se tirer


Carpet of Flowers & Cabanon (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Carpet of Flowers & Cabanon" (c) Kristin Espinasse: hundreds of French photos at Cinéma Vérite.

retirer (reuh-tee-ray) verb

    1.  to withdraw;  to take back
    2. to remove, take away
    3. to take out; to redeem
    4. to reprint (photos) 

... there are many more meanings for "retirer", add to this list, here. The verb conjugation is: je retire, tu retires, il retire, nous retirons, vous retirez, ils retirent. pp = retiré

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download Wav or Download MP3

Quand mon fils m'a taquiné, en disant que j'étais vieille, ma fille a crié "retires-le!"
When my son teased me, saying that I was old, my daughter shouted, "take that back!"

A Day in a French Life...
    by Kristin Espinasse

I am driving the kids home from school, singing a silly French chanson--something I have just made up, based on the latest grammar correction I've received from my French son--when the latter puts a stop to my singing.

"Bon, ça suffit!" Max implores me to arrêter and, with that, I pull a very long, comically sad face.

"Oh, you look so old!" Max teases, "when you make a face like that!"
My mouth drops even lower and my eyes are now great big bawling balls.

"Max!" Jackie protests, "RETIRE LE!"
"So old! SO OLD!" Max repeats, ignoring my darling defender.

My mouth drops even lower, so low that it might reach my clavicule if the jabber jabbing continues.
"Old, old, old," Max snickers, stealing a surreptitious glance, to see whether he's hit a nerve, by chance...

(Oh, he might have hit just the littlest nerve, but mostly he's hit a funny bone!)

I continue to make funny faces, but my daughter, in the back seat, is taking things a little more personally.

"RETIRE LE!" she orders her brother, determined to defend me (or, simply, determined to have a young mom?). From the back of the car, Jackie grabs her brother's long locks:

"RETIRE LE!!!" she demands.
"Vieille! vieille! vieille!" my son snorts, undeterred by his sister's claws.

That's it! There's a limit to my half-baked humility, wizened woman I am not.

(Enter Aggravated Ego!...)

With one hand on the wheel, I reach over and pinch hold of the freckled French nose to my right.

"TAKE THAT BACK!" I order my son.
"RETIRE-LE!" Jackie repeats, menacingly.

But apparently my son is a martyr, for he would rather be tortured tress-less, pinched peau*-less, than give in to a couple of raging and aging opponents.

Comments welcome here--and thanks for telling us from which city you are writing (and how's the weather?)
French Vocabulary

la chanson (f) = song; bon, ça suffit! = alright, that's enough!; arrêter = to stop; retire-le! = take that back!; la clavicule (f) = collarbone; vieille (vieux) = old; la peau (f) = skin


by Jean-Marc Espinasse

Mercredi dernier, la France a obtenu sa place pour participer à la prochaine Coupe du Monde de Football.

Cette qualification s'est faite dans la douleur face à une vaillante équipe d'Irlande qui aurait aussi bien mérité de l'emporter. Mais cette victoire est surtout entachée d'une grossière double faute de main de la part de Thierry Henry qui a fait la passe décisive au buteur.

"Deux mains" consécutives sur le ballon, comment l'arbitre n'a t-il pas vu cela ?

A l'heure où les caméras vidéos sont partout dans le stade pour filmer le match, comment se fait-il que l'on n'autorise pas la vidéo dans ce genre de rencontre capitale ?

Tradition vous diront certains. Et bien aussi traditionaliste que je puisse être, je pense que la vidéo aurait plusieurs aspects intéressants dans le Football.

En premier lieu, cela empêcherait les éventuelles corruptions d'arbitres car à chaque action litigieuse, les 4 arbitres se concerteraient devant le « replay »avant de prendre une décision. Ensuite, pendant la rediffusion de la vidéo, les joueurs pourraient se reposer et se parler. Enfin, la télévision pourrait passer quelques spots de publicité pendant la prise de décision, ce qui financerait par exemple des caméras vidéo supplémentaires.

