Friday, October 13, 2006

Pardon my French

Only been a couple of weeks and I am losing my French.

Belgian French is like French French, it is warped by English. Frenglish. French phrases with English words. English pronounced à la French. Poulet (fr) = chicken (en) = chicon (b).

When I do hear (unwatered down) French, I know its French but somehow it doesn't register as French. It is not even an accent issue. Here, I am the one with the accent (and I stubbornly refuse to tone it down). It's all like a bad kungfu movie, I see the lips move; I hear the words but it's not in sync. I understand each word spoken individually. In combination; as an expression, they lose their meaning. Words that I understand have been essentially lost in translation. Essuie-éponge (sponge-wipe) = serviette (towel).

So, somewhere between the Flemish (Hubby describes it as gutteral sounds mumbled by drunken Vikings, cod in mouth - his description not mine, send the complaints to him), and the Frenglish, it is my knowledge of Shakespeare's tongue that saves mine. God save the Queen.

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