Saturday, June 25

we cruel americans. subtitled: french "R"s are important.

TO ILLUSTRATE THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ABLE TO PRONOUNCE THE FRENCH "R" AND ALSO TO ILLUSTRATE WHY BOLSTERING YOUR FRENCH VOCABULARY BEFORE MOVING TO FRANCE IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
(at least by this blogger.)

early in my france experience (when speaking ability was lower), while keeping the triplets mum company in the kitchen while she prepared dinner, i was trying to explain what my sister did for a living in the states.

(english translation follows)

me: "well, you see, she's a social worker. she works with 'foster children'. um. i don't know the word in french, but she works with children who are placed with other families...that aren't living with their parents..."

her: "oh, yes. 'families of greeting'."

me: "yes, families of greeting. and it's up to her to make a recommendation whether or not the fingers* of the parents should be cut off."

all motion immediately stops at stove.

her: "WHAT?"

i have obviously said something NOT right here...

me: "um. well, it's her job to help decided whether the fingers of the parents should be cut off...as in the law?"

her body visibly relaxes.

her: "ah, yes. RIGHTS** of the parents."

i nod enthusiastically.

her: "rights of the parents. not the fingers." she looks relieved. "i couldn't believe the americans would be so cruel!"

(* fingers = doigts)
(** rights = droits)

6 comments:

cara said...

enceinte - pregnant
(pour)enseigner - to teach

in my mother-in-law's bastardized french, i became pregnant instead of being a teacher! nothing quite like people you just met looking at your stomach thinking you are going to have a baby instead of just being a bit pudgy from christmas dinner.

but thanks for the helpful reminder to keep trying to learn french before i get there in 2 months!

roger said...

That's nothing. When I was 12, my father tried to book me a "matelot" for the night:(a "matelas") would have done the trick, I now believe. The acid test of course is how you say "grenouille".

(PS: Saw you on francophony.net).

kylie said...

grenouille.
ugh. this word is the bane of my french existance.
i have a block. i simply can NOT get it right.
argh.

delaïdo said...

The one I can't say is
ronronner

As a cat lover, this is a terrible affliction.

Anne said...

I am in so much trouble...despite four months of lessons prior to my moving to Paris (3 weeks!) Every time I speak French it turns into Polish (Just left Warsaw).
I hope the French are relaxed and friendly about foreigners speaking bad French...

Anne said...

PS - I linked to you on my blog, hope that is OK!