January 7, 2010

Cake Cups!

Pumpkin = pumpkin patch, pumpkin pie
Cupcake = cake cup
Snow = snowflake, snowball
Airport = airplaneport, but
Airplane = hairplane [my wife reminded me of these two]

After I'd been working in France a while, a French colleague asked me if I realized that some word or grammatical construct I used all the time actually meant something completely different than how I was using it. When I asked why he hadn't told me this sooner, he laughed and said, "Because you always use it so confidently. And anyway, it's always amusing."

I remembered this as I was thinkgng of the words K2 has emphatically, excitedly, and consistently wrong, and yet we don't really try too hard to correct her.

8 Comments

we always loved it when our daughter called her wrists "ankle hands." and recently she's been on us about our new year's revolutions.

Oh, come on: You have to tell us the phrase you misused and what you thought it meant!

yes, please share what you were saying incorrectly, with such enthusiasm & conviction!

Also, you just reminded me of this article from a few months ago: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125544523318682497.html

I wish I could remember which one, but it was just one of those "des que," "puis que," aussitot que" things. I can see the whole list of them on one page of my HS textbook, and my teacher just pointing them out and moving on.

The biggest example from French I can think of is "eventuellement" which, for cognate/faux ami reasons, is like "eventually" for English speakers who use it that way sometimes.

When I lived in China the cafeteria in my building served delicious lotus root. There were a couple occasions when they served it to me after I ordered "ya-pian" before somebody finally cracked a smile and pointed out that I was ordering opium (lotus root is "ou-pian"). Oops.

i lived in paris for 3 months about 12 years ago (yikes, i'm old) in an arab/pakistani neighborhood and after a few weeks of grocery shopping and general neighborhood life (and 4 years of high school french) i thought my french was getting good enough to have a real conversation. i was talking all night at a glamourous bastille day cocktail party, until i met a guy who started laughing hysterically at me. he was laughing so hard i couldn't understand what he was trying to tell me so i grabbed my fluent brother. my brother started laughing and said that i sounded like apu from the simpsons. i had a full on indian/pakistani french accent! and nobody told me!

Air tickle = static shock is the best I've heard from my daughter

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