French Art, Painting and Museum Vocabulary and Sentences

"La Joconde" is the most famous painting on earth.

French Art and Museums

One of the reasons people visit France, especially Paris, is because of the art and culture. The city is one the world's leading cultural centers among other things. 

It is home to many museums and cultural attractions such as the Louvre, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Musée Cluny and Musée d'Orsay or Musée Picasso just name the most famous ones.  

But visiting all these magnificent places without the slightest knowledge of French can be dull. Wouldn't it be great to get more from your visit to the Louvre for example if you could exchange in French a little with another tourist or a guide about a particular work of art ? 

 

Continue reading “French Art, Painting and Museum Vocabulary and Sentences”

At The University: Looking For A Room

5 Minutes of French is a nice and short French lesson that can be done under 5 minutes. Its purpose is to make the French language learning fast and effective. The 5 minutes of French covers only the most useful and pragmatic vocabulary, grammar and everyday French expressions significant to any beginner of intermediate learner of French. Now you have no excuse not to learn French !

Dialogue

A l'université: demander des renseignements

– Bonjour. Excuse-moi. Je suis nouveau ici. Où se trouve la salle numéro 215 ?

– Elle est au premier étage, au fond du couloir.

– Merci. 

– De rien

Exercises

 

French Vocabulary to Study in France 1

Sorbonne University, Paris

If you want to study in France as an international student, you will need to know some specific words and expressions related to schooluniversity and education in general.

You will find these useful whether you are on a study abroad French language program or just as a regular student at the French University or Grande Ecole. Here is the first part in the series related to studying in France

Study in France Vocabulary 

  French English
1 to enrol in a university s'inscrire dans une université
2 enrolment l'inscription (fem.)
3 a student card une carte d'étudiant
4 an undergraduate un(e) étudiant(e) de premier cycle
5 a fresher / a freshman un(e) étudiant(e) de première année
6 a postgraduate student un(e) étudiant(e) de troisième cycle
7 the academic year l'année universitaire (fem.)
8 a lecture une conférence
9 a lecture hall un amphitéâtre / un amphi (famlier)
10 a B.A. degree une licence de lettres

Exercises

Exercise 1: easy

Part 1: 

 

Part 2: 

Exercise 2: 

This year I'm going to enrol to the French university.
The enrolment to the university has been closed.
Do you have a student card ?
I'm an undergraduate student.
Lots of freshmen students are of foreign origin.
The postgraduate students are few.
The academic year has just begun.
It was a really interesting lecture.
All lectures are held in the lecture hall F.
I have a B.A in Modern Literature.

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10 Great Formal French Words to Amaze Your French Friends

Interesting Formal French Words

Here are some very common French words that are used in everyday speech and which you can express in a more formal way, giving a touch of “sophistication” to your language.

The truth is that you may become fed up with using the same words all the time. With these words you will bring your knowledge of French to the next level and surprise your French friends.

Even if you are a beginner, you will learn here some basic but essential French vocabulary that you will certainly find useful in everyday conversations. You come back later to learn their more advanced synonymes. 

Common French Words

with their Formal Synonyms

Basic French Word

Sophisticated French Synonym

Part of speech

English

Context

1. obsession

hantise

noun (fem)

obsession, obsessive fear

Avoir la hantise de la mort.

2. fatiguer

éreinter

verb

to exhaust, to wear somebody out

Ce chef d’entreprise éreinte tous ses employés.

3. extrêmement fatigué

exténué, éreinté

adjective

exhausted, worn out

Monter en haut de la Tour Eiffel m'a exténué.

4. drôle

hilarant

adjective

hilarious

Ce qui s’est passé était hilarant !

5. déplacé

incongrue

adjective

incongruous, out of place

Sa réponse a été complètement incongrue !

6. paresseux

indolent

adjective

indolent, lazy

Il est trop indolent pour réussir dans la vie.

7. ennuyeux

fastidieux

adjective

tedious, boring

Apprendre une leçon par coeur est très fastidieux.

8. voler

dérober

verb

to steal, to rob

On lui a dérobé son portefeuille.

9. cher

onéreux

adjective

expensive

C’est un achat très onéreux.

10. choquer

abasourdir

verb

to stun, to dumbfound

La nouvelle de son décès nous a abasourdis.

 

Exercises

Exercise 1:

 

Additional Exercises 

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10 Very Popular Everyday French Idioms

Here is a list of 10 French idiomatic expressions that you will probably hear most frequently while in France.  The list is rather subjective, as I did not base myself on any official document proving the frequency (Does such such thing exist ?). The only explanation I have is that to my mind these idiomatic expressions are used more often than others. Of course, there are others but I thought these might be the most useful ones for the beginning and intermediate learners of French. Thus, upon your arrival to France you won't be surprised to hear what may at first appear as some strange sounding expressions you have no idea about their meaning.

"Why learn French idioms ?"

You may ask. If you want to get over the "speaking the very basic French" level, you need to get to know some idiomatic expressions. And this is true for any language. That's just the way people like to express ideas. Idioms make the language more vivid, more colorful and more expressive.It's one of the things that shows that you know the language well.

You may also check this website about The French Idioms (origin, explanations, translation).

The List of the 10 Popular Everyday French Idioms:

  1.  Prendre quelque chose au pied de la lettre: It is used to describe somebody who believes too seriously in everything he/she hears. Eg. On entend souvent dire que tous les parisiens sont grincheux mais il ne faut pas le prendre au pied de la lettre. C'est juste un cliché.
  2. Il n'y a pas un chat: used to say that there are very few or no people in a particular place. There isn't a soul. Eg. Cet endroit est complètement désert ! Il n'y a pas un chat !
  3. Il pleut des cordes: when it rains a lot and hard. It's raining cats and dogs. Eg. Tu as vu le temps qu'il fait dehors ? Il pleut des cordes ! Hors de question que je sorte ! 
  4. Il n'y a pas le feu au lac / y'a pas le feu: when you are not in a hurry. There is no panic. Eg. Attends ! Pourquoi t'es si pressé ? Il n'y a pas le feu au lac !
  5. Fumer comme un pompier: to smoke a lot of cigarettes. To smoke like a chimney. / To be a chain smoker. Eg. Ca pue la cloppe chez ton voisin ! C'est parce qu'il fume comme un pompier

    fumée-pompier
    In the past the firefighters used to soak their clothes with water so they wouldn’t set ablaze while fighting the flames. The water turned to steam and made their clothes “give off fumes”.
  6.  Maigre comme un clou: speaking about someone really thin, a skinny person. Thin as a rake. Eg. Il est maigre comme un clou ! Il ne doit pas peser plus de 50 kilos tout habillé ! 
  7. Etre au taquet: when you are fully engaged in some activity. To be going flat out / to be going full throttle.  Eg. Regarde le ! Il est complètement absorbé par son travail. Ouais, il est vraiment au taquet
  8. Etre nickel (chrome): when something is neatly / very well done. To be spotless. Eg.(En parlant de nettoyage d'une voiture par exemple) Vous avez fait du bon travail. C'est vraiment nickel ! / C'est nickel chrome
  9. En avoir marre: to have had enough of something. To be fed up with something. Eg. J'en ai marre de ton comportement stupide ! Je me casse d'ici !
  10. S'en moquer / ficher / foutre:  to be completely uninterested or indifferent to something / somebody. Not to give a damn / toss about something. Eg. Tu es au courant que fumer tue ? Oui, me je m'en fous