Friday, May 06, 2005
It Sounded Better in French ...Haven't you ever thought.... things just sound better in French? The other night was proof of that for me. My husband and I went out to dinner with friends. The waiter informed our group that there was only four more of the recommended appetizer, the asparagus, left. Since there were four couples, each couple ordered the asparagus. My husband let me have the asparagus and tried to figure out what to order. He ended up ordering:
"la tarte fine a la tomate et mozzarella."
I'm not sure what my husband thought he was getting, but I had in mind some tasty crust with buffalo mozzarella and plump tomato slices. What came.....
-- said Auntie M in Paris
# posted by iliana : 10:24 PM
# posted by janey : 12:11 AM
# posted by Anonymous : 1:34 AM
# posted by Lisa : 3:44 AM
My favorite french word that makes the ordinary special.
Pomme de Terre=potatoe=apple of the earth.
ah the French do have a way with language.
# posted by BohemianMama : 3:48 AM
I read your blog and I like it alot.
Its great to read blogs written by females.
I work with kaysbargains.com, maybe you've seen it.
We have a pretty happy female following also.
So I definitely wanted to let u know that we are having a blogette contest.
We are having visitors vote on their favorite site.
First prize is $1000 and i definitely think u should enter ur site. (its free)
Here's a link to the contest: http://kaysbargains.com/Contest.php
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions.
Keep up the good work, your site looks great.
# posted by Cindy : 5:43 AM
My opinion is that it is great to read blogs written by *women*.
While we are at it remarking how pretty French words sound, when in France, it is advisable to refrain from using the word "female" (= femelle) to designate women. I cannot pinpoint the exact period when it become common practice in the United States to say "female" instead of "woman" or "lady" or "girl". It sounds atrocious! In a conversation in France, throwing in the word "femelle" instead of "dame" or "femme" would be the most vulgar of expression. "Femelle" is only used for animals.
On administrative documents it is stated as follows:
For women, *sexe: féminin*
For men, *sexe: masculin*
# posted by Frania W. : 7:20 AM
Shoehound and Janey, The pizza was really good.
w, We miss you over here. Hope you're having fun in the US.
Lisa, I agree... "encore" sounds a lot better than "plus!" I wonder what they call those stores over here.
BM, Pomme de Terre does sound fancy. My favorite French word, just because I like the way it sounds, is appuyer.
Cindy, Thanks for your nice note. I will check out the website.
Frania, I've really enjoyed your comments and visits. Thanks! I'm not sure when we starting saying "female" in the US, but "dame" or "lady" definitely sound outdated in English. I actually have a hard time with "femme" because I always translate literally and it sounds like my husband is talking about "his woman" which also sounds weird, at least to me. Of course, I also wonder why it's pronounced "famme." Ah, the French language fascinates me.
# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 7:48 AM
# posted by fruktose : 11:13 AM
The discussion about "masculin" and "feminin" reminds me of Peter Ustinov, the late actor. In one portion of his memoirs he describes how he came to the USA for the first time. He was very surprised to be ordered to fill out a "landing card" with questions to be answered. When the time came, and after thinking about it a bit, he wrote:
Last Name: Ustinov
First Name: Peter
(and so on and so forth).
and a bit later, on the next line after date of birth, where they ask about race, he put :
Needless to say, the Customs people gave him a very, very hard time. (smile) Such vintage Ustinov has disappeared from daily life, alas.
Note that when one says les femmes in French it's very definitely not the same thing as les dames. (wide smile) One doesn't want to use femelle too cavalierly, either: it equates all to frequently with bi*ch in English.
Too, one hears lady in the UK, where a "woman" is not necessarily a "lady". (wider smile)
# posted by L'Amerloque : 3:02 PM
# posted by mrsmogul : 3:55 PM
French “dame”, pronounced like in “Madame” = English “lady” is absolutely not outdated in French. When you use a word foreign to you, you must try to feel it in the sense given in its own country & not translate it from your maternal tongue. The direct easy translation can lead into some of the most embarrassing situations, such as the use of “femelle” in French instead of “dame”, “femme” or “fille”. As for the pronunciation of “femme”, it was “fême” up until the 17th century at which time the pronunciation of many words was changed and that of “fême” became “fame” as pronounced today, while the spelling “femme” did not change.
Auntie M, if you want to learn more about French words as you go on living in France, buy yourself a good “dictionnaire étymologique” that will give you the origin & evolution of words.
# posted by Frania W. : 5:07 AM
Am laughing at the above comment. Looks like I was trying to impress you with Russian! All the words I put between quote marks got all goofed up. Will use stars next time.
# posted by Frania W. : 11:50 PM