French Lessons

FRENCH FRIDAY: CATIN

La Tasse de Café | French Friday from Louisiana

(RERUN)

CATIN

Pronounced:  

ka-Tah (ka-tan/ nasal n in which it is mostly silent)

Translation:

Louisiana (Cajun): doll, darling, girlfriend

France: Prostitute, Painted Lady

Hello French Friday Followers. I am Madame M

. While Mademoiselle Love is on vacation in a much warmer climate, I decided to lend a hand and share my French from Louisiana since it is a topic I often cover on my 

blog

.

While Jenée Sais Quoi was in Cajun Country over Christmas I had her over to 

La Prairie des Femmes

, my home, for an afternoon visit and a strong La Tasse de Café. We got to talking about Cajun French words that would be useful on French 

Friday

 - you know, the kind that every fashionable girl or guy needs to have in their back pocket for just in case. So we decided on a mutual favorite word often used in this area:

 Catin.

In fact, right now I'm wrapping up some French miel de tilleul as a gift for Miss Brenda who always calls me her "catin".

(

miel de tilleul is Linden Honey)

Here in Louisiana it means doll or darling, but in France it commonly means prostitute. Imagine the shock of French and Canadian tourists when they hear Louisiana women greet each other with squeals of "Hey ma 

cation!!"

Just to make it clear let's see what Amy Lynn learns from her new Cajun friend, Evangeline. 

Amy Lynn:

 Nice to meet you Evangeline. I'm very fortunate for Simone introducing me to her long lost cousin down here in Louisiana. 

Evangeline:

 It's my pleasure catin! Now what are you hungry for? Gumbo? Ettoufee? Corn bread? Pralines? I know you must be starving after your trip.

Amy Lynn doesn't understand something Evangeline said so sends a text message to Simone, 

    "What does 

Catin

 mean? Evangeline just called me 

Catin

 and I   

     don't want to seem dumb by asking her."

Simone responds, 

    "What the %$#&!? You just arrived? How does she already know  

     you are a Catin?  I mean... How rude!!! She has no business 

     calling you a prostitute! But wait, you are in Cajun 

     country, maybe it's Mardi Gras season, you never know how

     canaille

those girls can be!"

(cannaille translates to mischievous in Cajun French)

Amy Lynn:

 So Evangeline, you want to eat?

Evangeline:

 Well, I am hungry a lot, but I wanted to see if you wanted to wait and meet my brother for dinner? He's in town and I think he's got a new little 

catin

, I want to check her out."

Amy Lynn

(appalled): Excuse me!? Your brother has a 

catin

with him?

Evangeline:

 Well, yes! He's always got some 

catin

 or another.

Amy Lynn

(very uncomfortable): Wow, you Louisiana people really ARE wild.

Evangeline:

 Mais why's that? You got something against catins?

Amy Lynn: 

Well I think it is strange to accept that your brother would bring a prostitute to dinner to meet us.

Evangeline: 

Mais What?! Catin means doll or baby, or sometimes pretty little girl! Not Prostitute!

Amy Lynn:

 Mais alright... Catin!

Merci Beaucoup,

Madame 

 M

.....................................................................................

Jenée hère: 

When you grow up in the Cajun area of Louisiana you don't realize that many of the words which are part of your everyday vocabulary are actually not English, but French. Not until I left Louisiana and was misunderstood did I even realize much of my vocabulary was French. 

I always loved the word Catin because that was my grandmother's nickname for me. When I asked her what it meant in English she told me a doll. I was thrilled that she thought I was as special as a doll!!!

.....................................................................................

The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"

is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on

KVPI-FM

My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 

Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.

Tune in to

KVPI

every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful Frenchwords or expressions for the fashionable girl. To make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.

FRENCH FRIDAY (RURUN): QUELLE SURPRISE

Do You Fake it???

La Tasse de Café | French Vocabulary by Mademoiselle Love

girls drinking coffee, cafe, coffee, talking, quelle surprise, coffee talk, la tasse de cafe

Quelle surprise!

Pronounced: [kel syur-preez]

Definition: What a surprise!

Around this gift-giving time of year, we might not always have the right words to express how we feel about gifts we've received. A good French expression to use whether you like a gift or not is...

Quelle surprise!

The word quelle or the masculine form quel just means "what" or "which”, and it can be added to any noun. 

For example:  quelle chance! = "what luck!"

quelle horreur! = how horrible, that's terrible

quel dommage! = "what a shame!" 

and quelle coïncidence! = "what a coincidence"

You get it!?

Let's see what Simone and Amy Lynn are up to this holiday season.

Simone:

 Amy Lynn, so I, like, got you a Christmas present.

Amy Lynn:

 OMG, thanks, Simone! 

Amy Lynn opens her gift.

Amy Lynn:

Quelle surprise!

 I've always wanted a ... bottle of Chanel No.5 perfume. Thank you! I got you a little something too. 

Voilà!

Simone opens her gift. It's a gift certificate for shopping (at a mass market department store)

Simone:

Quelle horreur! OMG, did you really think I would ever be caught dead shopping at 

JaCque Pennay?!  Like, eew!

Amy Lynn:

OMG Simone! You could have at least lied. And anyway, you don't think I actually like that old lady perfume, do you? 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

You'd think they would know each other's tastes by now... What about you? Are you always honest in your reactions to gifts that don't suit you? Are you honest with certain people and not with others? 

Merci Beaucoup,

Mademoiselle Love

............................................

Jenée here: 

What a great phrase to learn just in time for hyper gift giving season. It's important to remember that it's the thought that counts. Though, sometimes I have thought no gift would have been better than a pocket size tin filled with "MADE IN CHINA" mints. A thoughtless gift is more insulting than no gift at all. You know who you are... Nick. 

