By tradition, in France, two minutes of silence are respected at 11 am, the 11th day of the 11th month: it is at this time that the armistice was implemented. Listen to this sentence in French, just below. JOUR DE L'ARMISTICE : also known as Le Jour du Souvenir, and Veterans Day, November 11th is an official... Read more →


I don't have a story to go with today's word. Tout simplement, I learned it Friday night on the backstreets, or les ruelles, of Cassis. About a hundred steps from the old port, Jean-Marc and I were dining with another couple when the word ristourne popped up in conversation. Here's what it means, followed by a few... Read more →


Enjoy Jean-Marc's bilingual story about meeting Lukas and Fabienne Vollmy, winemakers in the historic Panier neighborhood of Marseille. First, today's French expression, followed by its correct pronunciation.... "donner le meilleur de soi-même" : to give one's best AUDIO FILE - hear Jean-Marc pronounce the following sentences in French Click here for the sound file ("donner le meilleur... Read more →


Help edit today's post by contributing corrections--in French or in English, in the comments box. Merci beaucoup! un éboueur : garbage collector, bin man Audio File Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read this sentence: Un éboueur aussi connu comme agent de propreté urbaine ou plus familièrement comme ripeur (pour ceux à l'arrière de la benne), vidangeur... Read more →


Thank you for the wonderful profiles you are sending in, in celebration of this word journal's 15th birthday. It is a pleasure and a gift to read about you for a change, and your "bonne continuation" messages have given me an invigorating second wind! If you did not see your comment posted, scroll down to the end... Read more →


My daughter turned 5 when this word journal began. Here she is at eleven... and recently she turned 20. This week marks the 15th anniversary of this French word journal. You've learned a lot about our Franco-American family over the years. Help me celebrate this journal's birthday by sharing a line or two about you, in the... Read more →


This time of year while scaredy-cats are talking about hobgoblins, Jean-Marc introduces us to houblons...or Humulus Lupulus. On Tuesday he saw them with his very eyes in the historic quarter of Nice, France! Read on about this bois du diable and its relation to beer, in today's column. (Thank you, Eileen deCamp, for this beautiful photo!) un... Read more →


"Languages ​​are not neutral tools: they influence how we talk, think, and represent ourselves...." façon de parler : manner of speaking, way of speaking : so to speak Audio: listen to Jean-Marc read the opening sentence, in French: Facon de parler manner of speaking Façon de parler. Les langues ne sont pas des outils neutres : elles... Read more →


Harvesters sorting grapes at Château La Mascaronne. Though everyday life goes on, today's post being no exception, we pause to remember those who have suffered in the recent catastrophes. Jean-Marc and I join all vineyard owners in France, all who are in the wine business, all who are French, and all who are human, in extending our... Read more →


Yesterday, we visited Chateau La Mascaronne. The estate, acquired by an American, Tom Bove, in 1999, extends over 100 hectares at the exit of the village of Luc, of which 45 hectares of vines are planted in hills and classified in the appellation Côtes de Provence. Careful to respect the typicity of the terroir, the estate offers... Read more →