vendredi 16 mars 2012

Je te donne - Jean-Jacques Goldman

A nice (old) bi-lingual English/French song

Jean-Jacques Goldman - Je Te Donne

I can give you a voice, bred with rythmn and soul
the heart of a Welsh boy who's lost his home
put it in harmony, let the words ring
carry your thoughts in the song we sing

Je te donne mes notes , je te donne mes mots
quand ta voix les emporte à ton propre tempo
une épaule fragile et solide
à la fois
ce que j'imagine et ce que je crois

Je te donne toutes mes différences,
tous ces défauts qui sont autant de chance
on sera jamais des standards des gens bien comme il faut
je te donne ce que j'ai ce que je vaux

I can give you the force of my ancestral pride
the will to go on when I'm hurt deep inside
whatever the feeling, whatever the way
it helps me to go on from day to day

Je te donne nos doutes et notre indicible espoir
les questions que les routes ont laissées dans l'histoire
nos filles sont brunes et l'on parle un peu fort
et l'humour et l'amour sont nos trésors

Je te donne toutes mes différences,
tous ces défauts qui sont autant de chance
on sera jamais des standards des gens bien comme il faut
je te donne ce que j'ai ce que je vaux

Je te donne, donne, donne ce que je suis

I can give you my voice, bred with rythm and soul,
je te donne mes notes, je te donne ma voix
the songs that I love, and the stories I've told

ce que j'imagine et ce que je crois

I can make you feel good even when I'm down
les raisons qui me portent et ce stupide espoir
my force is a platform that you can climb on
une épaule fragile et forte à la fois
je te donne, je te donne tout ce que je vaux, ce que je suis, mes dons,
mes défauts, mes plus belles chances, mes différences (x 5)

dimanche 11 mars 2012

Paris vs New York - Vahram Muratyan book review

I have a whole heap of overdue book reviews to write up... so stay tuned!

I can never understand those people who say "I hate Facebook" and refuse to use it.. without it I wouldn't be able to find out about new and interesting things, and I wouldn't have found out about this awesome little book.

Perhaps you've seen this awesome image before: Macaron vs Cupcake. I had. Except I never bothered to look into who created it or why/how it was created, etc. Well it's created by the genius that is Vahram Muratyan. The Parisian graphic artist has made an indepth cultural observation and comparison between two great cities, Paris and New York, by way of some simple and gorgeous illustrations.

Look at this image for example. If you were going to compare these two big airports Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and John F Kennedy (JFK) what would you think of drawing? An airport? Some planes taking off? Some people pulling suitcases? He doesn't. That's why I call him a genius. He draws the path of a plane in the shape of a profile of the person the airport was named after. Is that not genius? He makes something complicated (like how would you draw an airport exactly anyway?) simple and easy to understand. And beautiful.

Despite the fact that you can see many of his works on his blog (link below) this was a book I simply had to have, being a lover of Paris and large cities in general, and all things graphical and beautiful. :)

I read it with my Parisian boyfriend this weekend and we tried to work out the meanings and links between the images. Sometimes it's not so obvious as there are abbreviations and slang and you have to know Parisian/French and American culture well. We got all of them except one or two.

As I'm so fascinated, I found some articles about this guy and his book:

* Interview in English
* Another interview in English. Page 1 | Page 2
* Interviews (and videos) in French (also pasted below)

* Buy the book here on Amazon Paris versus New York: A tale of two cities
* Buy the prints (pack of 100 postcards) Paris versus New York Postcard Box: A Tally of Two Cities in 100 Postcards
* Read the blog The blog: Paris vs New York

Disclaimer: I have no connection at all to the author or publisher but love this amazing little book so much I highly recommend you get your own copy to keep! :D

(top picture from here)

French people pronouncing or not pronouncing 'h' at the start of a word

There is a strange phenomenon that happens with French people and the letter 'h'. Since they are used to not pronouncing it at the beginning of a word in their own language, eg hôtel is pronounce otel, they tend to not pronounce it in English either, ie house becomes ouse. OK fair enough, that's understandable...

What is not understandable is, they seem to add on (and pronounce) a mysterious 'h' sound to the start of various words that begin with a vowel. I noticed this ever since I started learning French and having Skype chats with French people over the internet.. then I noticed it when I was teaching English in French, and now, hanging around French or French-speaking people, I notice it more than ever. It is SO weird and cracks me up!

For example, I was having a conversation about fruit and 'happles and bananas' came up.. and I was like WTF is a happle? and we both just laughed like crazy.

But then, English - being the annoying language that it is - trips up these poor Frenchies because then we have words like hour where the 'h' is not pronounced. Frustrating, huh? (and that's huh with an 'h' sound ;) )

That got me onto the topic of the letter 'h'. Is it pronounced 'aitch' or 'haitch'? From what I know, only people from lower class backgrounds pronounce it 'haitch' with a strong 'h' sound at the beginning and there shouldn't be one there. To make sure and to prove my point I did a quick search online and found this article which led me to this hilarious Youtube video. Go, watch it now!

What's coincidental (if you watch the video) is that I also had a conversation today where I said I was SURE it was espresso and not expresso. Of course I was right ;)

Ever since I went to school I've been good at spelling... and now I'm so good at it that I can even correctly spell French words that a French person cannot spell :P and don't get me started when people call macarons macaroons!

In the end it's good to be good at spelling. I grew up in Australia where people seem to be proud of the fact that they are bad at it (which drives me up the wall). But I've always found it easy and been good at it. This skill is rather useful... if only for proving others wrong :P

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