Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Posts posted by 5-element

  1. No idea about the grammatical rule. But for instance, "pas UN chat" is "not a single cat"

    as for "not reading the papers", look it's the same in English, as "ne pas lire les journaux"

    same, I think, with your first example, pas de problème or pas de choix - translated in English by "no problem and "no choice".

    I might only have demonstrated above that I am so much the wrong person to ask about rules.... I might speak both languages OK, it doesn't mean I know the rules! [:D] You have to play it all by ear ("au pif" or "au feeling" LOL!)

  2. Norman, I just knew you would have something to say regarding the new Béziers mayor, and I popped back here to see what your take was...

    Several Brits from around here, who go and shop in the Béziers Polygone rather frequently, are threatening to move their custom to Montpellier [:D] although this might only slightly impact on the town's new economy.

    Idun, I share your suspicions re. Manuel Vals - I have really tried to like him (or what he says and does) and just can't. I find him only slightly less objectionable than Jean-François Copé but they both strike me as rather vicious, Vals's saving grace  might be that he seems a bit less sournois than J.F. Copé. Someone (French) summarised the choice of Vals as prime minister as "Hollande getting himself a d-i-ck" (ooops, that might get censored here although, nothing personal here, it is all metaphorical of course!)

  3. Only just saw that thread, and - even though it has moved on a lot since it started - and even though I haven't read every single word of the comments, what came to me immediately was "en pas plus de deux ans" - a clumsy, but almost literal way of translating... what was it again you were supposed to transate??[:D][:P]

  4. Yes you are right (both) about "en avoir pour........minutes/hours/days".

    Yesterday someone asked me about the expression "avoir beau (faire quelque chose)" - he thought it was the same as "même si" - not quite, though.

    For instance, if you say: "J'ai beau me lever tôt le matin, je n'arrive jamais à tout faire"

    So it is "even though". It's a strange expression, I had never thought about it like this.

  5. We misunderstand each other probably because our situations are completely different - I have no idea how to clarify yours, as it is so much outside my experience!

    I can only direct you to the official text: http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F17585.xhtml which may, or may not be relevant to you since yours seems to be neither pension de retraite nor pension d'invalidite???

    I hope you find the answer to your question, although, not necessarily in the link above?

  6. [quote user="EuroTrash"]Well that's what I assumed (all foreign income at least) but 5_elements seemed to be saying that she is in the French health system but she shouldn't be liable to CSG because her income is below the tax threshold?[/quote]

    I think you might have misunderstood me, Eurotrash. I am in the French health system (although I get most of my income from the UK). My own income is both below taxable threshold, and also below the CSG threshold (2 different figures I think).

    My husband is NOT in the French health system, and therefore is not liable for any CSG.

    But because we are one "foyer fiscal", if you add both our incomes, we are liable for some income tax - fair enough!

    However, our incomes should NOT be treated together for CSG payment, since HE is exempted - so, if there was CSG to be paid, it should be on my income only. My income is too low to be CSG liable. Yet, we are being liable, as if we were a standard French foyer fiscal. In other words, his CSG exemption is being ignored (through the mere fact that he is married to me?).

    Parsnips, many thanks, I will proceed with contesting (I have paid - of course one pays first, and then contests.[:D])

  7. [quote user="parsnips"]


           The only income subject to french IR but not CSG, is, I think, the UK state retirement pension, which is exempted by a specific EU ruling.    The ruling was based on the CSG being a "cotisation" not a tax.


    UK state retirement pension is exempted by a specific EU ruling, but only if you do not have any French pension too (mine is 100 euros per month). But because of that tiny French pension on top of part of a UK state pension, I no longer have an S1 and am "à la charge" of the French social security for healthcare.

    Mr. 5E, on the other hand, has an S1 - and therefore should be exempt from CSG.

    Not so. Because we are taxed jointly, the CSG amount we owe is calculated on half our joint income.

    What is even more interesting than OH being in effect, charged CSG, is that should I be taxed alone, my income is below the ceiling of taxable income and should also be exonerated from CSG charges. So, while OH is exempt (0 CSG to pay), and I am exonerated (0 CSG to pay), together, we are charged CSG! Which must mean that 0 + 0 = 2 sometimes.

    I had animated discussions with the accountant about this, she swore blind that she had checked and that the charged CSG was right.

    I am now bracing myself to go and enquire at the local hotel des Impots,and maybe even build a dossier to contest what I see as a rather odd way of calculating social charges.

