4.5 hours a day of private French instruction is a lot, but it gives us the chance to explore a bunch of topics and vocabulary that are new for us. Like today, when we had a free ranging discussion about words for people's occupations, hobbies, and lives. Some interesting words:
To wander or loaf around. A neutral term, not negative. Baudelaire coined the noun flâneur for someone who spends their life wandering around the city and experiencing it.
To blossom. A positive term, used to describe someone who has finally found an occupation or vocation that is perfect for him.
Idleness. A negative term used to describe someone lazy, inactive, a bum.
Violon d'Ingres
Idiomatic expression meaning "hobby" or "second avocation". Ingres was a famous painter, but on the side he was also an accomplished violinist. Also the title of a lovely piece by Man Ray.
It's fun to learn subtle words in different languages. I don't think there's exact synonyms for any of these terms in English, particularly epanouissement. American culture has a very different take on how one spends one's days.
  2007-04-11 16:18 Z