Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Académie Française

Under this dome 40 académiciens (members of the French Academy, also known as immortels (immortals)) spend most of their time discussing what proper French should be and completing a never ending dictionary... Lucky them! More (in French and in English).


  1. I'm quite fond of this spot, as I stayed a few hundred meters from the Academy, on rue Mazarine in the 6e, in my first visit to Paris, last year! Thanks for a nice memory!

  2. One parisian photo at each day.

    Your blog looks like a dictionary, as if we were learning a new word daily ...

    What kind of academy are you a member of ? The DP academy ?

  3. This is a nice point of view of this dome in the evening. I love the glint of gold you've captured here. Ah, to have such focus to one's job as those who work there!

  4. Wow! Alain Robbe-Grillet is an immortel. I wouldn't have guessed that. Great post. Very informative.

  5. j'avais pratiquement la meme vue lorsque je travaillai au Ministere des affaires etrangeres...

  6. That's funny. Yesterday I was watching a french movie called Immortel, based on Enki Bilal comics... And the immortels were egyptian gods, who lived inside a pyramid (or dome in your case).
    Just kidding anyway Eric. It's a nice picture.

  7. i'd easily imagine you in the dp academy, debating on whether this or that photo is dp-appropriate... would be quite funny actually !

    like jenny, i lived a year in rue mazarine, just behind. was walking on pont des arts every day, to go to the gym or the metro station. this photo brings me back some very nice memories... this was after all at the end of 2001 !...

  8. Aahhhhhh. Mort a franglais, n'est-ce-pas?

  9. ah, la langue Francais...il FAUT que l'on preserve...

    i probably made 10 grammatical mistakes in that sentence....comme mon prof de Francais disait quand nous avons faire des fautes : "quel massacre!"

    beautiful photo....i love the sky contrasting with the dome...

  10. OK, I wanna thank the Academy... (sorry, couldn't help myself).

  11. By the way, Eric, you better be careful... these people might revoke your French citizenship if they find your blog ;)

  12. Very funny Haxo! You know there is something in France called "job security"!

  13. Yeah Haxo! Very funny! ;-)

    Eric, I first thought of the Invalid's Hotel...you know, the one where Napoleon lives? ;-) Great colors as USUAL! PS: Isn't your inbox absolutly FLOODED with replies every second of your life? :-)

  14. Eric,

    I used to love to watch the French "dicté" on television. It always amazed me how a culture could dedicate TV time to a spelling bee. Here is a link from TV5Monde that is full of information relative to the langue française, and my favourite, les dictées de Bernard Pivot.

    I agree with Ame, you must have a ton of emails!

  15. Bernard Pivot? Isn't there something about him on the Actor's Studio tvshow where they ask the actors lots of weird questions at the end?

  16. p.s. great photo Eric -- as usual. ;-)

  17. Eric - did you see that one of the fishermen you took a photo of here left a comment?! How cool is that. Do you always give out your blog address when you photograph people?

    nicolas said...
    Merci pour cette charmante présentation bonne pêche pour la suite.
    nicolas le pecheur de gauche

  18. Eric, interesting post and same with the info on the wiki link...I guess the immortals wouldn't appreciate expression such as "tres cool", but what would be the proper french word? ;-)

    I still remember reciting passages from french textbook: Ma voiture est comfortable et rapide......

  19. lisi, reminds me of:

    "La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin de mon oncle!"

    Which leads me to think of my favourite example of French miscomprehension of the use of the apostrophe and possessive case in English (and a confusion around capitalisation of names of months) - a sign at the gate of the Tuileries Gardens:

    WINTER: 7.30 Am - 7.30 PM
    (from last september's sunday to saturday before last March's sunday)
    SUMMER: 7.00Am - 9.00 PM
    (from last march's sunday to saturday before last september's sunday.)"

    However, given the frequent wrong use of the apostrophe in English, I can only advocate the adoption forthwith of the pen of my uncle to eradicate all the erroneous "it's" and "their's" I read all over the web every day!

  20. > Jenny. Rue Mazarine is definitely a nice area in Paris. You were lucky!

    > Matthieu. That is an idea: the City DP academy! Sounds like
    fun, I could be part of the jury like on American Idol (Star
    Academy in France)! Thanks for the idea, I'll give it a thought!

