Penny for our thoughts

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” , said Plutarch. We give you "Penny for our thoughts", our editorial, our thoughts and welcome your "two cents" on it. Fun facts, novelties, ideas, French stereotypes, French discussions, French myths, and so much more. Experience La France or rediscover it here in USA as we present new articles for your enjoyment every week. We give you the French touch in USA.

Penny for our thoughts
  • Don’t say “Yes” to everything!

    Don’t say “Yes” to everything!

    Different ways to say yes in French...Here we go with the wee again!

    Say yeah, uh-huh or nod your head; universal for yes, these gestures and small sounds speak of your approval. However, they neither carry a sentiment nor an emotion, leave alone enthusiasm. Think about the situation when practicing a new language or in a new country.  Imagine wanting to sound excited about something and feeling like a child because your vocabulary was limited to just “yes”. French has the beautifully childish “oui (wee)” for a yes, but let’s not limit our enthusiasm to that.

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  • Voyage into the world of French Wines!

    Voyage into the world of French Wines!

    Best wine regions of France - Terroir de French Wines

    French wine is well-mannered and chivalrous; it accompanies the food but never overpowers it. However each wine has a character of its own, defined by its “terroir” or territory. The place and culture of the place from where the wine originates, makes the wine unique; makes it special!

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  • Oh baguette, my French love!

    Oh baguette, my French love!

    One of the better known icons of French food, “bread”.

    Think of French food and one of the first things that come to mind is the “baguette”. People’s lives in France are punctuated by their visits to the boulangerie, the bakery.  But of course, the French love affair with breads is by no means limited to only the baguette. Au contraire…

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  • French survival phrases

    French survival phrases

    “To have another language is to possess a second soul.” said Charlemagne.

    You may have heard native speakers ranting “wee” and wondered why they were saying it even though they aren’t on a roller coaster of any sort! If that didn’t get you, maybe you’ve heard them say “mercy” with a smile on their face and no guilt whatsoever! What’s up with these people?

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  • ABC’s of picking a good bottle for a wine newbie

    ABC’s of picking a good bottle for a wine newbie

    Speed date with wine – The swirl, the sniff and the sip…

    Walking down the aisle of a grocery store or a liquor store, you are bound to reach a wine aisle. Scanning it, overwhelm is an emotion that will engulf you if you are anything new to the world of wine. All the shapes of the bottles, the colors, the fancy illustration of castles and kangaroos and exotic lands…and to top it off, the varieties! Riesling, Shiraz, Sauvignon – now that’s some serious business! You look left and you see wines that cost $12 and you look right, only to find one that costs $40. Arrghh…with so many factors, which one should you pick?

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  • Party like the French?…14th of July it is!

    Party like the French?…14th of July it is!

    “Vive le 14 juillet!” or Long live the 14th of July

    You cannot really understand the French society without knowing what the 14th of July is all about. Parties, celebrations, fireworks all over France…that’s the 14th of July or Bastille Day. The 14th of July is to French people what the 4th of July is to Americans.

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  • The great French love affair with la vie Américaine

    The great French love affair with la vie Américaine

    Why do many French people live in the US?

    Christopher Columbus set out to on his voyage across the Atlantic Ocean only to accidently stumble upon the America’s. Although millions of people already lived on this land, the New World, his journey marked the beginning of trans-Atlantic colonization. Centuries later, people still see America as the land of opportunity. Be this true or not, it becomes a matter of experience. People still immigrate to the US in large numbers and they each have their own tale to tell about it. So, what is it that brings the French to America?

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  • Funny French Caricatures

    Funny French Caricatures

    Line drawings about the French as perceived by the rest of the world. Maybe…maybe not!

    Oscar Wilde said, “It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.” A little light hearted humor never hurt anyone. And jokes and humor are all around us. Comic Be it in the form of cartoons, caricatures, a telltale you’ve just heard or even a joker in a circus…we need comic relief. While taking a break from seriousness, we saw this one image about us, the French as perceived by people from the world and thought it was funny. So we compiled a few others just for laughs.

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  • French etiquette – Day to day do’s and don’ts

    French etiquette – Day to day do’s and don’ts

    The guidelines to avoid a faux pas in the French society.

