Thursday, July 05, 2007

Preparation for the Tour day France

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Bicycle Net published a list of essential French phrases to aid in understanding some of the terms used during the Tour de France, or as we say here in America, Tour Day France. The list is long and fairly comprehensive. I've merely copied some excerpts below. If you need to pronounce them properly, try to speak through your nose as much as possible and do a passable imitation of Pepe Le Pew. While we Americans cannot claim to be intimately familiar with French culture, we can be very thankful for the culinary masterpiece they've shared with the rest of the world - French fries. With a bit of ketchup or mayonnaise, they're perfect!


Jul 2007

Parlez Vous Tour de France? - French Words Useful for Understanding the Tour de France

French Vocabulary Related to Cycling and the Tour de France

Whether you love cycling or just watching competitions like the Tour de France, you’ll want to learn some French vocabulary related to cycling.

un commissaire - referee who travels by car

un coureur - rider, cyclist

un cycliste - rider, cyclist

un directeur sportif - manager

un domestique - support rider

un échappé - breakaway

une équipe - team

un peloton - pack, bunch

un poursuivant - chaser

un rouleur - smooth and steady rider

un soigneur - rider’s assistant

un bidon - water bottle

un maillot - jersey

une musette - feed bag

un col - mountain pass

une côte - hill, slope

la flamme rouge - red marker at 1 kilometer from finish

la lanterne rouge - last rider

le maillot à pois - polka dot jersey (worn by best climber)

le maillot blanc - white jersey (worn by best rider under 25)

le maillot jaune - yellow jersey

le maillot vert - green jersey (worn by leader in points)

Of course, here at CycleDog, there are a few additions:

un dopeur - a rider who cheats by using banned performance enhancing drugs. According to the French, this includes all non-French riders.

un whiner - anyone who works for L'Equipe, the French sporting newspaper that covers the tour.

un fair and balanced - L'Equipe's coverage of foreign riders.

un loser - French rider.

un coureur American - upstarts who through chicanery, cheating, and out right thievery have prevented honest, upright French riders from winning their national tour.

L'année prochaine - Literally, "next year" in English, when the French can hope to win the Tour for the first time since 1985.

Enjoy these words, and feel free to use them in ordinary conversation around the office or shop. When others mispronounce them or use the English equivalents, correct them immediately. Honestly, they'll thank you for it and no one will think of you as a pretentious asshole.

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Blogger Fritz said...

Don't forget the other culinary contribution: french toast!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Apertome said...

"un fair and balanced" in particular cracked me up.

I have to admit that I cringed a bit at "Tour day France." I've never followed the race, but I took French in high school, and it's always a little appalling when someone botches it that way.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Bob Roll pronounces it that way, and who am I to contradict him? I think he's fluent in both French and Italian, so he must be right!

I've seen Tour day France in a couple of other places. It may be the beginning of a trend.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Fritz said...

Ed, I assume you know the story behind Bob Roll's "Tour Day France." Bob Roll is indeed fluent accurately pronounces European events, place names and rider names, but "Tour Day France" is an intentional snub against the French because of French wait staff criticism of his language skills when Roll raced for 7-11.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Imagine that, someone intentionally being snotty to the French.

Glad I'm not like that.

"Tour day France" sets franco-philes teeth on edge.

2:10 PM  

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