    > Kim. Yes, I must say everything looks so nice at night in
    Paris. I am fortunate.

    > Luggi. Yes he is, thanks for the info. Next time I'm on Who
    wants to be a millionaire, if I don't know the question I will
    definitely use you as a joker! (Well Haxo also...)

    > Terra. Il est où ce ministère ?

    > Edulabbe. Gee, what kind of French films do we send you in
    Chile??? Never heard of it. Recent? Don't let them show you
    anything just because it's labelled "French Movie"!! LOL

    > Charlus. You lived in rue Mazarine too? Yeah, I'd love the
    academy too!!

    > Sally. Well we're not as demanding as the French Canadians. We
    actually use a lot of English words, sometimes in a totally
    inappropriate way. Funny. And probably sad; but let's face
    reality. English is the international language, not French.

    > Nahal. Not bad. Should be: La langue françaisE, il faut la
    préserver (or "qu'on la préserve"). Talking about learning
    French did you notice my new sponsor on the left hand column??

    > Tomate. You're refering to the Academy awards where they start
    by "I wanna thank..." Is that it? And yes, I don't think they
    would like my blog... I don't care they are far too old to use
    the Internet anyway!

    > Haxo. LOL. Gee, not to mention that the meanings of words
    starting with ABC must have changed since theyr started!!

    > Michael. LOL. Yeah and these ones sit there until they die.

    > Ame. I thought so too, but then I checked on the web (we have
    too many domes here!!) - Well let's say that PDP keeps me
    busy... I am off on vacation soon though. I will miss you all...

    > Michael. Yes I used to do that too. I loved playing with words
    and all these stupid French rules! But this dictée is really hard

    > Mariela. You are very right. Actually Bernard Pivot himself was influenced by Marcel Proust’s very famous Questionnaire, created in 1886). James Lipton transposed them for his show "Inside the Actor's Studio" and subjected his guests to them at the end of the program. Here it is:

    01. What is your favourite word?
    02. What is your least favourite word?
    03. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    04. What turns you off?
    05. What is your favourite curse word?
    06. What sound or noise do you love?
    07. What sound or noise do you hate?
    08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
    09. What profession would you not like to do?
    10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

    > Michael. Yes I did. I gave him the address of the blog when I photographed them.

    > Lisi. Très cool. LOL. Nope, that is surely not part of their vocabulary. Theyr probably use "C'est très enthousiasmant" or something!

    > Sally. You're right it's confusing. I never know when to use the 's. Actually French people make a common mistake too when it comes to possessive. You will often hear: "La plume A ma tante est dans le jardin A mon oncle" instead of "La plume DE ma tante est dans le jardin DE mon oncle."

  21. merci beaucoup Eric...that was exactly what i was thinking about. I hope you do not expect us to answer those questions because my favorite curse word is __________ (unprintable)!

  22. certes, l'Académie est une très vieille dame. mais de là à dire qu'elle ne sait pas surfer sur la toile...
    pour c'est" cool" on peut traduire par c'est "super" ou, comme Léo (Ferré) par, c'est extra...
    mais ça, c'est une autre (déjà vieille) histoire!

  23. With this comment, I am trying to raise the level of your blog Eric! At least now the Académie Française post has at least as many comments as the condom post! How's that for culture! LOL

  24. Eric, I will take a bet that you use the 's more correctly and more consistently than 80% of the kids in my son's class at school! For some reason it seems to have run away from its native speakers. Maybe it is time to abolish the apostrophe?

  25. Abolish the apostophre? HORROR! What would I ever do if I couldn't have michael'S way, or seeing eric'S PDP?

  26. Michael, you forgot to blow up your "T!" ;-) (the one after couldn't) hehehehehe

  27. Yes ame, you see...I'd be lost without my apostrophes('s) ? hell, I don't know!

  28. We talk about the Académie Française so often in my French class. I think it is so wonderful...to think about these "immortals" discussing proper French and making important decisions regarding the language! So fascinating to me! Amazing photo...the quality of light and the sky captivate me incredibly.

  29. i dont believe it! only 10 minutes ago i was visiting their web site, and now i see you postin the picture! magic?

  30. I remember one of the Academicians on TV saying "French is a thing of beauty like a cathedral, but not many people want to live in a cathedral"