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.


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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