Sunday, April 8

A new beginning


Hello everyone! I am sure that I lost all my students after my sudden departure without any notice. Please accept my apologies if anyone is reading the blog. I had some big disappointments in first six months of 2011 and then took a new job which took all my time and energy. I am thankful because this job really saved me from drowning. Thanks to Sherlock Holmes who keep on bringing surfers on my blog, may be they don’t find what they were looking still if they wish they can watch or participate the unsolving of the mysteries of a pretty lady called “ La langue Française”. They are welcome to unveil this case. I will try to post at least one or two lessons per week.

Tuesday, January 11

Around the world in 64 sentences - part 2


We were on a world tour in 64 sentences when suddenly the journey stopped. You must have heard that several airports including London and Paris were blocked because of heavy snow-fall. So I blame this long interruption on snow too. Thanks Santa claus you sent the snow when I needed it. We were in the middle of the ‘to’ crisis, how many ‘to’s are there in French? We have already seen some ‘to’s for a country,continent and a city(Lesson December 5). Let’s rewind a bit.

1.City:

Preposition ‘à’

Je vais à Paris. Tu vas à Mumbai.

2.Country/Continent:

Preposition en’ used for the feminine countries.

Je vais en France. Je vais en Inde.

Time to tackle the masculine side of the world. What are the masculine countries?

Le Portugal, Le Brésil, Le Canada, Le Japon, Le Cameroun, Le Costa Rica.

Preposition ‘au’(à+le = au) used as ‘to’ for a country that has a masculine name.

Je vais au Portugal. (Literal translation would be ‘I am going to the Portugal’ but correct translation would be ‘ I am going to Portugal’)

Tu vas au Japon. Ils vont au Brésil.

je vais

tu vas

il /elle va

nous allons

vous allez

ils/elles vont


au

Portugal

Brésil

Canada

Japon

Cameroun

Costa Rica

I would suggest not to go to Canada because there must be a freezing winter, Brazil is a good choice and very soon it’s carnival time. Stop for a sushi in Japan if you have some time.

Our next break would be at the white house for lunch before leaving for tea time at Queen's castle in UK. Would you like to accompany me? then keep checking the schedule of this amazing journey.


Wednesday, December 22

My stop at Paris




How many aventures you had during your around the world in 64 sentences? I grabbed this chance to fly to magical Paris and had not only one but a series of adventures. I arrived in Paris on the day when the whole city was paralyzed because of heavy snow-fall, spent four hours at the railway station but finally reached my hotel . For the next one I wasn't even prepared. I was all happy and gay wondering around Paris capturing each and every view of Eiffel tower, last stop was Galeries Lafayette to admire the marvelous decoration instead I tumbled from top to bottom on greasy stairs of a café again fortunately nothing broken just some shock. Later on I was mesmerized by the beauty of the Galerie, it was worth falling down for that view. I apologize for not posting yet the next lesson. I will do it very soon and I wish you a very merry christmas!

Photo 1 & 2 Galeries Lafayette's Christmas decorations
Photo 3 Giant Christmas tree inside the Galeries

Sunday, December 5

Around the world in 64 sentences


Last time Sherlock Holmes helped us to solve the mystery of pronominal verbs but who is going to take us on a tour to the planet ‘to’? home to many ‘to’s. How many are there? You have to choose a ‘to’ for a city, one for a country and another for a discotheque or a movie theater! List is long but not endless.

1.City:

Preposition à


Je vais à Paris. Tu vas à Mumbai.


2.Country/Continent:

In French everything has a gender so the countries are divided not in continents but in masculine and feminine genders. The countries given below are on feminine side, India, Italy or France seems to have some feminity but I don’t understand why Great Britain and Spain are feminine ? We can even organise a debate on this issue!


La France, La Suisse (Switzerland) , La Grande Bretagne (Great Britain), L’Inde(India), L’Italie(Italy), L’Espagne (Spain), La Chine(China)


All the continents are feminine :

L’Asie, L’Afrique, L’Amérique du nord , L’Amérique du sud, L’Europe, L’Australie and L’Antartique


Preposition En (ɑ̃)

En is used as ‘to’ for a country or a continent that has a feminine name. Literal meaning of ‘en’ is ‘in’ but here it is ‘to’.


