Saturday, November 11, 2006

French TopoGuide vocab

When I was cycling in France I managed to understand most of what was on the maps. One day though there was a note "forte pente." I suspected this might mean steep but didn't know for sure until I encountered the relevant section of the route, which was indeed very very very steep. I would quite like to make sure I know more of the 'climbing' and directional vocab I will need before I try to follow instructions for the St James pilgrimage route.
The three topoguides I ordered on our wet wet Labour Weekend have now arrived in the mail from France. (Great excitement!) I intend to make up a little 'vocab guide' for myself as I use the dictionary to check terms in the Topoguide that I am unfamiliar with. In particular, I plan to make very sure I understand all the verbs connected with direction, and all the nouns that describe landscape features. This will reduce my guesswork, as I already possess an ability to get majorly lost. I have a well-developed knack for mixing up left and right!
As I add to this vocab list I will edit previous entries and bring the list more to the top of my blog so I can more easily find it when I need it.
I have a reasonable command of French but only a few words of Spanish. I am not sure how much of an issue this will be. It may be too hot to realistically complete the Spanish section of the pilgrimage in the same year after the French section. Time will tell. I would start a traveller's Spanish course at night class next year except I am planning to do another Massey paper on New Zealand fauna.... and that will keep me very busy for the first semester.
Vocabulary List
la combe: anticlinal valley
le hameau: hamlet
couper un virage: cut a corner/bend
une crete: crest, ridge
deboucher: leads to, comes out on
contourner: go round, bypass
la falaise: cliff
des poignees pour se hisser: handhols to hoist yourself up
goudronnees: tarsealed
un chemin castine: untarsealed road?
No accents included... not sure how to do them in blogger!


  1. I know you know a lot of things I know nothing about!!!!!!

    I am doing this vocab list so my ignorance won't lead to me getting too lost. It is one thing to get lost in a city and quite another to get lost when there are many kilometres to the next bed for the night! I don't mind getting lost in cities as I usually stumble on something interesting. But I know I would get really upset if I couldn't find my next bed!