Le Rugby, sport encore plus traditionnel a adopté la vidéo depuis bien longtemps et cela a été un franc succès.

Pour ce qui est du Football, la vidéo semble reportée à..."deux mains".

Translate Jean-Marc's article. If you feel your translation is correct, then please help us all out by sharing it in the comments box. Merci!

Smokey's infected bumps are receding. The clay cataplasm (that the vet authorized!) is working, along with the antibiotics. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with tips and information. I will be sure to keep you updated on Mr. Smoke's progress. For now, enjoy these photos of our "puppy pleaser" (here with my daughter). As you can see, he is so eager to obey (or simply, to get that treat)!

Our little golden is also full of energy as witnessed by the full-impact welcome I receive each morning, after Smokey lands, four paws and full force, on top of me the moment I enter the cuisine for my much-needed morning coffee. From now on the coffee will have to wait!

When you buy products from Amazon, via the following links, you help support this French word journal at no extra cost to you. Thanks for remembering to click over to Amazon via any of the links in this blog or newsletter. Three suggestions for today:

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Pat Cargill

Love the photos of Smokey and ... Oh the joy of being adored by a puppy/dog, there is nothing like it. So happy to hear he is healing--Maman Earth continues her magic, n'est-ce pas? et aussi les antibiotics and loving family! Have a wonderful weekend. 50's and enfin! le ciel est bleu ce matin in Roanoke, VA. Whee hoo, after so much rain. (Now soggy leaves to rake, not so whee-hoo.)


Not a translation but a comment which hopefully reveals what the article was about, (if I've got it right!):

Jean-Marc is talking about France's qualification for the next Football World Cup which has been soured by the obvious (on video, but not to the match referee) hand ball by Thierry Henry, in the build up to the goal which got them through. Ireland are demanding a replay, but until the video referee is introduced in football, the result surely must stand. Time will tell on that.

Given that the majority of football spectators are actually watching on television and can clearly see what the referee and linesmen clearly can't, it seems anachronistic that football has not introduced the video referee, even if it does go against tradition and it does *feel* wrong in a sentimental way. As Jean-Marc says, other as or more 'traditional' sports have adapted to the use of the video referee without the earth opening up under them. Personally, though, I do worry about it breaking the flow of the game.


Wednesday past, France secured her place in next years football World Cup.

This qualification was painful for the valliant Irish team who also deserved to go through. But, this victory is spoiled by a huge double handball from Thierry Henry, who passed the ball to the goal scorer.

"Two hand balls", one after the other. How did the referee not see this?

At the time there were cameras everywhere in the stadium to film the match, how could they not permit a video review at the time?

It's tradition, you say. I am also a traditionalist, yet I think the video review has many possibilities in football...

Perhaps someone else would like to continue.
I agree with Jean-Marc, the video judge has been a great success in Rugby and it would put an end to all the dives and rolling around in mock pain that players have taken to. Especially if the threat of a yellow card loomed.

Je suis irlandaise, et c'est dommage que l'equipe irlandais ne jouez pas dans la Coupe du Monde à l'année prochaine, mais c'est la vie! Je m'ennerve pas! Allez les Bleus, dans la Coupe du Monde, mais pas dans le tournoi du Six Nations; les Diables Verts sont coustou :)

Aidan Larson

Hi Kristin,

I've been reading your posts for a few months now and really enjoy them. We are Americans living in Ireland but we're moving to France in February so I am keen to learn all I can and get even more excited about the move. I had to write you today because of the football match....I've copied and pasted your husband's article and am steadily working my way through the translation....You inspired me to start a blog of my own to reflect on my experiences here in Ireland and yesterday's post was, of course, about the outcome of Wednesday's game. I thought you might enjoy knowing that I am gaining inspiration from you and your family and having a look at what this American girl in Ireland thought of the match.
Oh, and I'm so glad that puppy Smokey is on the mend. All of the puppies and their Mama are beautiful!
Warmest regards,

Oh, and it's sunny in the East of Ireland with a temp of 11C.

loretta feeney

Bonjour from Cape Cod, Ma. USA
I have been following this blog for a few years and am very interested in the puppy's progress. If you can get the pup to the ocean, salt water is the best remedy for any wound. But the puppy looks great and is getting big!


