French stick to French

It’s more reminiscent of Canute the Great Dane at the seaside than Francois the Small Froggy at the Elyssee – the way our near-neighbours are constantly trying to purge their Latin tongue of anglicisations, as you might say; and even now are resisting the demand for their seats of learning to teach in English.

We of course have always delighted in importing all their trash, ever since 1066 at least. But usually the words have been mangled beyond recognition – except among the incurably pure who still stay at ‘otels and drink ‘erb tea. More respectful folk, like the Danes, continue to make an effort to pronounce French words properly but score zero po-ang for their efforts.

But our most endearing trait (both t’s sounded) is to dub so many not-quite-British things ‘French’. My favourites include: bed, cricket, disease, fry, knickers and letter. If you will pardon my French…………

Author: Janus

Hey! I'm back ...... and front

18 thoughts on “French stick to French”

  1. I would be slightly worried about trying to follow a class taught in English by a French person. I frequently find that those French who try to explain things in English have such a strong accent that it is more or less incomprehensible, not unlike Indian call centre people.

  2. I recall sitting at a poolside bar in Nice, once, hearing a local troubadour torture the lyrics of Suspicious Minds and other Elvis songs. His voice and playing were not bad, but the words and his pronunciation thereof made Officer Crabtree of ‘Allo, ‘Allo sound like an ‘immortel’ from L’Académie française.

  3. English is THE “lingua franca” innit? Much as it may perturb the diminutive François and L’Académie Française, the rest of the sentient world is just not learning French. Their food is overrated too, as is their wine.

    OZ.

  4. Oh Hurray Oz!

    ‘Their food is overrated’ – I couldn’t agree more! The only time I’ve ever had food poisoning was in France!

  5. OZ: Ironic, n’est-ce pas, that “lingua franca” means “language of the Franks”, especially as French was the universal language of diplomacy a while ago!? 🙂

  6. OZ: I happen to quite like the French language. So much literature is written in it — especially from Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Senegalese food is also excellent. The people from Francophone Africa tend to be some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. It’s also fun speaking French to ‘Muricans. They tend to get their knickers in a twist.

  7. I have to agree that taking the piss out of the frogs is a very satisfactory sport for the British but I really can’t blame them for trying to resist anglicisation of their language and country. Had we been a bit more careful about the same issues we certainly wouldn’t be in the bloody mess that the country appears to be in.

    I do not agree about the food or wine being overrated either. Too expensive yes, but quality and conception wise, no way. I’d sell my soul for a bottle of St Estephe.

  8. Four-eyed English Genius :

    OZ: Ironic, n’est-ce pas, that “lingua franca” means “language of the Franks”, especially as French was the universal language of diplomacy a while ago!? :-)

    The Franks of course included everybody in western Europe – so a lingua franca was any language that oiled the wheels,as it were; like Danish for the folk in Greenland and the Faroes.

  9. Christina, “Had we been a bit more careful about the same issues we certainly wouldn’t be in the bloody mess that the country appears to be in.” I doubt whether ring-fencing English or forbidding foreign-language teaching could have made any difference to the fortunes of the UK, except to annoy a few French immigrants in London. 🙂

  10. Had we only let in those that spoke English a lot of them would have been left at the gates!

  11. Janus :

    Four-eyed English Genius :

    OZ: Ironic, n’est-ce pas, that “lingua franca” means “language of the Franks”, especially as French was the universal language of diplomacy a while ago!? :-)

    The Franks of course included everybody in western Europe – so a lingua franca was any language that oiled the wheels,as it were; like Danish for the folk in Greenland and the Faroes.

    Only to the Arab world were all Europeans Franks, and they used a mangled version of Italian as a lingua franca.

  12. Notwithstanding their horrible lavatories, (only to be surpassed by Tajik facilities in their stinking horror)
    I really do rather have to begrudgingly admire their ability to riot! Fancy being able to get 150,000 out to riot over queers marrying! All power to their collective elbows!!
    OZ I suppose Kristina O is me? No K mate, not a trace of Scandinavian blood except as Vikings arriving in ancestry. Strictly C.

    PS Tajikistan can’t afford to import bog paper so one is given a jar of round pebbles, quite makes one wince at the thought. Note to self, don’t get haemorrhoids in Tajikistan, no wonder they are all jihadists!!!

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