Listen to CBC’s All in a Weekend radio show from May 11, 2013 where host Sonali Karnick talks with Nadeau & Barlow about The Story of Spanish, their next book on Arabic and their upcoming trip to France. Listen »
Booklist’s starred review of The Story of Spanish: “Nadeau and Barlow once again present a thoroughly researched linguistic history. Part anthropological study, part travelogue, this volume is an entirely compelling compendium.” Read more »
New York, May 21, 2013: Cervantes Institute Washington, May 22, 2013: Embassy of Spain in Washington San Antonio, July 8, 2013: The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese 95th Annual Conference For more Nadeau & Barlow upcoming events »
Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau are bestselling authors of books on language and culture. Partners in life and writing, the couple lives in Montreal, Canada with their twin daughters.
Como escritores trilingües, Jean-Benoît Nadeau y Julie Barlow han dedicado sus carreras a cerrar brechas culturales, primero como periodistas, y ahora como autores.
Best wishes for the year 2012… That is, if it’s actually the year 2012–something that is far from being certain. For Muslims, the year is 1433. For the Chinese, it’s 4709, keeping in mind that in 2011 their new year began on January 23rd.
And in our own Gregorian/Western/Christian calendar, the year 2012 is not completely accurate. This is because of one monk, Denys le Petit, who experienced technical difficulties when it came to counting. Perhaps he used his fingers to count and forgot all about the 0. As a result, Jesus Christ’s birth is in year 1 as opposed to year 0. In addition, le Petit was somehow off in his calculations by four years. In fact, Christ was born in the year 4 Before Christ.
Hopefully, all these calendrical (mis)calculations won’t make your head spin. It would be a shame to start the New Year with a headache. Instead, we wish you a very happy, prosperous and most pleasant new year!
The revolutionary government hired the poet Fabre d’Églantine–better known for his bedtime song “Il pleut, il pleut, bergère” (“It’s raining, it’s raining, shepherdess”)–to come up with new names for the days and months. D’Églantine was inspired by the weather and natural cycles, so he used different suffixes for each season, attached to Latin words that corresponded to the typical weather for each month. The fall months were Vendémiaire, Brumaire and Frimaire; the winter months wereNivôse, Pluviôse and Ventôse;the spring months were Germinal, Floréal and Prairial; and the summer months were Messidor, Thermidor and Fructidor. D’Églantine wanted to rename the days after vegetables, animals and farm tools, but the National Assembly probably realized that they were already pushing their luck by trying to name the days after Latin numbers (primedi, duodi, tridi and so on). Read more »
On Friday, December 9th, l’Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer (The Academy of Overseas Sciences) awarded the Prix de la Renaissance Française (French Renaissance Award) to Canadian authors Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow for their book,The Story of French. The award was accepted on their behalf by their publisher Stéphane Watelet from les Éditions Télémaque.
The Prix de la Renaissance Française was created in 2011 and is awarded to works that highlight French literature or French culture inside and outside of France.
The Academy’s honorary President, Mr. Jacques Serres, described The Story of French as being, “A scholarly book that provides sound knowledge on a subject of great interest, with the added benefit of stirring up smiles from readers through humorous anecdotes.”
About l’Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer
Founded in Paris in 1933, L’Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer examines scientific issues specific to overseas countries in addition to awarding nine literary awards annually. Its motto is “Savoir, comprendre, respecter, aimer” (Knowledge, understanding, respect, love).
The son of a general in Napoleon’s army, Hugo was only fourteen when he wrote in his schoolbook that he would be “Chateaubriand or nothing.” He started his first literary journal at age seventeen and soon made his mark with poems and a series of popular novels. He wrote with an ease and freedom untypical of his predecessors. At twenty-one Hugo earned himself a royal pension. His first play, Cromwell, turned him into a celebrity. Its preface—in which Hugo made a plea for what he called le grotesque (popular reality) and against the classical canon of unity of time, place and action—was considered the manifesto of French Romanticism. “All too often, the cage of unity contains a mere skeleton,” he wrote. As to the play itself, it was anything but classical, with hundreds of characters and dozens of locations. Read more »
There’s nothing like becoming bilingual when you’re young. All the better when you can be schooled in two languages. Julie Barlow and her daughters were interviewed by Dominique Forget for an article in Québec Science on bilingualism and the brain.”
The struggle to save Nesbitt Elementary School from closure began eight months ago and is still going strong. Yesterday, parents presented briefs to the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) commissioners in hopes of saving the school, which boasts a very successful French immersion program. Anglophone Julie Barlow along with francophone Jean-François Desmarais and other parents of Nesbitt’s governing board presented concrete facts, but also convincing arguments why Nesbitt should stay open.
Lately, there has been much talk of the lack of bilingualism and the tolerance of unilingualism among high-ranking public officials in Canada. Many parents of Nesbitt do not understand why the EMSB would want to close down a school that counters the unilingualism trend by producing students who can function fully and fluently in Canada’s two official languages. Time and time again, studies have shown the advantages of learning more than one language. As a matter of fact, a recent article in Québec Scienceexplains the virtues of learning more than one language and features Nesbitt School as a prime example of a school that has the right solution to the problem of unilingualism.
On Monday, December 5th, Julie was interviewed by Global TV’s Tim Sargeant on the issue.
On Tuesday, December 6th, Julie and Jean-François Desmarais, whose daughters attend Nesbitt, were interviewed by Maxime Coutié for Radio Canada’s morning show, C’est bien meilleur le matin. Listen to the interview here »
On December 9th, 2011, Julie Barlow will be one of the writers participating in the English-Language Arts Network’s panel discussion: “Becoming an Artist,” moderated by David McGimpsey. Julie along with author Dimitri Nasrallah, will share advice on the skills, connections and practices useful in kick-starting a career in writing.
Between 1800 and 1860 no fewer than a thousand French grammars were published. The most influential was La nouvelle grammaire française, by François Noël and Charles Pierre Chapsal, published in 1823. It was followed by an abridged version, and the book went through more than eighty editions, including two translated American versions, one abridged and the other full-length.
In the early decades of the nineteenth century the flurry of activity in language instruction materials was phenomenal. In 1834 the Bescherelle brothers came out with another grammar, La grammaire nationale. Although Le Bescherelle now specializes in verb conjugations, today it is still one of the most important names in French grammar. Read more »