So remember your manners this holiday and employ this really cute expression from Mademoiselle Love - Quelle Surprise!

Actually, talking about China, the gift opening custom in China is my favorite because the gift is not opened in front of the giver. The receiver politely accepts the gift and then puts it away until they are in private to open it. This takes so much pressure off of everyone. So if you prefer to not have to worry about pretending to like a gift, you can just allude to how worldly you are and say "you will open it later when you are alone as the Chinese custom".

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

.....................................................................................

The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"

is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on  KVPI-FM

My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 

Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.

Tune in to  KVPI  every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. To make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.

FRENCH FRIDAY: Flâneur

All the World's a Stage

La Tasse de Café | French Vocabulary by Mademoiselle Love

girls drinking coffee, cafe, coffee, talking, Flaneur, coffee talk, la tasse de cafe

Flâneur

Pronounced: (flah-ner)

Definition: one who strolls around or lounges, an urban spectator

I don't know about you, but post-Thanksgiving, I've found it a little hard to find motivation to do much of anything. I'm not sure if it was all the turkey, the fact that winter break is around the corner, or maybe a little bit of both. But my lazy attitude reminds me of a great French word...

The flâneur (or flâneuse [flah-nuz]) if you're a girl, carries many connotations. For instance, a 

flâneur could simply be a lazy idler like I've been these days. But to the poet Charles Baudelaire

, the flâneur played a key role in the art world. His or her strolling was not meaningless. He or she was an observer of modern life, who interpreted the changing world in his art. Let's see what Simone and Amy Lynn know about flâneurs.

.…………………………………

Simone:

 Amy Lynn, get up! Let's do something! You've been such a flâneuse lately!

Amy Lynn: 

You mean in the Baudelairean sense?

Simone:

First of all, no! I mean, move your lazy butt, and second of all, how do you even know who Baudelaire is?

Amy Lynn:

Like, Pierre reads sexy yet depressing French poetry to me almost every day. So, whatever!

.…………………………………

And what about you? Do you think of yourself as a flâneur or flâneuse of some sort?

Merci Beaucoup,

Mademoiselle Love

............................................

Jenée here: 

This French term is very useful for the Fashion blogging crowd. Comme Moi (like me;) While the literal definition of flâneur is an urban spectator, the more slang definition would be people watcher. I learned this phrase on my first visit to New York over 20 years ago. I was sitting with my uncle at a sidewalk café and he said, "People watching is the best in New York." Since sidewalks in NYC are like streets in the rest of America, everyone is on display as they are on their way to work, to a party or to the grocery store. Now, put a camera in the hand of a flâneur and they are a Street Style Blogger. 

My favorite Street Style Blogger of all time is the OG SSB, long before blogs were even a thought: Bill Cunningham of the New York Times. He is many generations older than me and rides his bike all over NYC. Once Ari rode right along side him and told him, "My wife loves you!". Now there is a YouTube channel with his weekly On the Street videos. 

The other most famous flâneurs with a camera are The Satoralist and Tommy Ton. Their photography is very enjoyable if you love people watching and you don't have the luxury of sitting all day at a sidewalk café in a New York City.

Happy French Friday. Grab your Tasse de Café, click on the links above, and be a modern flâneur today.

.....................................................................................

The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"

is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on 

KVPI-FM

My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 

Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.

Tune in to 

KVPI 

every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. To make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.

FRENCH FRIDAY #55: BON ANNIVERSAIRE

LA TASSE DE CAFE | FASHIONABLE FRENCH VOCABULARY

Bon anniversaire! 

or 

Joyeux anniversaire!

French Pronounciation:

[bon ahn ee ver sair] / [jwa yeuz ahn ee ver sair]

Definition

 : 

Happy Birthday

On Friday, I was busy getting ready for Miss Jenée Sais Quoi's 3-in-1 Halloween Birthday Baby Shower, which is definitely going to be the most original baby shower in the history of baby showers! Nothing's going to be pink or blue at this shower! And it's all happening today! So, I was thinking about how to tie this fun party into today's 

Tasse de café

, but then I realized that pretty much nothing is French about this day. In France, baby showers don't really exist. If they do, they might be called something like 

une

fête

 pour le bébé

 (party for the baby), which sounds kind of lame, or they just use the English term, since it's pretty much an American invention. Another thing that doesn't really exist in France is Halloween. While it is starting to catch on around the world, including in France, it's another one of those brilliant ;) American inventions. Birthdays, however, do of course exist in France! So, let's all say...

Bon anniversaire

, Miss Jenée Sais Quoi! I hope your birthday is as good as 

this French barbie girl

's was!

Guess what! It just so happens to be Amy Lynn's birthday too...

Amy Lynn:

OMG, Simone, don't you think you're forgetting something?

Simone:

Like, no. What are you, like, talking about?

Amy Lynn:

OMG it's my birthday! I can't believe you forgot!!!!!!!

(starts crying)

Simone:

OMG, take a chill pill. Bon anniversaire, Amy Lynn. Like, here's your 

cadeau.

Amy Lynn:

cadeau

?!?!? 

Pour moi

?

Simone:

Like, duh!

I wonder who's going to be getting more 

cadeaux

 today- Jenée Sais Quoi or her adorable bump? :)

See you on Friday for the next 

tasse de café

!

Mademoiselle Love

.....................................................................................

The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"

is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on 

KVPI-FM

My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 

Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana - with a serious interest in fashion - and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, - is in love with everything French and everything coffee - it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves with a weekly Fashion French lesson.

.....................................................................................

Tune in to 

KVPI 

every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun  French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more Fashionable French lessons.