, but it is comprehensive and easy enough to navigate. I'm awaiting an ipad specific version of the Guardian, for which I would happily pay. The Daily Telegraph app is desi

L'Histoire d'Adèle H.

  Picture: Uiversity of Toronto  So while I'm in Mark Kermode-mode, what about Truffaut's 1975 film, L'Histoire d'Adèle H ? The Adèle in question is the younger daughter of Victor Hugo who is traumatised by the death by drowning of her older sister, whom she considers to be her father's favourite. In fact, after the death of Léopoldine and her husband, Victor Hugo had treated his second daughter with increasing coldness. Adèle, played by Isabelle Adjani in her first cinema role, has fallen in love with an English officer, Albert Pinson, who has been posted to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Adèle follows him there, partly also to assert her independence from her father. When the object of her affection turns her down, she obsessively stalks him and does everything she can to win his love, even though he has made it plain he does not want her. He himself is a rather unreliable and feckless character. Her obsession gradually turns to madness and even makes her sick. When the

L'enfant sauvage

Still: allocine Whilst on half term I've had the opportunity to watch a couple of Truffaut films which I had never got round to seeing in the past. L'Enfant Sauvage (1969) is the story of a young wild boy who had lived his early years alone in woods in the Aveyron and whom Dr Jean Itard attempts to civilise in what is a kind of scientific experiment. Truffaut used Itard's scientific notes entitled Mémoire et Rapport sur Victor de l'Aveyron (1806) to construct a script with Jean Gruaut. Truffaut plays Dr Itard himself, saying that since he was working so closely with the child actor (Jean-Pierre Cargol) and since he did not want a famous actor to play the role, he might as well do it himself. Truffaut acts the role in a dead-pan fashion, quite deliberately so, as he wished to emphasize the fact that Itard was acting as a scientist concerned above all with observation. Any physical warmth and love the boy receives comes from Itard's housekeeper Madame Guérin, pl

Que feriez-vous si un grand Africain nu pénétrait dans votre appartement?

En fait c'est une histoire qui a mal terminé pour un bébé de quatre mois, mais c'est également un fait divers bizarre: Ils ont cru voir le diable. En réalité, l'étrange apparition nocturne n'était qu'un père de famille se rendant,  complètement nu et mal réveillé, au chevet de son enfant qui pleurait... Complètement terrorisées, onze personnes, dont des enfants, se sont défenestrées d'un appartement de la Verrière, dans les Yvelines, samedi à l'aube, causant la mort d'un bébé de quatre mois. C'est Odile Faivre, procureur adjoint de Versailles, qui a confirmé l'information samedi soir. Selon elle, «treize personnes se sont trouvées dans un appartement au second étage d'un immeuble quand, vers 3h du matin, l'un des occupants a entendu son enfant pleurer». «Pris pour le diable» Dans l'appartement, les treize habitants «étaient en train de regarder la télévision», a expliqué la magistrate à l'AFP. «L&


Photo: Helen Williams Voici le groupe français de l'Institution Saint Louis, Pont l'Abbé d'Arnoult. Nos amis de Charente Maritime viennent nous voir chaque année. Cette année ils sont 33 à avoir choisi le formule cours-excursions-séjours en famille. Demain nous allons nous promener à Malham Cove. Helen Williams, ma collègue et notre amie de longue date, accompagne le groupe avec sa collègue Céline Braganti qui travaille dans le secrétariat de l'école.

La Nuit Américaine

 Photo: After studying Les 400 Coups and Jules et Jim , my A-level students are going to watch Truffaut's award-winning movie-within-a-movie movie La Nuit Américaine (1973). In English it's called Day for Night and in case you didn't know "day for night" is a technique used in films whereby you film in daylight, but give the impression the action is at night by the use of camera filters. It's an apt title for this movie, since it suggests that film is a bit like cheating and in this affectionate and warm-hearted film you get to see what film making is all about behind the scenes. It's usually said to be the best film made about film-making and it was rewarded with an Oscar. Truffaut plays Ferrand, the director of a film called Meet Pamela and the story follows the progress of the shoot. We get to see how Truffaut directs actors, how scenes are put together and, principally, how there is a whole separate drama going on behind the scenes as updates

