Lesson of the day: Speak English the French way, make a fool of yourself but remain sexy

As you all know, we French people are not very good at English. Well, actually, English pronunciation is our worst enemy. The problem is that we’re French and we don’t give a shit about making an effort in general. Following this logic, we normally do not think it is worth pronouncing certain letters.
The English sound h does not exist in French, the letter does but not the sound. Therefore, if it isn’t pronounced in French then why bother? Indeed, you’ll hear lots of French people tell you things like: I ave a obby, I leuve orseback riding or e is andsome etc… Ok, ok, you knew that…
It becomes worse. We can’t pronounce the sound h but since we’re French and being totally inconsistent is like a second nature for us, we will tend to pronounce the English h perfectly in words which do not have the letter h in it, e.g. Hi ave ha obby, hi leuve orseback riding or e his andsome
Now you’re thinking: “but this is rather annoying, not sexy!” And I just say “Good Eavens, old you orses!””
You may think this is annoying but it could also be really depressing! Wait until you hear the rest…
Did you say Penis?
A few weeks ago, a loud American student spent some time in Paris and decided to take lessons at the language center where I work. Despite slow progress and a major clueless attitude towards clothing, the guy was highly motivated and really excited about his learning French. Additionally, he had found a cute little apartment for a few weeks on rue de la Gaîté, near Montparnasse. In other words, he totally felt like a 21st century Hemingway but without the beard and the talent.
One evening before leaving school, he asked one of the receptionists what Gaîté meant in French. With a large smile, the very customer-oriented receptionist answered that it meant happiness. The loud American shouted “Oh my gaaaaaahd! Am I staying on a penis street”??!!!
Cross-cultural misunderstandings and clichés. Where do they all start?
Our h-less receptionist did not understand what the big deal was about and looking at the poor man’s desperate behavior, decided that all Americans were freaks.
The sad and loud American confirmed that the French were all perverts, they even call their streets like sexual organs.
The perverted receptionist felt sorry for the freak and started to pout a little.
The American thought French ladies were perverts but quite sexy, especially when they pout.

So now you know why foreigners have this love-and-hate relationship with the French, it’s all bad phonetics and a pout…

PS: Gaîté does mean happiness in French. However, one might wonder how our poor American friend could get so shocked if you consider that around 30 sex-shops are located on rue de la Gaîté…

French saying of the day: One pout a day, keeps the Americans astray.

Ave ha good week hend!

2 Responses

  1. This is a good post and quite true. But even in America, with all four regions, you have accents. Even here on Long Island, I have a hard time understanding some of what they say. They stretch and pull on words, if you ask me. But then you go down south, really down south and I really can’t understand the real country people. I have to really listen and be on my toes. Now, you have someone, like myself, who had a mother that was a debutante and exceedingly rich in my upbringing concerning language. I was not allowed to paraphrase or to use certain words such as ain’t. I might as well have said shit. She didn’t really like the Southern accent and did all to dispel it from our home.But I also grew up in N.Y., so I have an ecclectic accent at times and depending how much I drink, wooooo!!
    Very interesting Frog!

  2. good post man

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