Aug 21 2017

Sprachen ze lingo?

Well, I’m back from la belle France… and what a wonderful time it was too. A bit too hot for my liking, but an enjoyable getaway, nonetheless.

I’ve been to french France many times over the years and whenever I go, I’ll always have a go at speaking the language, because I’m told that they always appreciate that.

I’ve often joked that I speak just enough French to get my face slapped, but in truth, I could probably muster enough for  a kick in the balls too.

Now, I’ve spent many, many hours in the car, listening to Teach Yourself French tapes and have learnt many phrases and words.

Stringing them into a coherent sentence though, that’s a different matter.

This was very evident one night when we went out to the Luna Park and I tried to get some drinks from a stall.  As I queued, I practiced what I wanted to say, in my head, and when I reached the counter I confidently spoke the words… with a slight French accent, for good measure.

“Je voudrais une bouteille d’eau, s’il vous plait”

The girl serving behind the counter looked at me, uncomprehendingly, so I repeated myself.

She shook her head, looking confused.

I pointed at a bottle of water in the glass-doored fridge behind her. “Eau! Eau!”

She looked at me and then she looked at the queue growing behind me, and with some very obvious impatience and a condescending look, she said “Please say it in English”.

I fucking hate the French sometimes.


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  1. Brennig

    They all speak English behind our back

    1. Masher

      I do the same, to be fair.

      1. Brennig

        Ha! I hadn’t thought of that

  2. Juliette

    Zut alors! What a bitch. I hate them too. Don’t bother next time. In fact, speak in German.

    1. Masher

      My German is worse than my French – too many genders.

  3. Alan Wright

    She was probably a German girl trying to learn French.

    1. Masher

      No, she was very French: I saw her armpits.

  4. Dave

    One of the problems is that the dialect for the area is not the same as the French we tend to learn. Most tapes/cds and schools for that matter teach Parisian French, in the same way that the French learn London English. But Montpelier is further away from Paris than Glasgow is from London and we all know about the Glaswegian accent. more chance of understanding French! Slowly I am learning French and using the dialect but even after two years I have a fundamental problem with one word. Whenever I use the word une, they hear it as deux. Although it never works in my favour.

    And down here in South Franceland very few people do speak English except that they have picked up on holiday or from tourists as, because this was once part of Spain, until this generation of schol kids, Spanish was the second language taught in school.

    Lecture ends.

    1. Masher

      Well, thanks for clearing that up, Dave.
      I’d have thought you’d be fluent in the language by now, so that makes me feel better ☺️

  5. Alan Wright

    ‘and I thought the English language was bad enough…..

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