Even worse was Thierry Henry's insouciant remark after the game that it was up to the referee to catch him out. This from the man who will captain the french squad next year. One is reminded of Diego Maradona's hand of god. Quelle honte!

Bruce T. Paddock

On Wednesday, France earned the opportunity to compete for the next soccer (yes, I'm American—don't start with me) World Cup.

The qualification is painful for the valiant Irish team, which also deserved to win. But above all, the victory was marred by a blatant double hand fault by Thierry Henry who passed the ball to the kicker of the winning goal.

Two consecutive hand balls—how did the referee not see that?

At a time when TV cameras are everywhere in the stadium, how is it that no one has authorized the video replay in an important game like this?

"Tradition," I hear you say. And yet, traditionalist that I am, I think that the video replay would have some interesting applications in soccer.

First of all, it would prevent possible bribery if at each contentious decision, the 4 refs conferred in front of the replay before making a decision. Then, while the replay is being broadcast, the players could rest and talk amongst themselves. Finally, the TV networks could run commercials while the decision was being made, which could finance, for example, extra video cameras.

Rugby, an even more traditional sport, adopted the video replay a while ago, and frankly, it's been a success.

As for soccer, the video replay seems to have given way to…double hand faults.


What great joy to start the morning reading that the clay is working miracles on Smokey! Also loved reading of your playfulness with your son - brought me back to my childhood.

It is about 50F, crisp & clear on this Atlanta morning. In another hr or so we should get to 68F+

Sorry we can't get your wines down here in Atlanta. But I will check them out next time I go to NYC.

Not all is lost during my stay in Atlanta. Last night we attended the world premiere of Wynton Marsalis's "Blues Symphony" - seven movements. It was commissioned by the local symphony. They started the program out with jazzy Ravel and jazzy/bluesy Gershwin - speaking to the Frenchman and the American's joint adventures in Harlem and how they translated it to their orchestral arrangements, etc.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Bruce T. Paddock

Oops. I meant "double hand balls" at the end there.

You can see Henry's double hand ball here:

The commentary is in French—here is a news report in English:

I wonder if someone can translate this for the Americans among us:

"The Thierry Henry hand ball that led to William Gallas's equalizer"

Bill in St. Paul

It's great to see Smokey looking and acting so well. Great commentary and translation by Marjie and Shauneen. Being in the US and not being a cable or satellite subscriber I don't see much soccer, but I prefer the non-stop flow of soccer to American football.

I'd try my hand at the translation of Jean-Marc's " A Demain" but since I'm at the office it would take me longer to do the whole thing than would be prudent.

Another great day in Minnesota, partly cloudy, with a high of 50 - 15 degrees above normal!

Candy Witt

Merci, Jean-Marc pour raconter ce moment historique (peut-etre) dans le monde de sport international. J'etais a Paris avec mon fils en 1998, le jour apres le grand match avec Brasil dans la finale et quelle experience formidable pour deux americains! Comme dans tous les sports, il y toujours la controverse (meme dans la politique?!) Qu'est-ce qu'on a fait avant le video?! Allez Les Bleus!! (Si Max veut me donner une lecon a gramaire, je lui souhaite la bienvenue! Il y a longtemps que j'ai essaye d'ecrire en francais! O la la!)
Candy, formerly from CO, now in KS, on a chilly but sunny morning

Candy Witt

Oh, by the way, I have another book suggestion for the French history buffs among you. It is a wonderfully written account of the French Revolution as seen through the eyes of the "main characters" (so to speak). Historically accurate but written like a novel, it holds your attention to the very tragic end. It's called, City of Darkness, City of Light, by M. Piercy. A great read!
Merci, Kristin, for this wonderful "blog" that allows all of us francophiles a chance to share our own ideas. I hope to meet you and your family in person someday. And don't worry about Max, he obviously adores you or he wouldn't take the time to annoy you! I know this from personal experience :)

