Happy New Year!

Good-bye 2009 and the unnamed first decade of the new millenium! Hello 2010 and another difficult to name decade! I spent nearly the entire year in France, other than my three weeks in Italy, and I’ll likely be in France for all of the new year as well. Best wishes to all!

Here’s some reading material and ideas for New Year’s Resolutions for you:

Interestin’ readin’

When I was at MIIS, a friend of mine taking a linguistics class asked how often I replace “going to” with “gonna,” and I said always. But then he brought up the difference between “I’m going to drive to the store” and “I’m going to the store” and taught me something that of course I knew instinctively: “gonna” can only replace “going to” + verb. When “going to” is followed by a noun, you can’t say “gonna” – you can only abbreviate it to “goin’ to” (which I do). Stuff like this fascinates me.

I’m sharing this now because I just read a pretty good article comparing Obama’s and McCain’s use of “g dropping”: Language Log: Emphathic -in’

LKL on Facebook

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started receiving tons of Facebook friend requests from people I don’t know and with whom I have no friends in common. I can only guess that my profile is showing up somewhere on theirs because we have something (most likely French) in common. Since it doesn’t seem right to “friend” someone I don’t know, I created a couple of other pages:

Learn French with LKL fan site, for people who love my free French site.

Laura K. Lawless fan site, if you love me for more than just my French site. 🙂

Happy New Year!

So long 2008! Come on in, 2009! This was one of the best years of my life – I started out in Costa Rica and ended up – after trying to move here for almost 20 years – in France! May all your dreams come true, too.

Here’s some reading material and ideas for New Year’s Resolutions:

French and France

French is a Romance language, a linguistic family which includes Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and five other languages. [1] It is the world’s 11th most spoken language, with somewhere between 77 and 128 million native speakers in dozens of countries. French is the second most commonly taught second language, with some 100 million students all over the world. [2]


Le français fait partie des langues romanes, une famille linguistique comprenant l’espagnol, l’italien, le portugais, le roumain et cinq autres langues. [1] C’est la onzieme langue du monde, avec entre 77 et 128 millions de personnes qui la parlent en tant que langue maternelle, dans des douzaines de pays. Le français est la deuxième langue étrangère la plus enseignée, avec environ 100 millions d’étudiants dans les quatre coins du monde. [2]

Learning French


Apprendre le français

There is no “secret” to learning French – it takes time, effort, and usually some money. Studying in France or another French-speaking country is ideal, but not essential. The Alliance française offers classes and events all over the world in their 1,100 chapters (including 130 in the US).


Apprendre le français n’a rien de « secret Â» – il faut du temps, des efforts et généralement de l’argent. L’idéal est d’étudier en France ou dans un autre pays francophone est idéal, mais ce n’est pas essentiel. L’Alliance française propose des cours et des activités partout dans le monde grâce à leurs 1.100 branches (dont 130 aux États-Unis ).

If classes are not an option, the internet is a wealth of free information for learning:


Si un cours de français n’est pas une option viable, l’Internet offre énormément d’informations :

And for daily practice:


Et d’exercices quotidiens :

There are also plenty of online tools, including dictionaries and
conjugation tables.


Il y a aussi beaucoup d’outils sur Internet, y compris des dictionnaires et des conjugateurs de verbes.

France   La France

France is a country in western Europe with a population of about 60 million. In French, the country is often referred to as l’Hexagon due to its geometric shape, and it’s divided into 22 régions, which are further divided into départements. [3]

However, France is not limited to Europe. French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Réunion are départements d’outre mer, or DOM and are part of France. In addition, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, and the French southern and Antarctic lands are territoires d’outre mer (TOM) and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Mayotte are collectivités territoires which belong to but are not part of France. [2]


La France est un pays occidental avec une population d’à peu près 60 millions d’habitants. En français, on l’appelle souvent l’Hexagone à cause de sa forme géométrique, et elle est divisée en 22 régions, qui sont elles mêmes divisées en départements. [3]

Cependant, la France existe aussi en dehors de l’Europe. La Guyane française, la Guadeloupe, la Martinique et la Réunion sont des départements d’outre-mer (DOM) et font partie intégrale de la France. De surcroît, la Polynésie française, la Nouvelle-Caledonie, Wallis-et-Futuna et les Terres australes et antarctiques sont des territoires d’outre-mer (TOM) et Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon et Mayotte sont des collectivités territoriales à statut particulier qui appartiennent à — mais qui ne font pas partie de — la France. [2]


The largest city is Paris, which has a population of about 2.1 million. Next is Marseilles, with 808,000, and then Lyon (422,000), Toulouse (366,000), and Nice (346,000). [4]

French is the official language of France, but there are numerous dialects and regional languages including Breton and Provençal.


La plus grande ville, Paris, a une population d’à peu près 2,1 millions d’habitants. Viennent ensuite, Marseille avec des 808.000 habitants, et puis Lyon (422.000), Toulouse (366.000) et Nice (346.000). [4]

La langue officielle est le français, mais il y a de nombreux dialectes et langues régionales, comme le breton et le provençal.


1 https://www.lawlessfrench.com/linguistics/introduction-to-french/

2 "La Francophonie dans le monde" (Synthèse pour la Presse). Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Paris, Éditions Nathan, 2007.

3 https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/learn/reading/les-nouvelles-regions

4 http://www.citymayors.com/gratis/french_cities.html

Cinq sœurs

I just finished watching the short-lived French series Cinq sœurs (Five Sisters), and I’m very disappointed. It was on 5 nights a week and was supposed to last for a year (260 episodes), but was cancelled after just 108. It wasn’t brilliant by any means, but it was interesting and it was also great for French listening practice, as there were a variety of formal and informal situations (though the verbs tutoyer and vouvoyer were used more than I’ve ever heard them in real life). Plus, it ended on a cliffhanger, with numerous characters in mortal danger. Very uncool! 🙁

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