16 Stories

French Outraged by Spelling Shake-Up

Officials changed the spellings of 2,400 words to make them easier for children

(Newser) - France is in uproar over reports that the official spellings of 2,400 words are being changed to make them less confusing for schoolchildren just learning the language, the Guardian reports. For example, "ognon" is now a fine way to spell onion in addition to the more familiar "... More »

Trendy Brooklyn Babies Learning French

Little ones taking in second language before they can speak

(Newser) - Despite the fact they can barely talk, some cosmopolitan babies in Brooklyn are studying French. The mommies of the tots are heeding the results of various studies suggesting that exposure to a second language when very young will improve the learning of new languages later on in life, reports DNAinfo.... More »

Buy a French Village for $431K

Deserted hamlet of Courbefy has 19 buildings

(Newser) - Got $431,000 lying around? A deserted French village can be all yours. Courbefy, located in the Limousin region, comes with 19 buildings, including family homes, reports the Telegraph . Be forewarned: Neighbors say it's frequented by "thieves, drunks and squatters," and one dubbed it a ghost village.... More »

Newt Mocks Mitt for Speaking French

'Just like John Kerry, he speaks French, too,' Gingrich ad says

(Newser) - There's still more than a week to go until the South Carolina primary but Newt Gingrich's campaign may have already reached the bottom of the barrel. His campaign's new "French Connection" ad, in an effort to portray Mitt Romney as just another Massachusetts liberal, points out... More »

'Only Flaw' in Maid's DSK Accusation Was Aftermath

Case not so full of holes after all, Times reports

(Newser) - Perhaps the French shouldn't start popping their corks just yet for Dominique Strauss-Kahn. It turns out the hotel maid's account of a sexual assault by the former head of the IMF was very convincing, and the only inconsistencies in her story concerned what happened afterward, reports the New ... More »

Brit Faces Race Rap for Calling Player 'French'

Lost his season ticket, faces public order charge

(Newser) - A British soccer fan has been banned from Everton games for calling a black French player "French." Actually, David Sibson shouted that one of the team's French players was "a useless French lazy b******," which was reported by another patron. The team took away Sibson's season... More »

Cheeky British Pol: French Language Is Useless

Young people should be learning Chinese

(Newser) - Britain's former minister for Europe Chris Bryant—apparently feeling free to annoy the French now that his Labour party is out of power—described the French language as "useless" in a debate on language education yesterday. Young people, Bryant said, should be steered away from "useless modern foreign... More »

Old Paris Law Still Stands: No Pants for Women

1800s rule prohibits ladies from 'dressing like men'

(Newser) - Turns out fashion-forward Paris has some rather retro regulations. Namely, a ban on women wearing pants. It's the type of law associated with the Sudan, not the Champs-Elysées, but more than 200 years after it was enacted by the city's police chief, the law stands. But today's cops may... More »

10 Days Is Enough of the French Lifestyle

Writer follows French Women Don't Get Fat advice, with mixed results

(Newser) - Finding herself in Paris for the fall—and wearing sweatpants and a holey T-shirt to the local bakery, as opposed to the French uniform of ankle boots and a mini-dress—Marisa Meltzer decided it was the ideal time to try following the advice of Mireille Guiliano, author of the French ... More »

Après Le Deluge: French Battle Anglo Terms in Web Age

Experts struggle to create equivalents for terms like 'cloud computing'

(Newser) - Defenders of the French language are fighting a rear-guard action against a flood of Anglo-Saxon computing terms. In a process that lags far behind advances in technology, experts are tasked with finding French equivalents for new computing technology. The terms must then be passed by a panel of linguists and... More »

France Bloomin' Mad Over Brukozy's Daily $1K Fleur Tab

(Newser) - French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy just loves her fleurs and she's often photographed arranging blooms in the Elysée Palace. Problem is, the flowers are costing French taxpayers $1,100 a day, and they want the spending nipped in the bud. The blooming bills were revealed in the first state... More »

French Are World's Worst Tourists: Survey

Poll of 40,000 hotels ranks visitors on politeness, generosity

(Newser) - The French are the world’s worst tourists, AFP reports. A global survey asked staff at 40,000 hotels to rate tourists on categories ranging from politeness to generosity to willingness to learn local languages—and the French finished last in several categories. Japanese tourists took honors in just as... More »

On Tough EU Trip, French Oddly Likeable

Obama has headaches on both sides of Atlantic

(Newser) - How's Obama doing on his first big diplomatic foray? Americans are relieved to have a president who doesn't embarrass us—no more spontaneous massages for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But Europe is positively swooning. Perhaps EU leaders are secretly loving President Obama's "willingness to be a good loser,"... More »

Boss Hijackings Spike in France

Anger moves to menace as economic tensions mount

(Newser) - Worrisome "hijackings" of bosses are spiking in France, underlining the threatening tensions within a staggering economy, reports the Wall Street Journal. Workers angered by layoffs surrounded the car of Salma Hayek's retail tycoon hubby François Pinault in Paris yesterday for over an hour until they were dispersed by... More »

French Workers Lose Appetite for Leisurely Lunch

Thousands of restaurants go pffft as French eat at their desks

(Newser) - Thousands of cafes and restaurants in Paris are closing as French workers change their eating and spending habits and dine at their desks just like Americans. French office workers are skipping traditional long lunches in favor of takeaway baguettes. Those who do opt for restaurant meals skip aperitifs, hors d'oeuvres,... More »

Homeless Man Charged in UK Student Killings

33-year-old turns self in for brutal stabbings of French PhD pair

(Newser) - London authorities charged a homeless man today with the brutal murders of two French students, the Guardian reports. Nigel Edward Farmer, 33, is accused of stabbing the two a total of 243 times in a London flat June 29, and then setting the apartment on fire. Farmer was arrested after... More »

16 Stories