Monday, 3 August 2009

Bonville sur Mer - phrase book

I would hate you to think that everything about my holidays is lyrical, beautiful and unbearably poignant. That would be quite inaccurate. Why, as I sit here, I can hear Lashes arsing around with the loo brush in some very disturbing fashion, encouraged by his brother. Both of them should have been asleep half an hour ago. Apart from that, we are in rural France, which in and of itself is full of farcical nonsense. The fact that this place is near Deauville where people as famous as, oooh, Michel Sardou have been sighted, appears not to have rubbed off on the inhabitants at all, most of whom have webbed feet and eat their young. I am slowly developing a phrase book for foreign visitors and would very much like to share it with you.




1. Pourquoi vous m'avez mis un coup de caddie dans les fesses? Ce n'est pas de ma faute que vous avez 112 ans et un tempérament de cochon.

Why did you hit me in the arse with your shopping trolley? It's not my fault you are a hundred and twelve and a miserable old bat.



2. Le "gland", c'est censer représenter quoi, au juste?

What exactly is the "gland" supposed to look like?






3. La vue d'ici de la raffinerie est imprenable.

The view of the oil refinery from here is magnificent.






4. J'ai vu un rat rentrer dans la salle de douche du Camping Sarajevo quand j'y suis allée chercher notre couscous.

I just saw a rat go into the showers at the Sarajevo Campsite when I went to fetch our couscous.




5. Oui, nos enfants sont bilingues. Ce n'est pas la peine de nous regarder comme des extra-terrestres.

Yes, are children are bilingual, there is no need to look at us as if we are aliens.



6. Rendez-ce bernard l'hermitte à mon fils, c'est à lui. Si, si, il reconnaît les rayures de son coquillage. Ne m'obligez pas à appeler le capybara.

Give that hermit crab back to my son, it is his. No, really, he recognises the stripes on its shell. Don't make me call the capybara.






7. Moi monsieur? Prendre une photo de votre queue de cheval? Non, vous devez vous tromper.
Me sir? Taking a photo of your ponytail? No, you must be mistaken.





8. Je ne suis pas du tout sûr que le jambon puisse être considérer comme un légume.

I am not at all sure that you can call ham a vegetable.


I do hope this has been enlightening. The CFO, who is ambitious on your behalf, suggests that once you are comfortable with these phrases, you can start to construct your own using the words and phrases above as building blocks. He suggests, for instance:


"Je ne suis pas du tout sûr que le rat dans mon couscous puisse être considérer comme un légume".




(I am not sure that the rat in my couscous is strictly a vegetable. )



If any of you are holidaying in francophone countries and have phrases or questions you have found it difficult to formulate using a traditional phrase book, I would be delighted to assist. Just let me know in the comments.








Incidentally, if you are not reading this why not? Go and read it instantly. Ne m'obligez pas à appeler le capybara.

13 comments:

WendyB said...

Highlarious.

redfox said...

I have noticed in the past that ham seems to be considered a vegetable throughout all of Spain. Why this should be the case is an intriguing mystery.

In other news, I think that once you have described "arsing around with the loo brush," the "very disturbing fashion" may already be fully established.

westendmum said...

Was the hermit crab wearing the Speedos?

What is it with the French and their power stations. We once bought train tickets to Martigues, having seen a picture of a beach not dissimilar to a Greek island. We thought the ticketman was sniggering at our bad french, mais non. When we arrived at the de-salination station that is Martigues we slunk down in our seats and stayed on the train all the way to Marseille.

Veronica Wald said...

I don't know what a Gland is supposed to look like, but obviously a Gland X2 looks like an oversized cookie thing frosted with green stuff, one end dipped in chocolate, of course.
You didn't try it?

Alexa said...

You are always such a font of useful information, my waffle. Would you believe that these particular phrases were never covered in all my five years of French?

Kate said...

"glands" always puzzled me. as if they actually look like acorns. sure. and the green put me off ever buying one.

i think your phrasebook is quite good. you might want to add something about calvados in there. and butter and creme fraiche. isn't that all they eat up there? i'm impressed you found couscous. did it have a cream sauce?

anxious said...

One of my favourite French facts is that a hermit crab is called "bernard l'hermite". Thank you for reminding me.

screamish said...

redfox is sooo right! madrid last year was hell on my digestive system.

that reminds me (no nothing to do with ham/constipation) do you speak exclusively english and the cfo exclusively french? even outside in real world? do the kids cope ok?

Mya said...

May I suggest an addition to the phrase book?
Michel Sardou...pourqoui?
I tried to comment yesterday...but was too sad.
Courage.

Mya x

Jon in France said...

Ham not a vegetable? Don't be ridiculous. People will be claiming that Orangina is not a fruit next.

Jaywalker said...

Redfox - in our local brasserie in Paris rice was listed as a vegetable too. There's a whole different taxonomy we don't understand, clearly.

westendmum - spent ages last night trying to take a pic of power station by night. It was very twinkly and beautiful.

Veronica - I did try it. It was quite disgusting as you might imagine.

Alexa - no! I am outraged. What a substandard education you received.

Kate - I think it didn't have cream in purely because les normands prefer to add their own from handy UHT cartons to get the requisite gaggingly milky texture.

Anx - it is really peculiar, isn't it?

screamish - in short, no. It's a big old mess, language wise. He, and they, speak French, I try and speak English but often revert when strenuously ignored.

Mya - that phrase can also be extended to: Florent Pagny/Pascal Obispo/Lara Fabian/Garou, etc etc etc. And thank you darling.

Jon - you're right, of course. Mea maxima culpa.

bevchen said...

I remember seeing ham listed as a vegetarian meal somewhere. It may well have been Paris.

Love your phrases. So much more useful than the list in your average tourist guide ;-)

Fat Controller said...

I have it on good authority (my little bro') that sacré bleu is a commonly used exclamation in francophone countries and means 'fill my blue boots with vinegar'. Is this true and, if not, what is the French for 'fill my blue boots with vinegar'?