Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Not Faire

It is now clear to me that I have been put on this earth, in this country at this time, to amuse the French. It is a good job I am English and do not have the French hang-up about appearing "ridicule", but even so. Oh Cimon did you really have to point out that what I wrote on the recipe that is possibly going to every parent in La Fille's class is that they could "crap without syrup"? Groan, groan, groan.

Thank goodness I did not spark up the computer until I had returned from making the Chocolate Cornflake Cakes or I don't think I'd have been able to face the class of three-year-olds. Just what did I do in a previous life to deserve this: steal sweets from blind orphan chimney-sweeps? Thank heavens the recipe may not be distributed and if it is it will be on the last day of term so all those Mamas and Papas can have a thoroughly good snigger over Noel and just may have forgotten it by January. Then again, would you forget something like that?

I rang the Frenchman in a panic and shouted at him. "You looked at the recipe why the hell didn't you tell me I was making an arse of myself?" He seemed genuinely puzzled by Cimon's interpretation (Hmmmm. Cimon's latest post reveals this is on his mind at the moment, which might offer me a face-saving explanation) and insisted "Vouz pouvez faire sans sirop" was fine. Then just as I was calming down the Frenchman went: "Oh yes," as if he'd just realised something then said he had to go, and hung up.

Whatever. The sad fact is I have form for this sort of thing. The staff at La Fille's nursery never quite got over me referring to "safe-sex" raisins. I bet it still springs to mind every time they see dried fruit.

I hope nobody tells La Fille. She looked so proud of her Mama making chocolate cakes with syrup this morning.


Pearl said...

It's good to have a purpose. :-) And now that you realize that yours is to amuse the French, from what I've read, I'll bet you will do a phenomenal job of keeping them entertained.

Cimon said...

OK, I am sorry I upset you.

Still you might want to look at this definition, C/1)a)beta, especially with the use "par ellision du complément d'objet".

But you get a point : I am currently interested in the subject (did you notice the video about the soca was in English ?), and the context should be sufficient to conclude the thing was about CCC and not toilets.

I am surprised you are not involved more frequently in mispronounciation quiproquos. Not that I think your pronounciation is bad, but English and French have in common you cannot tell how a word is pronounced by the way it is written. I remember having tried (at least) 20 different ways to pronounce The big Lebowski (like ze big lebowski, de big lebowski, the big lebawski, the big libowski, the big lebowskee and all possible mixes and stresses), with the twenty first attempt answered by a "Oh, I think I got it : you probably meant The big Lebowski".
I unvoluntarily took revenge from a rosbif who asked for the Bonne nouvelle metro station, while I kept showing him the opposite direction to pont de Sèvres.

Dumdad said...

At least the kids will enjoy the poo joke!

Henry the Dog said...

My mum made the same mistake with her useage of 'préservatif' (mum just read your link about safe sex raisons). At breakfast one morning she told her french friends that the onion chutney she was serving them was 'sans préservatifs'. They gave her a strange sidelong glance before breaking into a fit of the giggles.

Stinking Billy said...

Quite hilarious!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

I'm amazed you cope at all. Its bad enough learning English round here. People are called 'duck' and if you don't like the cold weather you're 'nesh'. Smashing blog, though.

bonnie-ann black said...

your travails have given me the courage to be even more "ridicule" when i go back to paris than the last time i was there! at least i go home after my humiliations and don't have to face a sea of little faces, or their parents.

courage! mon amie.

Parisgirl said...

Yes Pearl, I'm a one-woman French cabaret.
Cimon, Upset moi ;-). Isn't it The Big LeBOVski?
Dumdad, As much as or more than their parents do you think?
Henry: "safe sex chutney"? That's even better!
Thanks Billy and Ken and Bonnie.

Cimon said...

Let's conclude for the subject with this book (actually, a very good book).

And the IMDB refers to a big lebowski

Parisgirl said...

Cimon, the book link doesn't work. Could you please post it again?
Sorry, perhaps I wasn't very clear, I know it's called The Big Lebowski, but I was trying to convey the pronunciation as you had done in your message, the 'w' being pronounced as a 'v'.

Cimon said...

OK, let's try this one.

I got it with the big lebowski. But I am afraid my problem with English pronounciation is much deeper than w/v (stress + many sorts of o + many sorts of i = no one understood).

Parisgirl said...

Cimon, I know, I know; I've been trying to explain to La Fille why 'e' is sometimes 'ee' and 'i' is sometimes 'ai' etc., etc. It's all very confusing...for me!

Parisgirl said...

And the book: La Fille loves it. But you should know it was originally in English. ah ah ah!
(Her other favourite is 'Caca Boudin').

Cimon said...

In English ? I thought the original version was in German (as Werner Holzwarth and Volf Erlbrukh sound more German to me).

Wherever it comes from, it is an excellent book, isn't it ?

(I just wanted to show you how the translation avoided the concept of caca with a secondary use of faire)

Have you tried 365 pingouins ? Very nice after the (quite bad) Madagascar 2.

Iota said...

I have the same problem with inadvertantly talking about safe sex with small children. Here, a rubber isn't the small thing on the top of the pencil for correcting mistakes. That's an eraser. I have to be so careful...