14 April 2012

Giveaway Winner: Passport to the World book

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! I hope you enjoyed Craig Froman's guest post as much as I did. It is always so interesting to learn how other people began their language learning journeys.  We only use rafflecopter.com to host and pick our giveaways and their winners.  You can read more about rafflecopter HERE.

So without further adieu, rafflecopter picked the winner here and  the winner is


Ellison, please email me your mailing address to homeschoolfam@gmail.com so we can get your giveaway prize out to you.

If you didn't win, but would still love to add Craig's award winning book, "Passport to the World: An A to Z Guided language tour to your own home or homeschool, you can do so here

Thank you everyone for entering and I hope you are enjoying Katie's French Language Cafe!

10 April 2012

Frère Jacques

Singing is a great way to get used to a language and practice the prosody, rhythm and cadence of your speech. It is also, for many, a way to practice your accent in a more uninhibited way and get more comfortable with a new language.  A few weeks ago, I posted my personal French favorite, The Rainbow Colors Song. (If you missed it, you can find it here, but warning: it gets stuck in your head!)
Another fun song is Frère Jacques.  Here is a video for the melody and a copy of the lyrics for you. It is a fun song and sung to the tune of the English version "Are you sleeping (Brother John)?". It is also a melody that is used alot to teach other French vocabulary. Try singing this one this week, with or without your kids!

Here's the lyrics:

Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don.

Rough translation:

Brother Jacob, Brother Jacob,
Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Morning bells are ringing! Mornings bells are ringing!
Ding, dang, dong. Ding, dang, dong.


08 April 2012

Guest Post & Book Giveaway!

Today I am excited to share with you a guest post that I know you are going to love. Our guest blogger today is Craig Froman. (After the post, be sure to enter the giveaway!)
Craig Froman grew up in Northern California. A curriculum writer and editor at New Leaf Publishing Group, he has obtained a bachelor of arts in business administration, and a master’s degree in education, and currently resides in Berryville, Arkansas. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter , or his blog "What in the Word" at http://www.whatintheword.com. 

Please don’t ask me why he said it, I honestly don’t think he remembers the reason himself, but some five or six years ago my son Andrew uttered the phrase “Mango does the tango,” and it triggered something in my brain. Dr Seuss’ book Come Over to My House was a favorite of mine growing up, introducing me to kids and their wondrously diverse homes around the world.  Now I found myself wanting to develop an A to Z language book that would help kids learn about languages and cultures in a unique way. 

This prompted me to study 50 or so languages, researching everything from hieroglyphs to Hebrew and runes to Russian.  I finally narrowed the focus down, learning the forms and phrases of 26 languages from Armenian to Zulu.  This included common phrases for languages as familiar as French, German, and Italian, as well as those lesser known ones like Quechua, Oriya, and Xhosa.

One thing I learned through all this was that people around the world truly have so very much in common, loving their families, enjoying good food, and having fun whenever they can. However, there are various cultural differences you might want to study up on before traveling to a foreign land. Here are just a few intriguing cultural facts that might interest you!
  •   Nearly one quarter of Americans have at least some German heritage.
  •  The Icelandic language has hardly changed at all, with people in Iceland still able to read sagas written over a thousand years ago!
  • Hebrew is the original language of the Old Testament, used by Moses in writing the first five books of the Bible.
  • One of the most important parts of the meal in Afghanistan is the bread, specifically naan, which is unleavened flat bread.
  • If you enter a home in Korea it is polite to remove your shoes.
  • When traveling the Netherlands, know that many people there love eating raw herring with onions sprinkled over it. 
  • For over 300 years, the official language of England was French!
 So what began as the little phrase, “Mango does the tango” was eventually released as the book “Passport to the World: An A to Z Guided Language Tour,” winning the 2011 Best Books Award for Children’s Religious Title, and ever reminding me that special things can grow from very small beginnings.  May those things that seem so small in your life grow like a garden through you and touch the world. Bon voyage!
                                                                                          --Craig Froman

Would you like to win a copy of Craig's award winning book? Here's how! (If the rafflecopter giveaway box is not visible, click the little red "read more" and it will appear in a new window.)

07 April 2012

Easter Traditions in France

Easter in France is celebrated much the same way it is in America...there are religious observations and secular traditions all tied into a holiday that, for the French, is a three day holiday.

Les cloches de Pâques: The church bells silence on the Thursday before Good Friday,  in acknowledgement of Jesus' death and do not ring again until Easter Sunday morning. Little children are told the bells have went off to Rome (to visit the Pope) and that when they come back, they have brought the colored Easter eggs with them.  In some villages, people kiss and embrace one another when they hear the bells ring.

                                      See my pinterest Easter board for photo credit

Les oeufs de Pâques: Happy French children awake to beautifully colored eggs, just like children here do. Hunting for Easter eggs that have been hidden in gardens, homes and even playgrounds is also popular.  While children are finding colored eggs as we have here in America, Parisian shops are turning out high end chocolate eggs like this:

                                                                  Photo source: here

Since every village has at least one  or more candy shops (confiseries), Easter is the perfect time for the master chocolatiers to show their wares, and many of the shops in Paris have their window displays dressed in their finest come Easter Sunday.

                                                        photo source: Easter board

Poisson D'Avril: French Easter Fish. In France, instead of chocolate bunnies, it is more traditional to give another a chocolate fish! You will also find chocolate "flying bells" in the stores waiting to be added to your Easter Basket.

                                                         Photo source: Easter board

Easter games: Children roll an UNcooked egg down a slope. The egg that survives without breaking is considered the Victory egg and symbolized the stone having been rolled away from the tomb.

Chocolate fish aside, isn't it interesting just how much of the holiday (Church, meaning, chocolates, colored eggs, egg hunts, etc)...are the same as what we do here Stateside!

What's your favorite Easter tradition?

Wishing you all Joyeuses Pâques,

sources: http://www.frenchfriends.info/culture/easter-paques-traditions

02 April 2012

French Pinning

                                                      From my French Inspired pinterest board,
                                               original source:http://decoreblablabla.blogspot.com/

If you haven't discovered pinterest, it is a treasure trove of well....everything. A few months ago, when I kept seeing pinterest links on every blog all I could think is "one more thing I do NOT have time for...not doing it...not gonna suck me in"...

Oh little did I know...

Pinterest by definition is an online bulletin-board where you can "pin" (save) great things/ideas/crafts/recipes/ad nauseum you find on the web.

It is more accessible that saving everything to your desktop and you name the boards--which makes the heart of this over-organizer go pitter-patter!  Being an avid cook, crafter, sewer, traveler, homeschooler (ad nauseum) I have many boards.  Here are a few that I wanted to share with you today...my "French Inspired Board" and my Inspiration: Color board.

Of course, I have a  "Why am I in graduate school again? board... which by the way is the reason I went missing and I am so sorry. I missed you! I am however jazzed that my University might be offering a graduate level seminar on French History in the Fall. (fingers crossed). For now, I continue to plug away at Ancient Roman Civilization, Beginning Italian and French, which sadly has gotten in the way with my blogging! Darn studies. It is so good to be back. I have many wonderful posts planned for you after the Easter holiday to make it up to you :-)

If you aren't on pinterest yet and need an invitation, leave your email in the comments and i will send you one. If you are on pinterest, let me know; I would love to follow your boards!

Happy Pinning, Happy French, Happy Spring,

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