Lexicon and The French Touch

I’m amazed to realize how similar the English and French languages are.

Some words are even spelled the same, like flirt and fatigued (I know my f-words!). With other words its easy to suppose the recent common Anglo-Franco ancestor.  For example, the French verb “to read” is “lit,” which is the beginning of the English word literature.  The French word for “foot” is pied, think “pedestrian.”

Other times you have to use your imagination a bit more. Try sounding this word out:

boocherieNeed a hint?

meat

Its a butchery! Think boocharie. Try guessing this one:

chausser

Need a hint?

shoes2

Its a shoe store! Think chauuses.

Of course, not all French words translate directly into English. If they did, this store would be terrifying.

le pain

No, its not the house of natural pain.  Want to take a wild guess?

bread

Its a bread store! Pain = bread.

The distinct difference between French and English is the pronunciation.  It is very difficult to pronounce French words with my guttural American tongue. The French speak in a much softer and round way, its quite different.

This softness of speech translates into other aspects of French life. For example, I could not turn on the stove. My landlord showed me how, its simply a button on top of the stove’s surface, but I could not do it.

stove

It turns out, I was pushing too hard.  My French stove will only turn on with the right touch, a firm press with the palm of the finger.

It takes some practice.

I also could not get the door open with my French key at first.  The key does not respond to a forceful push.  The key makes a connection with the lock with a gentle, but firm, stroke.  Only then can you open the door.  I also had trouble with the windowshade in my room…you get the idea.

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4 thoughts on “Lexicon and The French Touch

  1. Brings me back to my French 101 days. I got about 2 of these right. Am so delighted that your world is opening up our Wonderful Lili–keep on cooking!

    Love you mucho

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