by Clare Jones

I recently watched one of the excellent educational cartoons produced by 1jour1actu which explains at the level of a 9 year old French child how a cartoon is made: Comment fait-on un dessin animé ?  Had I not had the pictures in front of me with the helpful labelling of key points, my understanding might well have floundered at three points of the explanation. The reason for this was that my brain was tuned into French mode and I have often noticed that what completely confounds me is when a French person slips in an English expression which I wasn’t expecting and I just can’t get my brain to recognize it! In this video we meet the technical terms “les model sheets”, “le storyboard” and “motion capture”. I once watched a French video clip over and over again and just could not grasp one elusive word. I finally gave up and asked my very helpful French penfriend to watch the clip and transcribe the tricky sentence for me. It turned out to be the franglais phrase “une session de wellness” which had flummoxed me (it means a keep-fit session). So if you just can’t work out what that tricky word is after listening a dozen times, try turning on your franglais antenna and see if that helps!

Have you ever been stumped by an English word used in a French conversation? Please leave a comment!

I am taking a break from my blog and from teaching for the duration of the school summer holidays. If you would like to book French lessons with me starting in September, please contact me on 01832 272905 at the end of August or beginning of September. If you are looking for some good summer reading, why not buy a copy of my book on French expressions, Je mourrai moins bête: 200 French expressions to help you die less stupid. And please use some of that extra free time you will have to write a review and post it on Amazon!

Bonnes vacances!


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One comment

    • rroxy

    • July 15, 2016

    • 8:57 pm

    • Reply

    Oh yes, beaucoup de Français utilisent de l’Anglais, souvent mal à propos d’ailleurs, mais bon, on se comprend entre nous! Notre anglais n’est pas au top, ni nickel chrome non plus, mais c’est parce qu’on est surbookés (surbouqués?!) et que notre agenda est full, c’est comme ça. A force de passer notre temps entre les plannings, les parkings et de bons sandwichs, on a besoin de se relaxer. Et alors on va faire un peu de fitness et de foot avec de bonnes baskets (comprenez: chaussures de sport, of course).
    Si vous écoutez quelques jeunes chatter entre eux, de fortes chances d’entendre l’un d’eux dire “ça va, raconte pas ta life!” Lol, Mdr (Mort de Rire) sont plutôt démodés, mais entre deux Cocas ça s’entend quand même.
    Allez, je dois y aller, bye!

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About the author

Clare Jones was born in the North of England in 1960. She fell in love with the French language at the age of 11 and went on to study it to degree level at Leicester University, where she also became a qualified teacher. In 2011 Clare collaborated with Tamsin Edwards to produce an iPhone application, “Figure out French, Rouler un patin: to give a French kiss and other French expressions for leisure and health”. Though she now lives in England, Clare always has her nose in a French book and she surrounds herself by all things French. She is currently very busy teaching French as a private tutor and when she has the time, she writes a blog on the subject of the French language (click on the blog tab to read it). Clare enjoys tai-chi, swimming, and cycling in the local country park. She is also an enthusiastic member of her local community choir.

About the illustrator

Tamsin Edwards studied art at both Nene Art College, Northampton, and Derby School of Art during the early 1980s. Though well known for her atmospheric watercolour landscapes, Tamsin also creates quirky pen & wash illustrations, often portraying comic images of people and places. Tamsin has already collaborated with Clare Jones to produce an iPhone application. Past commissioned projects also include the children’s storybook ‘Tales of Two Shires’ and a book of poetic verses. As well as regularly exhibiting work and selling to clients around the world, Tamsin has also had several paintings published in an international magazine. To view further examples of her work or to buy original artwork from this book, please visit Tamsin can be contacted at

Author Photo

Illustrator Tamsin Edwards (left) and author Clare Jones (right)

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