Je vais en France. Je vais en Italie.

Je vais en Inde. Je vais en Grande Bretagne.


je vais

tu vas

il /elle va

nous allons

vous allez

ils/elles vont



en

France

Inde

Espagne

Italie

Grande Bretagne

Suisse

Australie

Chine



You can make at least 64 sentences with the help of this table. Enjoy the tour around the world in 64 sentences! Journey continues in next lesson.




Friday, December 3

Let it snow let it snow let it snow


Triple A’s journey continue on the TGV tracks to Brest. It’s snowing heavily and they are stranded in 30 cms of snow at Lamballe. What do we do when there is nothing to do? Either we watch TV, eat or talk. Don’t we? Well! there was no TV and the food is so expensive in TGVs so Triple A and the Bretonne lady preferred to talk.

Nolwenn: Où allez-vous?

Amrita: Nous allons à Brest. Et vous?

Nolwenn: C’est une jolie petite ville. Je vais à Morlaix.

Anita: Est-que c’est une grande ville?

Nolwenn: Non, c’est une petite ville.

I will ask you to wait for a minute and try to understand the dialogue above because you are familiar with half of the vocabulary and half is new. Let’s see these examples.

Je vais à Paris.

Je vais à New-York.

Je vais à New-Delhi.

Nous allons à Rome.

Do you now have an idea what was the dialogue about? I am sure you understood. Here is the English version. I don’t like the translation but here it’s difficult to teach just by examples. Keep it in mind that English and French have lot of common words but the grammar is totally different. If you try to make a sentence then make it using whatever knowledge you gained in French please do not translate otherwise everything will be messed up.

Nolwenn: Where are you going?

Amrita: We are going to Brest. And you?

Nolwenn: It’s a beautiful small city. I am going to Morlaix.

Anita: Is it a big city?

Nolwenn: No, It’s a small town.

The new verb I introduced is ‘Aller’ that means ‘to go’. ‘Aller’ is one of the most common verbs used in French so you must learn by heart the conjugation.

Aller = to go



Je vais

Tu vas

il/elle va

Vous allez

Nous allons

ils/elles vont

à

Brest

Paris

New-York

Mumbai

What is this strange letter doing in the middle column? ‘à’ is equivalent to the preposition ‘to’. It is pronounced as ‘a’ in ‘art’ ‘dart’ or ‘part’. In French there are more than one ‘to’, different ‘to’ for different places, ‘à’ is used for cities. It’s getting complicated? No not at all it just a question of keeping your memory updated. Remember only one ‘to’ for the moment that is ‘à’.

New vocabulary

Aller = to go

où = where (Pronounced as oo in too)

Petit(masc.)/Petite(fem.) = Small, tiny

Tuesday, November 30

Phonetiks is fantastik


Hi all! I am sorry this is not a new lesson as I was busy working on a small glossary of all the words that came in last eight lessons. Hindi is my national language, people say that it is difficult to learn but in my opinion it's one of the most easiest languages to learn or atleast to read. Once you know all the alphabet and accents you can read without any problem because we read as it is written. There are no irregular rules as in English and French that is why it is an excellent way to learn French pronunciation. I am sure this French-Hindi glossary will be a huge help for my Hindi speaking readers. You can find it on the 'French-Hindi' page. I would be very happy to know if there is a blog specialist who can help me how to record an audio file and upload it with a blog post.

Monday, November 22

Sherlock Holmes solved the mystery

We are going on a mystery adventure, you must be equipped with all the arms and weapons and should know how to use them . These arms are pronouns, articles, questions and all the vocabulry we learnt in seven lessons. Do you know by heart the use of all these? If no then please go through all the previous lessons, you can find them under the label of ‘French’ at the right hand side. You must be wondering what happened to the ‘Triple A’ team? Where are they? What are they doing? Well! Anita,Amrita and Amandine three students from Paris are still on TGV talking to Nolwenn the ‘Bretonne’ lady. The people from the region of Brittany or Bretagne are called ‘Bretons’, ‘un Breton(masc.)’, une Bretonne(femi.).