Roine Thomsen

Thanks for making my day! I love opening your website to feast my eyes on your colorful photos and hearing the latest on Smokey. I originally joined your site to learn more French as I have recently become the mother-in-law to a lovely young French mademoiselle. My desire to learn more about her home country makes my visits to your site all the more interesting. I am also very interested in your family wine business and would love to be able to buy the wine here. I will look for it in Minneapolis as I live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and have not been able to find it up here. Keep those wonderful photos and updates on Smokey coming. It really does brighten my day.

Hazel Lee

Bravo Smokey! His injury reduced me to tears many a morning. Now he is on the road to perfect health and a wonderful life, thanks to his loving family.

It's another perfect morning in Denver: crisp with a startling low-slung winter sun and a patchwork of leftover snow under the trees.

Last week-end at the Grand Canyon we awakened at El Tovar to a small herd of enormous elk grazing outside our window. We didn't even notice it was only 12 degrees when we rushed into the dawning light with our cameras. Sedona, a town of welcoming, creative individuals,seems a perfect place to be en retraite, though the travel time to France would be a bit long for me. (My reve of the perfect life includes a herd of Golden Retreivers in rural France.)

Note: Might I suggest that this week more human beings on this planet are aware of the French double hands fault than of any other event on Earth. Bonne journee.


That picture of Smokey waiting for his treat is just TOO CUTE! :-)

Hickory, NC, about 60F

Jacqui McCargar

I loved the pic of Smokey waiting patiently for the treat from Jackie, I can't believe how much he's grown since I left there in September! Glad to see he is getting better, hope all is well Kristi! Miss you all! A bientot!



Je m'appelle Tonya Kucey. Je suis un pasteur avec l'eglise Church of the Nazarene au Canada. J'habite a Auburn, Nouveau Eccosse.

I am part of a French study group made up of English people of various occuptions, mostly from the Canadian Armed Forces. I found your web-site during one of my homework assignments.

You asked about the weather in your French Word of the Day e-mail. It is sunny, warm and very beautiful. I believe it is about 12-14 degrees C right now.

Bon fin de semaine.



Bonjour Kristin,
In reverse order, so pleased with Smokey's very pleased. I agree with Jean-Marc, I cannot imagine not having the video review. I think american football has had it for the longest. I will not attempt translation mostly because I don't have the time but will read the experts' work later.
And, what can you say about boys? My nephew sometimes says stuff like this to my sister, totally bothers me, and I am sure it does the tiniest bit hurts her...cannot figure it out. But like you I would not take back seat, I would do some pinching and hair pulling...there is a price for everything.

Oh, and weather...nice, nice!

I love the pictures...and thanks for telling us about the Amazon link. I do sometimes buy but not always through your link.

Bon weekend a tous!


Marianne Rankin

Everyone agrees that a video record of the game is a good idea; very strange no one has thought of that for the soccer matches.

My son teases me a lot about being older. I AM older than a typical mother of an 18-year-old, although in looks (few gray hairs) and action (swim laps, run 5K, etc.) I try to stay "young." When I comment about life before the Internet, etc., he says, "Yes, you didn't have electricity then, or running water," etc. I think this is something kids do. Kristin, don't take it serously.

Of course, parents can turn the tables and point out, as my mother used to do, "When I was growing up, I had to walk over a mile to school is sizteen-degrees-below-zero weather (she lived in Chicago), through a foot of snow," and so on. One knows one is growing older when one hears oneself saying to one's children what our parents said to us.

It's a sunny day in the upper 50s with a bit of a breeze. I'm savoring the last warm days of November.

