It’s French Language Week – Semaine de la Langue Française et de la Francophonie. It began yesterday, 15th March, and runs to the 22nd. It’s a week in which to celebrate the wonderfulness of French.


The website is here

Take a look and see if anything is going on in your neighbourhood. Not surprisingly there’s nothing at all happening in Creuse, not even in our ultra modern but rarely open library at Guéret. Shame on them. There are a few less than exciting sounding talks and exhibitions going on in Limoges, but I’ve seen enough of that city lately due to the various rescues Chris and I had to launch to retrieve our stranded daughter, thanks to the vagaries of SNCF.

The only vaguely interesting thing I found in our ‘vicinity’ (i.e. 202 kms away) is a talk by author Alfred Gilder about his new book Le Petit Dico Français-Franglais at Olivet 202 kms away. This dico (dictionary) is to translate any dreaded franglais-isms (weekend, jetlag, relooking etc.) into proper French. Remember, I did say ‘vaguely interesting’! Actually, it is kind of because French isn’t the author’s first language. They say converts are the most dedicated, don’t they!

petit dico

A national activity associated with French Week is la bataille des dix mots – the battle of ten words. These words have been chosen by the relevant word-choosing committees in France, Quebec, Switzerland and Belgium. Anyone and everyone can come up with a poem or piece of prose or pretty much anything at all and post it up on this website once they’ve set up an account.

And what are these words?


AMBIANCER = to create an atmosphere

À TIRE-LARIGOT = non-stop, like there’s no tomorrow

CHARIVARI = uproar, racket

S’ENLIVRER = be drunk from reading too much

FARIBOLE = nonsense

HURLUBERLU = crank, eccentric, screwball

OUF = phew

TIMBRÉ = nuts, bonkers, around the bend

TOHU-BOHU = jumble, hurly-burly

ZIGZAG = zigzag


My French isn’t up to the challenge, but it looks quite fun with this selection of energetic, crazy words. Anyway, I’ve signed up to see what goes on during the battle, and maybe I’ll try and come up with an English version to post here.

Happy French Language Week!