Last time Nolwenn asked the names of the three girls 'Comment vous vous appelez?' Every time this question and the answer to this question made me scratch my head. It was a big mystery for me when I was learning French because there was always an apostrophe or some pronoun appeared two times like in the question above.

Comment tu t’appelles?

Comment elle s’appelle ?

Comment elles s’appellent ?

Comment il s’appelle ?

Comment vous vous appelez ?

Je m’appelle Anita.

Elle s’appelle Amrita.

Elles s’appellent Anita et Amrtia.

il s’appelle Brad Pitt.

Je m’appelle Aung Saan Suu kyi.

Those were my very first lessons when I was struggling to adapt myself to French-French learning method, my French teacher told me that I will understand ‘Vous vous appelez’ later on and not to worry about it. My condition was getting worst I could not sleep at night and felt myself hanging on an apostrophe too, so I had to find the answer. I solved the puzzle by translating word to word this question. In French they don’t ask or tell a name like in English ‘What is your name?’ but they say ‘ How you call yourself?’ and the answer is similar too, I call myself Anita, How she calls herself? She calls herself Amrita, How they call themselves? Etc. Etc. The verb used here is s’appeler , this type of verb is called a pronominal verb where the subject performs an action on itself. Ex. Elle s’appelle Angelina –She calls herself Angelina. There are many more pronominal verbs to come but for right now we will not go in too much technical details. Enjoy remixing and matching!

s’appeler


Je m’appelle

Tu t’appelles

Vous vous appelez

il s’appelle

Elle s’appelle

Anita, Amrita,Amandine,

Brad Pitt

Angelina Jolie

Tuesday, November 9

Who is Brad Pitt?


Anita, Amandine and Amrita or the ‘Triple A’ are on Christmas vacations and going to visit the beautiful coast line of Brittany (Bretagne). They take a Paris-Brest TGV (Très grande vitesse) or Very fast speed train. In the train they meet Nolwenn a lady from Bretagne and the conversation begins.

Nolwenn: Bonjour

Triple A: Bonjour

Nolwenn: Comment vous vous appelez ?

Amrita : Je m’appelle Amrita, elle s’appelle Anita et elle s’appelle Amandine.

Nolwenn : Jolis prénoms !

You must have noticed that there are two new sentences that we haven’t yet learnt but it is in the same series as “Comment tu t’appelles ?” .

“Comment vous vous appelez?” is used

  • In plural
  • In singular in a formal way or for en elderly person

Examples:

It’s the first day of my French class and I would like to know the names of my new students.

Me: Comment vous vous appelez?

Students : Je m’appelle Kristina, Je m’appelle Mary, Je m’appelle Brian………………etc.

If I ask the famous Hollywood star Brad Pitt the same question then first of all people will think that I am from another planet who doesn’t know him but still I will not say "Comment tu t’appelles?" I will phrase the question in a very formal way.

Me: Comment vous vous appelez?

Brad Pitt: Je m’appelle Brad Pitt. Je suis acteur.

Me : Comment elle s’appelle ? (I point out to the beautiful lady beside him)

Brad Pitt : Elle s’appelle Angelina Jolie.

You must have guessed by now that ‘Elle’ is one of the French pronouns. What are the others?


Singular

Plural


First person

Je = I

Nous = We


Second person

Tu = You, Vous = You

Vous = You


Third person

il = He , Elle = She

Ils = They (masculine), Elles = They (feminine)


There are so many things to remember and learn so I am going to pause the Paris-Brest journey of Triple A. We will resume it very soon but by next time I would like you to revise all the lessons.