Sandy Maberly

Looks like a lovely day in Provence! Glad that Mr. Smoke is continuing his post traumatic improvement! I'm spending a couple days over in Phoenix where the weather is glorious, sunny and in the mid 70s, but I will be headed back to Oklahoma's overcast cool tomorrow.... Mark is already checking the tkt prices for the Rugby match next Feb between France and England. He'd love to get over there for a game but I'm not to thrilled about the tkt prices!

Bill Facker

"Carpet of Flowers & Cabanon" is a beauty, Kristin. That shot clearly illustrates the humanity around us, and around our world. No sheetrock, no concrete, no metal ... in short, no trappings beyond those elements found in nature & utilized for basic shelter. One could see the same beautiful scene anywhere we have inhabited this living orb of ours. Our needs are truly minimal .. our happiness truly based on fleeting aesthetics. Basic Beauty .. Basic Beauty. Mahalo Nui Loa for this shot, K, you nailed it! Aloha from Beautiful Kauai!

Ron De Bois

We are emigrating to Paris next year with our two one-year old children. Now because the "carte scolaire" determines which school they should attend do you think this should be a factor in choosing where to live. Some college and lycee have a better reputation than others. For example we are led to believe that if we choose the right part of the 5th our kids can go to Henri IV college and then it's lycee. Living in parts of the 6th will get them to college and lycee Montaign. Do you think this matters, the 5th and the 6th are of course far from a hardship-address? Also is there a current list of the "best" college in the arondisment of Paris?


Ah, adolescents!

Love your website!

The weather here is sunny , but cool. It is about 55F,still better than normal for this time of year in southern New England.(CT)We are all planning for next week's Thanksgiving holidays. All the best to your family, and les toutous, aussi.


Bonjour à partir d'Hamilton, Canada!

J'ai lu ta blog pour quelques années maintenant pour apprendre des nouvelles mots ou phrases - merci beaucoup, particulièrement pour laquelle où tu as parlé des salutations. J'espère que mon traduction vous aidera - je prendrai le DELF en quelques jours, donc c'est un bonne chance pour moi de pratiquer!


Until 'two-morrow'

Last Wednesday, France earned its right to compete in the next World Cup.

This qualification was painfully earned in the face of the valiant Irish team that would have been equally well-deserved. But this victory is above all tainted by Thierry Henry’s illegal double handball pass to the winning scorer.

Two hands right on the ball – how could the referee have not seen that?

At a time when video cameras thoughout the stadium are used to film the match, how can it be that no one has authorized the use of the recordings for this significant moment?

‘Tradition,’ some of you will say. But even as traditional as I can be, I think filming would have several interesting uses for football (soccer).

In the first place, this would prevent the possible corruption of referees, as with each contested play, the four referees would consult among themselves and use the “replay” before making a decision. During the replay of the video, the players could take a break and talk amongst themselves. Finally, the television could make several advertising spaces available during the arbitration, which would finance – for example – supplementary video cameras.

Rugby, a sport even more traditional (than football/soccer) has adopted the use of video for a while now and it has been an outright success.

As for football (soccer), the use of video seems to be postponed…until ‘two-morrow’.


Sorry, after re-reading I have two revisions:
"...the valiant Irish team who would have been equally deserving."
"Finally, the television network(s) could make..."

Marta R.

I cheated; I used an on line translator because I needed to find out what it was:
Last Wednesday, France earned a spot to attend the next World Cup Football.

This qualification has been made in pain against a valiant Ireland team would have both deserved to win. But this victory is particularly tainted by a rude hand double fault from Thierry Henry who made the decisive pass to striker.

"Two hands" straight on the ball, how the referee did he not see that?
At a time when video cameras are everywhere in the stadium to film the game, how is it that it does not allow the video in such important meeting?

Tradition will tell you some. Well as traditionalist as I can be, I think the video would have several interesting aspects in football.

First, it prevents possible corruption of referees for each share issue, the 4 referees would consult with the 'replay' before making a decision. Then during the replay of the video, the players could rest and talk. Finally, the TV could spend a few advertising spots during the decision-making, which would finance such additional video cameras.

Rugby, sport more traditional video has passed long ago and it was a great success.

