All posts tagged: French

Cécile Corbel & songs in foreign languages

Good music makes me so, so happy. I’ve been listening to a lot of “experimental” electronic, indie rock, and singer/songwriter type music these days.  When I listen to music in a language I can understand (English, Korean, and some Japanese), lyrics are often the most noticeable element of song for me and vocals tend to stand out against the backdrop of instrumentals.  But in other languages, vocals become mere morphemes without meaning, indistinguishable from the other layers of sound in a song.  A friend and I were discussing how sometimes we prefer to listen to songs in languages we don’t understand – for me, at least, it’s because it lets me interpret and feel the song in my own way without being hindered by semantics. Recently, this friend introduced me to a singer who, as she described it, has “the voice of a siren.” Cécile Corbel is a Breton singer and harpist who, in addition to having the most enchanting voice I’ve ever heard, also composed the score for the Studio Ghibli film 借りぐらしのアリエッティ (The Borrower Arrietty).  That’s …

Voici ce que j’ai trouvé!

Yesterday, I was perusing my old copy of Le petit Nicolas by René Goscinny, which I bought a couple years ago to brush up on my French, and started feeling nostalgic.  I studied French for five years before I abandoned it in college and now I really wish I hadn’t.  I used to be kind of good at French composition (winning some contests here and there) but now… I can barely string together a sentence.  My reading abilities haven’t deteriorated to that degree yet but I really need to practice more so I don’t forget everything.  First things first:  acquire a decent grammar book because I can’t seem to locate my notes from high school.  I think I’m going to get myself a copy of Bescherelle – La grammaire pour tous which I heard is sometimes used by French students and/or students in French immersion programs.  The book is completely written in French since it’s for native speakers but I don’t think that’ll be a huge problem (I also have a fat Larousse dictionary in …