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Posts Tagged ‘French language’

As a break from the more serious subjects I’ve written about in the past few weeks, I thought it would be fun to write about some of the language issues we’re currently dealing with Little Miss. If you have some speech funnies to share, please do leave them in the comments at the bottom so I can have a giggle also!

So, bringing up a bilingual toddler is fun right? Who said that? I think it is Frustrating with a capital F. I mean, how do you know what language she is going to speak in each time she opens her mouth and what about understanding those sentences when she combines both languages? Frustrating for Mum and Frustrating for her! Poor babe can’t work out why Mummy (or Maman as she also calls me depending on her mood) can’t understand her.

Until a few weeks ago, Little Miss wasn’t really saying anything but now it’s a constant dribble of bilingual blurb spouting from her mouth from 7am in the morning until 8pm in the evening, and if we’re lucky we get a two hour break at lunch time. That sounds harsh, but you try deciphering what a frustrated two year old is trying to tell you in 35 degrees heat and with extra kilos making you hotter than you should be and a blocked nose making you more temperamental than you usually are. Got the picture?

I am sure that somewhere, a Mum is going to look at this and think that’s so easy and wonder why on Earth I am complaining? Well, she is just really, very, very lucky and obviously didn’t get to experience the full on terrible twos at the same time.

So, back to Little Miss. As I said, it’s bilingual blurb. When she wants milk she says “mi-lait” which is half English with Milk and then French with Lait.

She doesn’t yet seem to have grasped that words have beginnings and ends and everything she says comes out without them. The other day she was in the pushchair and suddenly started screaming “apple, apple, apple”. Now, I took this as meaning she wanted an apple so got quite frustrated as she had only just had her snack and was telling her that there was no apple. Then a passerby stopped and handed me a hat – CHAPEAU except Little Miss was only saying APEAU which is part French for hat and of course I wasn’t expecting French at all.

So that’s pretty much the story of our communication at the moment. She says something, Mummy (or Daddy) grossly misunderstands and then there are tears. I was never any good at those games where you had the guess the actor or film just by clues so I’m not really very good at this game.

I’m loving that we’re able to communicate (eventually) but I’m really looking forward to less misunderstandings as I am zonked!

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One of the loving things about speaking a foreign language is the endless amusement that making a faux pas can provide.

I heard a fabulous language Faux Pas the other day and I have been chuckling ever since so I thought I would share it with you all here!

A business colleague of mine whose grasp of the French language is somewhat limited to ordering in French restaurants, wanted to congratulate an important French person on his achievements.

Extremely seriously, the English bloke held out his hand for a hand shake, grasped the French guys hand and said “Bien cuit Monsieur, Bien cuit”.

The solemn atmosphere soon descended into guffaws all around, as the French guy looked at the English bloke as if he was mad, obviously not understanding what Bien Cuit means for the average Brit. For those that were aware of what they’re asking for when they say Bien Cuit, there was no end of stifled giggles!

ps. Just in case you’re not a francophile, asking for your steak “Bien Cuit” in a French restaurant means asking it to be well done. In French however it means well cooked.

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