Friday, June 19, 2015


No 'harpe', even so, these 11 French expressions will get you ready for Fête de la Musique.*

1. Accordion (accordion): en accordion : crumpled, wrinkled, fan-folded.
2. Chanter (to sing) : chante comme une casserole : to not be able to carry a tune.
3. Cordes (strings) : être dans les cordes de quelqu’un : to be in one’s line of work, to be right up one’s alley.
4. Au diapason (in tune) : mettre au diapason : to bring up to speed.
5. Disque (disc, record) : changer de disque : to change opinion.
6. Flûte (flute ): Flûte! : Darn!
7. Musique (music) : connaitre la musique : to know the ropes (note, the i is not î here).
8. Papier à musique (musical note paper) : être réglé comme du papier à musique” : to be like clockwork, it’s a given.
9. Pipeau (reed-pipe) : être du pipeau : to be rubbish, to be bull#@!%.
10. Sourdine (mute) : mettez-la en sourdine : keep it down.
11. Violin (violin) : pisser dans un violin : to do something useless, to piss in the wind. 

*Fête de la Musique is a free music festival taking place on the longest day of the year, June 21st. Its purpose is to encourage both amateur and professional musicians to perform on the streets together, with basically everyone having a groovy time. These all night extended music block parties have been going on in France since 1982 and now can be found all over the world. It's a wonderful thing really. Sometimes known to get out of hand, but for the most part, people are there to have a good time. 

Images above: 
Born in Strasbourg, Bas-Rhine, France,  Jean-Thomas "Tomi" Ungerer is a French illustrator and a writer in three languages. He has published over 140 books ranging from much loved children's books to controversial adult work. 

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