Though I am assured that it is endearing when Americans speak French, sometimes you’re just over saying “Repetez s’il vous plaît” after every sentence. In times like this, I find it best to smile, nod enthusiastically, and, if you’re especially into whomever you’re talking to, let out a little laugh. Yes, sometimes you have to fake French.
For example, in class the other day, we seemed to stray from le diable et l’idée du mal to cover a more domestic area of study. What I understood was that in the second oeuf (egg), the linge (laundry) and the liberty fight le lit (bed) and it creates an obscure guafre (waffle). I decided to roll with it…you can’t really ask for an English translation à la Sorbonne. I was like, “I never knew Victor Hugo had such an affinity for kitchen appliances!”
As it turns out, the oeuf is oeuvre (work), linge is l’ange (angel), still not sure what the bed really is, and guafre is gouffre (chasm), but I didn’t learn any of this until after the fact. If I had dwelled on the details of Mr. Hugo’s
egg work, I would have been frustrated the rest of the period. Faking French gets me through the day! If a French man yells something unintelligible at me from a bar across the street, he must be very politely saying that I look like a sophisticated young lady, right? “Merci!” If a woman mutters something about the loud American tourists in the back of the metro, I roll my eyes in agreement. “Ugh, les Americains.” If I can’t hear the waiter over the commotion at the restaurant, he’s probably asking if I want more wine. “Bien sûr!” Anyway, my français is coming along slowly but surely, but when in doubt, the answer is always oui.
This song is kind of horrible, but
it resonates with me basically I just like their costumes…