Films and Floors on Fire

This evening I enjoyed some results of my advertising efforts with a record-breaking eight of us round a table at The Bel and Dragon. It was an event where you could feel the concentration as we plundered the depths of our Monday night brains after a long day of English speaking. Turning out on a cold night to rummage for the right order of words in French can require some resolve, but so worth it; you forget the worries of the day.

Here are just a couple of things we talked and laughed about:

It’s the way you say it!

Every language has its expressions, some of them directly translatable. Others are not..and very amusing to discover. For example, you know that ‘look’ where trousers are just a little bit too short, and show just a little too much of those Disney socks? Well, in French, you could say he has “un pantalon feu de plancher”. The idea of the trousers being burnt by an incendiary floor seemed a perfect analogy. This is until I told a Czech friend who said that the same trouser shortcoming is expressed in the Czech language as “expecting a flood”. Priceless..


Discussing films they’ve enjoyed makes people animated – a chance to exchange enthusiasm, especially when explaining in a non-native tongue. These are the films that were recommended by the Monday night gathering. A World War 2 theme running through many:

Un Sac de Billes January 2017, Christian Duguay Available with English subtitles

Elle s’appellait Sarah, 13 October 2010, Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Au revoir les Enfants, 1987, Louis Malle

Untouchable,  2011, Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano Available with English subtitles

We didn’t mention this one, but I really recommend it – a prize-winning documentary: Etre et Avoir, 2002 Nicolas Philibert

These films may make you “pleurer comme un madelaine” (apparently not crying like a cake, but to do with Mary Magdalene)

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