Archive for February 2010

La journée sans immigrés – just what France needs?

February 28, 2010

Peggy Derder, Nadir Dendoune and Nadia Lamarkbi, three French professionals in their thirties, have hit upon the idea of la journée sans immigrés, or the day without immigrants. They are encouraging anyone who is an immigrant, of immigrant origin, or who feels solidarity with immigrants and wants to contest their treatment in France to stay at home and not buy anything for one day.

The idea is to make the rest of France see how different their country would look (and how much less money would be spent in French businesses) if France’s minorities did not exist.


Further quirks of the French language

February 26, 2010

We now return to our regular feature (OK, featured once before) on some of the most entertaining or interesting combinations of words in French. The best part of learning another language is when some phrase or other allows you to say something that cannot be adequately expressed in your own, or when it gives it a better sense. For sensitive readers, this will contain some rude words. (There you go Mum!)


comme une fleur – “Like a flower” actually means effortlessly, seemingly without trying.

à fleur de peau – someone who is “sensible à fleur de peau” is extremely sensitive or touchy. The sense is, I think, of having the material of a flower for skin, and therefore very fragile and easy to damage.

faire une fleur à quelqu’un – lit. “do/make a flower for someone” means do them a favour.