Quoi de neuf / Infolettre

Bonne Année and Variations

How do you wish someone a "Happy New Year" in French, all the while avoiding some common mistakes? Remember to keep it simple, with "Bonne Année" (simplest) or "Bonne et heureuse année." You can optionally add the year to either of those expressions, as in this example: Bonne Année 2015 (deux mille quinze). Note that many Anglophones would like to insert a "new" (nouvelle) in there, for a direct translation of "Happy New Year," but the addition of "nouvelle" would be superfluous. For examples of pronunciation, view this charming 3-minute online clip on Youtube, of a children's choir from Brittany (Les Enfantastiques), singing a song to usher in the New Year.   

Five Popular Links of 2014
A quick recap of this year's bulletins reveals some of the most popular links - these are worth another visit:  1)  The NBC News article about French cafés charging rude customers extra, 2) the list of the 100 celebrities who speak French (see the related French Morning article at the top of the blue section below), 3) the SmarterTravel article about what NOT to do in Paris, 4) our own teachers' "Part 2" list of tips for etiquette in France, and 5) the NY Times article on the Benefits of Failing at French. Those were the most popular from the first few months of the year. In the next bulletin we will publish a couple more of the year's most popular links. Have a favorite to propose? Email newsletter@afportland.org.    
Teachers "Make the Grade"  
Each term, the Alliance conducts mid-term and end-of-term surveys to learn about students' perceptions and goals. Students also provide input on their teachers and their overall learning experience. The Fall results are exceptional - students rated their Alliance teachers an average 4.9 points on a 5.0 scale for excellence in their craft. Click here to see an excerpt of students' comments and contact the Alliance office to sign up for the Winter Term, which begins the week of January 5, 2015.   
Updates on SW 20th Ave. Construction
If you've visited the Kamm House in the past year, you've seen the construction at a nearby site at SW 20th and Jefferson. The good news is that the new building is now framed and will move toward completion in the coming months. Fortunately for students, free parking is available in the lot of 32 spaces at SW Columbia and 18th, a five-minute walk from the Kamm House. Evening and Saturday students also enjoy convenient parking at Willamette Dental, across SW Jefferson. Click here for all parking options.  
Transitions & Year-End Notes      
  Changes in Leadership at the Alliance: The new year brings major changes in leadership at the Alliance Française of Portland. Click here for an announcement by Linda Witt (pictured here at left) of transitions at the nonprofit, beginning January 1, 2015.
  The "Bo
n Voyage" party for Meriem Bouhaddouda (Meriem is shown here at right with board member Kimberly Shute) was held on Dec. 17 at Cerulean Wine Bar in the Pearl and was attended by nearly 50 well-wishers. Click here for the online gallery of photos, which includes students and teachers from several French-American schools in town.
  Year-End Giving: Donations to the Alliance's Annual Fund are up 20% from last year. Cash donations and memberships qualify for charitable tax deductions. Questions on how to make a year-end gift? Call the office to participate.     
Galettes in January: Cooking Classes      
On January 15 and 20, St. Honoré Bakery at 3333 SE Division will hold special hands-on baking classes for Alliance members, on making galettes des rois. The King's Cake is a traditional favorite at this time of year, and the bakery owner, Dominique Geulin, who has been featured on OPB (click here for the video), will be the instructor. Click here to sign up for the Thursday, Jan. 15 class (in English with some French vocabulary) and here to sign up for the Tuesday, Jan. 20 class (in French). Both run from 6-7:30pm at the bakery's SE Division location; max 10 participants; students will learn how to handle puff pastry, assemble a galette, bake their own galette to take home, and also learn the ritual of the crown and the fève). Pricing for the classes is $63 (discounted for Alliance members; normal pricing is $70). 
Dates to Remember
Jan. 5: The Winter Term Begins
Jan. 15 & 20: Baking Class on Galettes des rois
Jan. 23: Highlights of the Canals and Rivers of France
Feb. 25: French Night at the Blazers at the Moda Center (Rose Garden Arena)
Apr. 25: Annual SOIREE GALA at the Multnomah Athletic Club
Quick Web Links

Now Enrolling for the Winter (Jan-March) term that begins the week of Jan. 5.  




Some are hosted by Alliance staff, board members or other volunteers. Drop-ins welcome; membership is encouraged but not required.

NW, N, or Central   

St Honoré on NW Thurman on

Wed., 6pm, Jan. 7 & 21         

C'est Si Bon on NE 7th on Tuesdays @ 6pm  

Philippe's Bread on N. Williams on Sat., Jan. 3. for B2/C1 levels (advanced, fluent)  

SE Portland

At Chez Machin, Mon., Jan. 12, at 7p.m.

At Vie de Bohème weekly on Sundays, 4-5:30 p.m.


At Gustav's in Vancouver, Tues., Jan. 6 at 5:30 p.m.


In-Kind Sponsors







American Celebrities Speaking French, Photography
Exhibit & More

 La Liste des Listes: French Morning has published its year in review, with links toward its most popular lists of the year, or "C'est la liste des listes." While the content is culturally oriented toward French readers (specifically, to French expatriates living in the United States) it can make interesting reading for Anglophones. Click here for the "Top 10 Lists." One that is particularly interesting is the list of 11 major American celebrities who speak French; it includes a short video clip of each celebrity speaking the language in an interview format. The list starts with Jodie Foster (the most fluent) and others, and wraps up with Serena Williams. Click here for those links; most are of current-day celebrities but a charming one is of Marlon Brando as a young man, explaining a fairly universal reason for why he wanted to learn French.
  France on Display in Portland: Photographer Michael Kenna's body of work entitled "France" (25 photos) is on display in the Pearl through Jan. 31, at Charles A. Hartman (134 NW 8th Ave., in the North Park blocks area). The photographer, originally from Britain, has exhibited his work around the world, and in 2000 was named a Chevalier (Knight) in France's Order of Arts and Letters. Click here for an idea of the artist's work; the gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday. A portfolio book is available for purchase at the gallery. Merci to member Bob Derrick for this heads-up.
  Institut Français News: On a sobering note: The United Nations has condemned a bombing that occurred earlier this month at the Institut Français in Kabul, Afghanistan. Click here for the article. The Institut Français, like the network of Alliances, is part of the worldwide French cultural network. There are 150 Instituts and 1000 Alliances. (Note that the Instituts are not connected in any way to the Institut de Français at Villefranche, which is a private institution and one of the world's top immersion schools.)  
  Galettes des rois: Interested in experiencing the galette des rois but can't make it to the cooking class (as in the earlier article)? Alliance members get 10% off purchases at any St. Honoré location, including special holiday orders. The bakery's galettes, available only in January, are handmade by Geulin and are available for ordering through Jan. 31. Order two days in advance. Click here for pricing. 


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