Thursday, August 24, 2006

La Saison Mort

So French ended last night and it was sad. In the blink of an eye, 12 weeks of French, four times and a week for 3-3 ½ hours each, blew by. My whole quasi-social life gone, all gone.

It was good though, and that needs to be taken in the context of my only other French class four years ago. Yes, in those days I felt the need to give France a chance. I didn’t care much for France or the French and I figured that was a result of my years of German learning. I wanted to rectify that situation by learning French. Bad idea. My first teacher threatened to kill and scalp us (the scalping is sort of impressive because she didn’t know that much English). Yes five days a week first thing is the morning I got to wake up to death threats and not joking ones. Yeah, that didn’t endear France to me so much.

So this summer was the second go and I had amazing teachers. My first teacher was great at teaching grammar, had us sing French drinking songs, and had the added coolness bonus of having been born in French colonial Saigon. Second semester I had a professor from francophone Africa who had a great sense of humor and despite being a native French speaker and spending a lot of time in France, was not French and had no problem making fun of the French with us. That being said though, second session was a bit wilder.

Yes, in addition to discussing how the McDonald’s menu is translated into French (as it turns out the French just mispronounce the English and the French-Canadians make up words like ‘McCroquettes’), we watched French films (a Canadian one with the great line ‘Fuck vous!’), and did partner work. Crazy partner work. Or at least mine was. Yes over those six weeks along with Josh I helped plan a trip by sailboat from Algiers to the Congo, accuse my sun of wanting to run off to France with my daughter in order to sleep with her, and chant ‘I will kill everyone’ in French while making up a little dance. Good times and now to commemorate those here is a list of some of the words and phrases I learned:

Je te tue – I kill you, very rhythmic and easy to dance to.
Roulette du printemps – spring roll
maison close - brothel
blesser Vaugelas – butcher the French language
surfer la télé– channel surf
le coup de boule – head bunt, thank you Zidane
courreur de jupons – skirt chaser

le pipol - misspelling of 'people,' the people in the magazines, celebrities
la saison mort – off-season, literally the ‘dead season,’ creepy.

And remember, don’t accidentally sleep with someone when you were only trying to kiss them:

braiser quelqu'un – sleep with
donner un braiser – kiss


ruth said...

my favorite mcdonald orders will always be the Биг Тейсти (the beeg teysty, which as far as i know doesn't exist in america) and the МакЗавтрак

Barbarossa said...

I almost died when I saw those for the first time. Oh cyrillic McDonald's.