Saturday, October 30

Jean Paul Gaultier's magic potion


I was drifting on Mozart's music waves and staring at the long row of buildings out of my window. Suddenly a thought flashed in my mind, I have to write something! I picked up the note-book, it's just not 'A' simple note-book because the great designer & creator Jean Paul Gaultier signed his autograph in it. Creativity is flowing through its pages and spilling out of it. Quickly I rushed to kitchen took a glass,collected the precious nectar in it and gulped it down. I was sure it would wake up my sleeping imagination. In few seconds it was running through my veins, eager to reach up to the brain. Soon my eyes were glowing and hands hurried up to grab a pen. Words converted in sentences and sentences in to form of a poem. I wrote poems in Hindi for years then I don't know what hindered me from painting the word picture. Today Jean Paul Gaultier brought me back but the credit goes to one of my friends too who encouraged me few days back to restart. I am posting this poem below,unfortunately only my Indian friends and readers will be able to understand it as it's in Hindi. Who knows? I might start writing in English and French too if I continue to drink JPG brand magic potion. Wait for it!

'इमारतें'
बातें हवाओं से करती , पंख पंछियों के छूती
कितनी ऊँची है ये गगनचुम्बी इमारतें,
अनगिनत झरोखों का घर हैं और इन झरोंखो में
कितनी कहानियाँ छुपायें बैठी हैं ये इमारतें,
कहानियाँ कहाँ हुई शुरू और कहाँ खत्म,
सोचा नहीं किसीने ढूंडा नहीं किसीने,
एक अनकही अनजानी किताब है ये इमारतें,
एक कोई जाता है और हज़ार आ जातें हैं,
आने-जाने वालों का मेला है ये इमारतें,
मेले की भीड़ में खो जातें हैं लोग,
याद नहीं आती उनकी किसीको,
वे चले जाते है, धुआं-धुआं हो जाते हैं,
उड़ जाता है धुआं झरोंखों से और नई खुशबू लेकर
आने वालों के लिए दरवाजें खोल देती है ये इमारतें.

Thursday, October 28

Win a FREE trip to Paris!


Creative Polyglot is coming out of the shadow of Polyglutton and trying to find her way to Kingdom of France. How to find the way if you don’t know how to ask questions? We will continue our journey through the farm of questions to get back to Formidable France. In last lesson we learnt how to ask two questions:

Comment tu t’appelles? What’s your name?

Qui est-ce? Who is it?

A story of three friends in a college at Paris, Anita, Amrita and Amandine. Anita and Amandine know each other and Amrita will be their new friend. On first day of college Anita sees a lost girl, she goes over and introduces herself.

Bonjour, Je m’appelle Anita.

Comment tu t’appelles?

Bonjour, Je m’appelle Amrita.

Next day Amandine sees her best friend with a new girl.

Bonjour Anita!

Qui est-ce ?

C’est Amrita. (It is Amrita)

Bonjour Amrita!

Je m’appelle Amandine.

You observed one thing that they gave the password ,asked some questions and in return got a brand new friend. What is the password? It’s not only a password or ‘mot de passe’ as they call it in french to open a box of chocolates but to make friends too. Read the October 6th lesson and start making friends. Of course the story of these three friends doesn’t end here, it’s just the begining. And you are going to enjoy the ride.

Amrita is discovering Paris with her new friends. They are roaming around eating delicious Italian ice-cream. (You see Polyglutton is still trying to take hold of Polyglot, I have to be strong and not think too much of food.)

Amrita: Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Anita : C’est une cathédrale, la notre dame de Paris.

Amrita : C’est jolie.

After few minutes.

Amrita : Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Amandine : C’est l’arc de triomphe.

Amrita : C’est grand !

(I am really hoping that she doesn’t ask this question for Eiffel tower. Everybody knows the mighty tower? Dont’ you?)

Amrita: Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Anita : C’est un musée, le musée du Louvre.

Amrita : C’est beau.

Paris is quite big and I am really tired walking all over the city with these energy packed girls. I have to go and get an ice-cream or why not an Indian kulfi. Did you guess what was the question Amrita was repeating again and again? I am sure you did, if not then write me or I will give the answer in next lesson. If you are wondering what are these words Le, La and L’ then you can find the answer immediately in 15th October lesson. There are two more new prepositions ‘de’ and ‘du’ that we will discuss in next lesson.

Jolie = Beautiful, Pretty

Beau = Beautiful, Lovely

Grand = Big

Photo.1 'La notre dame de Paris' No doubt it is very beautiful