Recent additions include more links and translation work for use with Jules et Jim. I also found a little article on about pets living longer. It looks like the phenomenon of increased life expectancy is not limited to human beings living in wealthy countries. Pets are also living longer; for cats and dogs it is around 2 years since 1980. Not sure whether that is in human or dog years, though. German and British pets seem to be taking this in their stride as their owners are happy to pay our for better food and more complex medical treatments. French pets have taken to the streets as they fear that their retirement age may have to rise. It could be miou 68 all over again.

Retraites: les peurs françaises J'ai bien apprécié cet article récent d'Eric Le Boucher sur En gros je suis d'accord avec son analyse. Le dernier paragraphe est à noter. Le gouvernement a su convaincre les Anglais que les coupes sont non seulement nécessaires, mais aussi désirables. Mais pour ce qui concerne les retraites, j'ai l'impression que nos réformes sont passées presque inaperçues. A ceux qui descendent dans la rue en France je pose la question: si le système actuel est en panne, comment voulez-vous le réformer?

Citroen DS3

Un des premiers posts que j'ai affiché sur mon blog, c'était sur la DS3, la version "premium" de la C3 et qui rappelle la DS originale. Eh bien, ma femme a décidé d'en acheter une. (Son époux est content car c'est lui qui la conduira de temps en temps.) Il s'agit d'une édition spéciale, la "White", en version diesel. Elle consomme peu, émet peu de CO2 (mais elle est neuve et acheter une voiture neuve est la pire chose à faire pour l'environnement même si ça donne du travail aux ouvriers de Poissy). Bref, elle est jolie et agréable à conduire. La voici:

Le français en voie de disparition à Bruxelles

Cela ne m'étonne pas car mon vieil ami Jonathan Todd qui travaille à la Commission Européenne me l'avait déjà dit il y quelque temps. Article tiré de Selon Jean Quatremer, correspondant de Libération à Bruxelles, l’anglais est maintenant «la langue unique, ou presque» des institutions européennes. Le journaliste cite des chiffres d'Europolitique selon lesquels l’anglais est désormais la «langue source» de 75% des documents de la Commission Barroso, contre 8,32% pour le français et 2,74% pour l’allemand. Jean Quatremer s'inquiète de cette mainmise de l'anglais qui aurait commencé au milieu des années 1990: «Une langue, c’est un moyen de communiquer (argument de ceux qui défendent l’anglais langue unique), mais aussi de transmettre un système de valeurs. Vous ne verrez par exemple jamais un Américain accepter de négocier dans une autre langue que la sienne, à la différence d’un Français toujours prompt à complaire. En anglais, libéralisme, co

Vous aimez le pâté de foie gras?

L'autre jour j'ai voulu faire goûter à mes élèves de seconde du pâté de foie gras qu'une gentille collègue m'a offert. Un peu au hasard j'ai cherché sur youtube pour voir comment on le prépare. J'avais vu quelque chose sur une émission de Rick Stein où on donnait à manger aux oies. Ce n'était pas trop dégoûtant. Mais il semble que la production du foie gras soit parfois plus désagréable (c'est le moins qu'on puisse dire). Attention, ça risque de choquer certains.

Jules et Jim

                                             Jules et Jim is considered by many to be Truffaut's best work. I've been working on it again with two groups of A-level students and I'm hoping to get them to share in my enthusiasm. But I remember myself that when I first saw this movie I was slightly underwhelmed. I recall that little emotion was communicated from the screen, the film seemed episodic and that the lead character, Catherine, played by Jeanne Moreau was simply not very appealing. But what you have to remember with Jules et Jim is that it is, above all, a hommage to a book which inspired Truffaut after he came across it by chance at a second hand book shop in Paris. The autobiographical novel, with its charming simplicity and clipped sentences, is faithfully rendered on the screen, thanks to the superb acting, particularly of Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner, the use of the original text in the dialogue and voice- off narra