Tuesday, September 1, 2009

All the French You Need to Know...

I just returned from a delightful mother / daughter evening at the movies with none other than my lovely, loving, darling girl Ziggy.

Ziggy, of course, was forced into going happy to go with me and to spend quality time together. She sure does love hanging out together, especially when it's a night that no one she knows is at the theatre.

I'm not going to ruin the movie for you - we saw Julie and Julia - but watching Julia Child study French reminded me of the time Doreen and I got it into our heads to study the language. We scooted our chairs up close to the computer, pursing our lips together in unison as we repeated after the French speaking software. "Bonjour!" In the interest of foreign relations, after a couple of hours and several faux pas (ha! two more French words!) we gave up, knowing if a true Frenchman heard us he'd march us off to the guillotine for the atrocious way we butchered their proud language.

But still... I saw the cafe, the steaming cup of cafe au lait resting beside a hot buttery croissant just set down by a temperamental waiter who chain-smoked unfiltered cigarettes, argued with the locals and ignored the beautiful, brooding American writer in a red beret (um, for the unenlightened, that would be me.) Oh and I'm European thin in this little fantasy too.

So I've decided to go back to the drawing board. Want to learn along with me? I thought so... therefore I took the liberty of looking up a few key words and phrases to help you on your way.

And so, mes amis, as promised, here is all the French you need to know:

Faux pas - pronounced foe pah. A false step, an error in judgement, a mistake, i.e. Dating your best friend's dad was a faux pas. A big ass faux pas.

A la mode - pronounced ah la mohd. With ice cream. i.e. I'd like to eat my Cheerios a la mode but my mother won't let me.

Gauche - pronounced gohsh. Tactless. i.e. When I asked if my butt looked fat in these pants and you said no, your butt looks fat in all your pants, I thought you were being gauche. And then I remembered, you're a jerk.

Beaucoup - pronounced boh koo. Lots, much, plenty. i.e. His mail order bride cost beaucoup bucks but was worth it.

Je ne regrette rien - pronounced I don't know how but I love this one. I regret nothing. i.e. I ate the whole bucket of popcorn but je ne regrette rien.

Mais oui - pronounced may wee. But of course, often said with sarcasm. i.e. Can I have six friend sleep over on a school night? Mai oui, Ziggy!

French fries - pronounced french fries. Delicious fried wedges of potato, probably the most frequently spoken French word in America. i.e. Would you like french fries with your burger?

Ok, maybe french fries is not actually a french word or phrase and I just happen to know they call them pomme frites but... what's a French lesson without french fries?

In conclusion, mes amis, here's a little French tongue twister for you - first person to post a comment and tell me what it means gets to "theme" the next blog posting. **Disclaimer, you only get to "theme" it, I will actually write what I want, based on your theme, so think carefully and be creative...

Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu

Bon chance! Good luck!


Doreen said...

I know it! I know it! Perhaps I did learn something during our brief French lessons. However,I'm going to let someone else say it so they can pick the theme. You really don't want me to do it, I'd pick something like ear wax, just to mess with you. I just wanted to point out that you forgot one french word - TK you know the word I'm talking about...

TK said...

If my tonton mows your tonton, your tonton will be tondu....EAR WAX. Yes Doreen I know the word. It is your favorite I believe

Tracy C. said...

If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaved.

Perhaps "shavings" should be the next theme. Interpret as you'd like.

Great post BTW. Je l'ai aimé. And, I am reading Julia's My Life in France book now... can't wait to finish it so I can go see the movie!

Doreen said...

I wouldn't say it's MY favorite word TK, but I would venture to say it is yours :)

Debbie said...

I am so much smarter than I realized! I knew all of these terms except the one you can't pronounce either so all is good. And I am very well acquainted with french fries.