An entertainment phenomenon is taking France by storm. Bref. is a hilarious and racy TV series, each episode of which lasts about 1.5 to 2 minutes (as the name implies). The format is a high-speed montage of experiences in the life of the endearingly pathetic protagonist played by Kyan Khojandi.
Bref. depicts the modern daily life of single, late 20- and early 30-somethings in Paris and is full of great slang. A hip and creative professor could come up with some fun activities around this series for advanced — university/adult — language learners.
The show airs weeknights in France during Le Grand Journal (prime time variety show), and if you’re not in France, you can watch them all here. But be warned, most of these videos are probably NSFW. You can follow the show on Twitter too: @BrefSerie.
Be looking for spinoffs in your own country (though I doubt they’ll be nearly as spicy). It’s only a matter of time!
We could wander these virtual stacks for days! So far, the Bibliothèque nationale de France has digitized more than one million works, including books, maps, manuscripts, images, periodicals, scores and sound recordings, and made them available for free to the public at the Gallica digital library. This is France’s answer to Google Books, and the result of the big fight from a couple of years ago.
…once upon a time, the ability to speak French properly was considered an absolute essential. In 26 chapters, each focusing on a different colourful Francophile, Fumaroli makes his way across 18th-century Europe. The book is a gallery of Russians, Prussians, Swedes, Poles, Italians and Englishmen; politicians, soldiers, kings and collectors, who all aspired to speak and write the French language beautifully…
Read the rest at The Independent and buy the book at our Amazon store!
With Mots Interdits, a language-learning game you can print out, you have your students try to get others to guess the word in bold without using any of the words below it. Be sure to check out the other teaching tools this teacher has created and uploaded to this site (look to the right once you click through to Scribd).
For more than 10 years, French for the Future has been organizing forums for high school students in numerous cities across Canada. Students from different schools get together to participate in workshops to learn about the benefits of bilingualism in Canada.
Check out this great nonprofit organization working to keep French alive in Canada! Download some free posters from their site or make a donation!
On the language site of the Académie française, FranceTerme, you can find some nice PDFs that contain the latest terms the Académie has come up with in their never-ending battle against les anglicismes. In Les maux de l’Internet, they suggest message incendiaire (a noun) for “flame” (a verb). Boy is that punchy. And how exactly would you translate flaming, or I got flamed? Come on Académie, try to keep up.
via Podcasting News
Singer Rihanna is annoyed that people are saying there’s a grammatical error in her French tattoo. What do you say?
via The Sun
The Larousse online French-to-English dictionary is great. For that matter, so is the Larousse Cuisine site. Recipes are in French, but there’s a built in converter for measurements and temperatures!
You’ve heard of the Nato phonetic alphabet (Foxtrot, Tango) used to indicate first letters of words, but in France they have the alphabet téléphonique (also called le code d’épellation), which uses first names. If you find yourself on the phone trying to spell something in France (or if you’re looking for a French baby name!), this could come in handy.
FSI language courses now in the public domain and available online for free.