  8. But income tax and social charges are already merged, as from this year - I've already paid ours...both French residents,  (as I have a minuscule French pension, it means means that we are liable). Admittedly, the opposite situation to the one you mention, Pickles, but I thought it means that everyone who is liable for CSG etc had the amount merged with their income tax for 2012. Apologies if I am just muddying the waters further...

  9. [quote user="NormanH"]I still have no bill for the Impôsition sur les Revenus (either online or by post)

    Strangely enough I have got a bill for my social charges (which I understood were going  to be incorporated into the Revenus this year) [8-)]


    Snap, Norman, same here, no bill for impôts yet.... only the taxe foncière.... ouch!!![+o(]

  10. Yes, sadly, paperbacks are (more and more) making their way to the recycling bin. At first, I felt utterly sacrilegious, until I found out that many other avid readers and book collectors end up doing just the same, as books are so plentiful and increasingly being refused by libraries, and other charities than Emmaus. I think they still take them, but am not even sure. [:(]

  11. "Un eau troublé": are you very sure about that Chancer?????? I've never known water to be both masculine and feminine??? C'est l'explication qui est trouble, pas l'eau!

    By the way, I do franglais fairly frequently (not systematically), but as a shortcut more than anything else; like others have said, when a given word or expression comes to me in the other language. This happens a lot when I am with other bilingual people, and there is nothing pretentious about it. But it is really funny when it is done pretentiously, especially when the speaker has got it wrong anyway, a rather common occurrence.

    Just to go back to the initial posting, I kept having the same problem with being overcharged in LIDL and I became so paranoid about it that I even found overcharging where there was none (most embarrassing)...

  12. [quote user="Chris"]Interesting point. For those that teach French: is it a given that older people have a harder time learning a language/retaining it?[/quote]

    I couldn't tell about other languages, but my experience of trying to teach French to older people (which has only been English-speaking older people in France, and that is the first proviso) is that yes, it seems they have a harder time learning it and retaining it . But this might be skewed, since my point of comparison would be with younger people in England, learning French for a job; an exam, etc. I have never taught "older people" in England.

    So, those older English speakers I have taught in France have been expats, or longstay American tourists.

    Overall, the students who seemed to have learnt or retained the least, taught either in group or one-to-one, are British expats. I found that "the French class" has been for many, little more than another social occasion, with the illusion that "just going to the class" would be sufficient to imbibe the language - as if by osmosis. I must emphasize that it is not true of everyone. I have also had some rather diligent students, and those tended to be the the ones who also joined associations where they would mix with French people exclusively.

    Most older people complain about their memory: (who was that actor, and what was the film again?). I am sure that declining neurones can't make it any easier to learn another language, and I do feel for those who end up in old people's homes where the spoken language is not their native language, but that is another issue.

    Older people are so much more stuck in their ways, not as adaptable or flexible, probably more closed off to new experiences, and that must be a factor too. With many of the older people who at first seemed very determined to learn the language or improve their use of it, I found that the initial motivation seldom lasts. After a while, when they have discovered that they can, actually, get by, their brain seems to shut down, and they'd much rather get together with their other expat friends around a daily apéro - barring the odd interaction with madame next door, or with the plumber.

    Cynical, moi??? No. I still believe that if you really, really want to learn, you can - but it might be a bit like giving up smoking: nobody can do it for you:

  13. Perhaps it is worth pointing out that a very sizeable number of French people (I wish I could remember the official figure....) are also without a mutuelle, as they cannot afford one either. Like some posters here, I naively imagined that those people who really can't afford a Mutuelle don't need one, as surely they would be eligible for CMU-C complémentaire, or even CMU-B de base - but there is an astounding amount of people who actually fall through the net.

    This might account (at least partly) how  the state of someone's teeth as you see them, denotes their degree of wealth or poverty...

    Dental and optical care, this is where it shows the most...

  14. Thanks Brianagain, for your link, I'd missed that incident, but am not surprised - there is definite animosity towards the "non-French" riders in some quarters, including from some of the French Tour commentators, even though they have to show more impartiality on the air and  be a little more sophisticated in their remarks and attitudes. But the French are not very good losers, and losers they were during this Tour... Still, there is always next year...

  15. Great, great post Betty. If only all those who need it, could and would read and apply it... (not referring to people on this forum, but to some of the non-French speakers I know personally)

  • Create New...