French is a fascinating language. And Antidote is a fantastic tool to discover new stuff.
For example, I just learned the origin of the phrase « il y a belle lurette » (it was ages ago). I use Antidote (Ma Voisine Millionnaire presents the software here, in French) for its powerful spellcheck, but also for its various guides and dictionaries, such as the synonyms dictionary that saved many a translation. I was looking for a colourful synonym of « longtemps » and found « il y a belle lurette ». As I was looking for something specific, donkey-related (don’t ask why), I decided to find more about this strange word, « lurette », as I never saw it alone, out of this phrase.
Well, Antidote taught me that it is simply a derivation of « il y a belle heurette » (« heurette » standing for « petite heure »), which sounds quite nice by the way.
Now I’m tempted to tackle some French question now and then, or share basic but tricky rules (such as the plural with non-integer numbers, inversion subject/verb, etc.). Would it sound good to you?
And don’t forget : the 2nd Translation Forum opens tomorrow at the French Book Fair in Paris. Will I meet you there?