Thursday, March 23, 2006

J'essaye "Essaye-moi"

My French teacher recommended this inventive French romantic comedy to the class. Luckily she gave a brief plot synopsis (see here ) so when I went to see this - my first non-subtitled or dubbed foreign film - I was able to construct a framework around the rapid opening sequences. Realistically, because of the speed of the speech and the usage of idiomatic expressions, I got about 5% of the dialog. Nevertheless I was able to track the gist of the plot, but judging from the audience laughter, missing out on much funny dialog. Thankfully there was a strong undercurrent of visual humour. About 2/3 of the way through, I was pretty much up to speed with what was happening and was laughing along with them.

I took Bondi to the vet today. Luckily our combined English and French more than covered the needs of the situation, and I walked out €200 lighter after paying for the consultation, and rattling with pills. The vet wasn't aware of the osteoarthritic drug Cartrophen VET, and wasn't sure if it was approved for use in France yet. If it's not the case, then I'll deal with getting Bondi an injection when we get back to the UK in just over two weeks.
A couple of expressions I picked up in class:

1. "chanter comme une casserole" = "sing like a saucepan". One of my high-school class mates said that I was not so much tone-deaf as piano-deaf, because I couldn't get within 88 notes of a tune. Not that I'm going to nurse that comment for a long time...

2. Bell-bottom trousers were known as "les pantalons pattes l'elephant [or l'eph]" = "elephant foot pants". I misheard this as "les pantalones pas telephone" ... well telephones and bells both ring!

It's not surprising when I do mishear things in class, because I usually sit near the window, and whenever a delivery truck blocks the street, the cacophonie of a thousand French traffic-horns is quick to be heard.

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