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French word of the day # 01: calembredaines (twaddle)

June 1, 2009
I just discovered this pearl of French national radio: l’Oeil du larynx, presented by François Rollin on France Culture. Just a chronicle, five minutes, but five intense minutes fulfilled of rare French vocabulary. It’s delightful and funny, and it’s good for your language. The first word I discovered with him is calembredaines. It allowed me to discover twaddle, too, looking for a translation. Both are so much poetic than conneries and bullshit or bollocks, or the more polite but very boring non-sens and non-sense. So you’ll have to forgive me if once in a while I pop up calembredaines in a middle of a sentence, even in English.

Update: what I discovered last Monday was thanks to an old stock of podcasts. However François Rollin gave up on vocabulary this season. It sounds nevertheless as delightful, but I am not sure you can be guaranteed now to discover rare French words. But you will still learn about French culture (and the great thing is that the last chronicle is given in full text on the website, so that non native speakers have some support to understand all the non rare though unfamiliar vocabulary).

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