French is Exciting

French is basically set up to get les étrangers to accidentally make dirty jokes. Group two seemingly normal words together, and all of a sudden you have something sexual.

For example, when my grandmother was about to arrive in France, I said to my French friend:

Ma grandmère est très excité venir à Paris.

Literally translated, this means: “my grandmother is excited to come to Paris.” But, what I effectively said was “my grandmother is hot for Paris.” Excited, as I learned, does not mean how I use it in English.

Its funny, because Paris actually used to be the place to come for a good time. For example, the Moulin Rouge is more than just a location for a Nicole Kidman movie, but was actually a 19th century nightclub.
Its also where the can can dance was born! Now the Moulin Rouge is rather posh; dinner and a show run upwards of €150 ($215).

Another example:
If someone asks you what you did yesterday, you can sure say “J’ai attendu sur le queue,” which means “I waited on the queue.” However, group the seemingly innocent words “long” and “queue,” and you are saying something else entirely.  Think about it.
Le Chat Noir, seen around town on countless posters and magnets, is another once-dirty-now-posh nightclub of the 19th century.

Final example:
If the radiator was turned up too high, then I would say, “I am hot.” The correct way to say this in French is “J’ai chaud,” which literally translates into “I have hot.” Try saying the literal translation to “I am hot,” and you come out with “Je suis chaud,” which basically means the same thing as “Je suis excité.”

I suppose Americans are also rather obsessed with hiding sex within language.  However, the difference is, as always, cultural.  The French hide the nuances, and so only those in the know understand. Americans find nuance in every plausible situation.

5 thoughts on “French is Exciting

  1. Bambara is similar – the adjective “ka fari” means both “spicy” in a gustatory sense and also “in heat”, as in really itching to have sex. I could say “nisho ka fari” – these beans are spicy! I could say “nka jakuma ka fari” – my cat is in heat! But after eating spicy beans, never ever tell anyone that your mouth is spicy…

  2. Pingback: bookshelf « Lili Snyder

  3. Yeah i know France may be a ( cool place ) for people who never traveled in france but yeah. I agree this town got a hell, the people hear ther acting like real pigs! Mississauga miss me to.

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