Regarding Football, the video seems postponed ... "two hands".

Thanks again for the goods news re: Smokey. Please keep them coming.

Connie Venskus

Your story about your son teasing you about looking old reminded of something my younger son once said. (He's 25 now but was probably about 3 or 4 when this happened.) We were riding in the car, I was driving and he was in the car seat behind me. We could see each other in the mirror... Suddenly he asked, "Mom, are you old?" I responded with something like, "Well, I'm getting there." He then said, "Oh, I thought so, cause your face is cracked." How could you not burst into laughter with his honesty and his perception of my beginning-to-be-wrinkled face as being "cracked". Gotta love that brutal honesty of our young ones!

Sarah Gaede

I signed up for Cinema Verite and I can't remember how to log on! Help!


Hello from Madison Connecticut where the weather has been unusually warm - today reached 63F. Most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees, but I have seen several trees with their magnificent red and yellow leaves still hanging in there. In the past, the trees would be bear by now and all of the leaves would have been raked up. Well I don't actually rake leaves any more, I use a leaf blower - so much better.

Smokey is so cute and and just asking to be cuddled. I'm glad that he is healing and is being the playful mischievous puppy he was.

We just came back from Mexico and while I was relaxing in the pool I over heard a women talking about her grandson. He said "Grandma, you have the face of someone younger than 60 (her age), but the body of an eighty year old." Out of the mouths of babes.


Recently I have been unable to click through to Amazon from your website and others, or from emails, including those from Amazon. I haven't quite figured out what to Google to solve this problem but sure would like to figure it out. Do any of your readers have a solution to suggest, since I'd like you to get credit for the books I buy as a result of reading about them on FWAD? Links to other websites work fine.

Patty Beynet


I am so happy that Smokey is on the mend. He is such a love! I am sure that your dog grandson , Smokey, will try to tease/torment you just as much as your human son, Max, does. What fun those little boys!!!!

Patty B Houston, overcast 65, should be sunny and 72 tomorrow.

Peter Bull

My meagre French did not enable me to read Jean-Marc's comments, thanks to others for doing so. This does bring back memories of the European Cup in 2004 when we stayed at a gite in St Didier - a lovely,friendly little Provencal village. When England played France we decided that if France won we would be English (we were born in England), and if England won we would be Canadian, now our home. We will be in Lille and Normandy during next years World Cup, perhaps best not to mention my Irish granmdmother!
Enjoy your letters, love to Smokey from Richmond, British Columbia (part of greater Vancouver)

Jennifer in OR

The photo of the "Carpet of Flowers & Cabanon" is stunning. I'd love to have it framed and hanging in my living room!

Anita Cook

Until Tomorrow
By Jean-Marc Espinasse

Last Wednesday, France earned its spot in the next Soccer World Cup lineup.
This qualification came very painfully, opposite a valiant Irish team which was also well deserving of it. However, the victory was mostly tainted by a flagrant double hand ball fault on the part of Thierry Henry, who made the decisive pass to the winning scorer.
“Two hands” consecutively on the ball, how did the referee miss that?
At a time when videocameras are all over the stadium to film the match, how is it possible that one isn’t allowed to video in this sort of momentous meeting?
Tradition will certainly answer that for you. And as much of a traditionalist as I can be, I think that videoing would bring several interesting aspects to soccer.
In the first place, it would prevent the eventual corruption of referees because for every litigious action, the four referees would consult each other about the “replay” before coming to a decision. Then, during the replay of the video, the players would be able to rest and talk to each other. Lastly, Television would be able to slip in some publicity spots during the decision-making, which would finance extra video cameras, for example.
Rugby, an even more traditional sport, has long ago adopted videoing and that has been a complete success.
For what pertains to soccer, video seems to defer to… “two hands.”


I loved reading about the French equivalent of our "rewards card". I haven't noticed the Kansas City equivalent of "I'm too sexy for this supermarket" - plains-men are a little more retiring - but I loved that too. It's sunny and 32 degrees F today in KC.

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