vendredi 13 février 2015

Into the Woods / Promenons-nous dans les bois



Into the Woods / Promenons-nous dans les bois

In France you can watch films in VO (version originale) ie in the original language or VF (version française) ie dubbed in French. I always choose to watch films in VO no matter what the original language is, so I watch French films in French, English films in English, German films in German, etc etc.

and when I watch them in English I like to read the subtitles in French as it helps me learn new vocabulary. These days I don't learn that many new words except slang or colloquial words (words that they don't teach you in class or in textbooks) or words that are technical eg related to a particular job (words that you don't often use in every day life).

So anyway I was watching this new Disney film "Into the woods", called "Promenons-nous dans les bois" in French (Let's walk in the woods) and while reading the subtitles I was like.. Gee... I only know half these words!!!   (I mean the lyrics sung during certain songs).

Then I remembered... that reading kids books can actually be harder than reading adult books (in a foreign language). The reason (IMHO) is that if you are reading an adult fiction or non-fiction book, a magazine, a newspaper or a website you are more than likely somewhat already familiar with the subject matter (and more than likely already read something similar in English or your own language). However, you (ie adults) are not familar with "fairytale language", the language used in this film.

Here you have all sorts of characters, creatures, and a heck of a lot of verbs that I have never learnt and will probably never use.... I was astounded by how few words I knew and yet if you ask a native speaker 8 or 10 year old they probably know all of them.

So if you want to dramatically increase your vocabulary go read some kids' story books! ;)

(sorry this wasn't a movie review but if you want a quick one... I think the first half is quite good but the second half isn't so great IMHO and many reviewers online seem to agree!). I was expecting something like "Oz the great and powerful" or "Maleficent" (also by Disney) but it wasn't up to that calibre, and unlike Frozen the songs aren't that memorable or catchy. My main complaint is that there are too many characters so not enough character development or depth and you can't feel any emotion or sympathy for any of them really).

Speaking of vocabulary, not sure if I've posted this before (I don't think so) but this Youtube video came up while I was searching for something and then I remembered I had seen it before, years ago (when I first started this blog).

I don't know how old this girl is... 2? 3? 4? but she has an incredible vocabulary and listen to all her perfect grammatical structures.. I don't even think I can use that many different tenses in one short story. Incredible.

French cute kid tells a story (Winnie the pooh)

mardi 3 février 2015

The Top French Youtubers

I am a huge huge fan of YouTube. I don't watch TV, in fact I don't even own a TV so YouTube is my go to place for entertainment. I don't know how I lived without YouTube and I hope it never dies. That's how much I love it :P

I have linked to tons of YouTube videos here on this blog. You can click on the 'youtube' tag below the post to find them all.

When I first started learning French I would watch things like Bob the builder (Bob Le Bricoleur) and Thomas the tank engine (Thomas le train) and Disney songs in French.

Now, since my French is at a fairly decent level I can understand pretty much everything (except when people speak super super fast or use tons of slang like most teenagers do)... and I've found that watching YouTube bloggers AKA vloggers really helps!

I stumbled upon this site and it lists all the Top French Youtube vloggers, by order of number of subscribers. I really enjoy the videos by the top 2, Cyprien and Norman. (I think they are friends now even though they are sort of competitors). However, now that they're both super super famous (with millions of subscribers and millions of views per video!) it seems like they don't have much time to make videos like they used to. Still, go through that list and you may find something (or someone rather) you like! :) It's interesting that all the top vloggers are male. I wonder why this is the case?


Technophobe - un court métrage de (a short film by) Cyprien




Ma vie en dessin (Draw my life) by Norman




I also came across this vlogger called Rachel Martino while I was searching for videos about foreigners learning French. She has an English YouTube channel and a French one and her French one is much more popular as her Frenchie fans seem to love her. She seems really sweet and looks like Kate Hudson (to me) and coincidentally, despite being American, she also appears on the list/site I mentioned above.

mercredi 28 janvier 2015

France forbids names like Nutella, Strawberry, Titeuf and MJ

This is a funny and interesting article. I don't think it's just France either but many European countries are pretty strict about what you can name your children. There's a debate about freedom of choice vs what's 'right' and good for the kid... anyway... that explains why every European I've met has a really 'normal' and most likely very common name and also with a common spelling.

I think I agree with this law. I'm tired of stupid names, funny names, names that you can't spell easily (even if they are common names).. I'm tired of parents trying to be cool or trendy and it's their kids that suffer.

I myself have an uncommon name but it's easy to spell and pronounce but yet I still have so many problems, esp. over the phone.. even when I try to spell it they get it wrong. And so I can imagine the annoyance kids of weird names must feel later on when they are adults..

Article from 'The Local' here

extract:

Nutella and Strawberry

This week saw news that both Nutella and Strawberry (Fraise) were given the red light in France. Why? Because judges thought both girls would be mocked as they grew up. To make matters worse for Fraise, the judge said that the bullies would no doubt pounce at the chance to use the expression "ramène ta fraise" - a slang phrase roughly meaning "get your ass over here".

Titeuf 
 

Titeuf is a popular cartoon character in France. Photo: bgvjpe/Flickr
 
In 2009, a couple from the north of France chose to name their son after the famous French children's comic book hero 'Titeuf'. Unfortunately for them, a judge ruled that the name could prove detrimental to their son's life, especially during his teen years, and later in his professional life. Titeuf was an eight-year-old boy with blond hair. He even appeared in British comic book The Dandy, renamed as "TooTuff" for English-speaking audiences.


My related posts about babies names:

Top French baby's names year by year 1946-2011
Top French baby's names 2009
Top French baby's names 2011
Top French baby's names 2013
Top French baby's names 2015

(strange how I only seem to do this on odd-numbered years, that's not intentional!)


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