    The summer holiday season is here and France will be crammed with tourists. Being well versed in the social behavior practices is important if you are planning a vacation out of your country. Every country has its own customs and traditions that dictate the rules of communication and etiquette. French people, like everyone else have their specific manner requirements as well. After all, “Handsome is as handsome does”, said Tolkein in the Fellowship of the Ring.

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  • I’ve always been famous, it’s just that no one knew it yet!

    I’ve always been famous, it’s just that no one knew it yet!

    Did you know these famous people are or have French origins?

    Cultural diversity is all around us and it is surprising how little we know where origins of a person lie. Do you know how many famous names we come across in the States are actually not born here? “Knowing and suspecting are not the same thing” said Rick Riordan. Here are some famous names demystified. Voila! They are French…

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  • Pardon my French!

    Pardon my French!

    Things not to say in French to save yourself from embarassment.

    Think before you speak. We run our sentences on a mental treadmill before saying them out loud to avoid awkward situations. “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it”, but with a new language these little foolish mishaps are easy to come by.


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  • Do you know how many people speak French in the United States? – Here are the numbers from Facebook

    Do you know how many people speak French in the United States? – Here are the numbers from Facebook

    Add me, poke me, like me…The choice is yours. Welcome to Facebook! Finding Friends has never been easier. Some numbers for you to know your chances of finding French friends in your state.

    The Facebook Effect has David Kirkpatrick quoting “Facebook also has a fundamental characteristic that has proven key to its appeal in country after country—you only see friends there.”  Socializing has a new meaning ever since Facebook came into existence. Facebook presents a count of 1,318,000 potential French “friends” one could have in the United States. California claims the highest number of French speakers with a whopping 213,200 and Wyoming has the lowest count at 1,440 Francophones. State by state you ask? Here’s a small survey by French District. The numbers will show you why we, The French District came into being and are growing every day.

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  • The 100 best French movies ever- Part 2

    The 100 best French movies ever- Part 2

    On hearing "Je ne regrette rien" for the first time, had Edith Piaf exclaim, “You're marvelous! This is exactly what I've been waiting for! It's incredible! It's me! That's my life, it's me.”

    If you have had any exposure to French music, then you know that Edith Piaf is an international French legend. The French song in the voice of Edith Piaf (1960) is a melody that has stood the test of time. Remember the movie Inception (2012) by Christopher Nolan? It was one of the most incredible movies of the year, and the song was featured extensively in it. Madagascar and The Simpsons used the song to inspire the characters as well. Wouldn’t you want to know more about the legendary Edith Piaf? Well, the French movie “La vie en Rose” is a biography and a MUST-WATCH!

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  • The 100 best French movies ever – Part 1

    The 100 best French movies ever – Part 1

    Amelie still seeks solitude. She amuses herself with silly questions about the world below, such as "How many people are having an orgasm right now?"

    “Oh how Shakespeare would have loved cinema!” said Derek Jarman. And even Shakespeare himself wouldn’t contest that statement! We all love cinema- in one way or another. The story, the characters, the dialogues – they show us a different world. From humor, to horror, to philosophy, to every other emotion…a cinema can have us all reeling for more. Almost every country has their share of movies that have marked them in history. The dark eyed waitress and her whimsies immortalized Amelie. We loved watching every minute of her living in her own sweet world. We give you some of the best French movies (in our opinion) that will make you want to toss your berets in the air and scream “Oui”.

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  • LOL…French translations

    LOL…French translations

    “Ah, la vache!” translates to “Oh, my cow!”, “Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.” translates to “If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaved”…Hilarious? We’ve got more

    One of the most endearing aspects of the French language is its softness and musical sound. It keeps away from the guttural harshness of German, or the sing-song of Italian, and it sure doesn’t expect you to roll your ‘r’s like the Spaniards. To non-native French speakers it sounds poetic, soulful and romantic, but in reality the conversation could be laden with expletives. You may have met the stereotypical French waiter muttering words like idiot, imbecile or cretin, or you associate French humor with Inspector Clouseau and his antics.  In French, tête is head, nez is nose, oreilles is ears and doigts des pied is feet fingers (read: toes)! If you thought that was funny, think again!

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