The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Day 4 and I've Conquered the Boulangerie

“Bonjour, mademoiselle! Wheat cwarsonts, silvoo play.” I smiled sweetly.

“Huit?”

“Wee. Oh and er… du pan… la” I said gesturing to a large rack of bread that was as long as a baguette, but much wider and I didn’t know the name for. I think in the same way that the Inuit have 17 different words for “snow”, so the French have 47 different words for “bread”.

“%@&**;^*&%(!)^*,” she said. I glanced at the till; she’d rung up 7.60. I handed her a 10 Euro note and she gave me change, so I felt smug with my interpretational guesswork.

“Mare see. Oh revwharr!”

“Au revoir, monsieur.”

I think she chose a good loaf especially for me.

14 comments

34quinn said...

oh my god..I love your "hooked on phonics" way of expressing the french language.

The sad part is I know what you were saying. My hubby and son are bilingual with french and english.

I unfortunately tend to be more in the same catagory as you sir . ha

Jupiter's Girl said...

Good for you for even trying to communicate. The important thing is you got the bread. Is that a lot to pay for it, though?

I speak only the one language, and I know a few choice ones in Spanish. I have worked in settings where I had to communicate with people from different cultures and found that there can be a rudimentary understanding with gestures, pointing, smiling, and if that doesn't work - drawing pictures.

Kate said...

At least you tried :-) I think most people would prefer someone who has a go, rather then the shout and add an 'o' method of communication LOL

southrenirishbelle said...

Way to go!!!! I loved your point of view on the interpretation on international scales. Having lived in different countries all my life (manly spanish) I've learned alot about languages barriers, but way to go you handled it perfectly. I give you kudos for it.

SafeTinspector said...

I am so not going to follow in your footsteps.

Nikki said...

Excellent!

When in Rome...

fatmammycat said...

Well done for trying Kim and for not simply yelling at her in English. Why do folk always yell? Do they really believe that by saying it louder the person will go, 'Ah but of course, now I understand"
Bien hecho. Which is not French at all.Well the bien bit might cover it.

Kim Ayres said...

Quinn - it was the only way to put across my appalling accent :)

Jupiter's Girl - It's not so expensive when it includes the 8 croissants. You're right though, pointing,smiling and gesturing seems to work pretty well.

Kate - "HELLO-O! I-O WOULD-O LIKE-IO SOME-O BREAD-IO"

Yup, I see what you mean

Southrenirishbelle - welcome to my ramblings! Thaks for taking the time to comment :)

SafeTinsector - so where's this photo of you eating French bread and cheese whilst wearing a striped shirt and saucy beret, saying "wuh haw haw!" you promised me?

Nikki - I thought that ONLY applied to Rome...

Fatmammycat - so what's the hecho bit?

Pendullum said...

It certainly beats my husband who likes to say as his pats his belly...
Je suis FFFAAATTTT an' Gay...
Really meaning
Je suis fatige!
Mon Dieu!

Naomi said...

LOL, love the accent!

My dad and step mum are just about to move to rural France and they said the locals are pleased as long as you make an effort and don't just shout in English.

Naomi said...

Just noticed the new photo, that water looks bloody freezing!

fatmammycat said...

hecho-done.

Kim Ayres said...

Pendullum - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

I wouldn't have thought that Fat 'n' Gay wasn't the greatest boast...

Naomi - eventually I got used to it... sort of... but it was bloody freezing to begin with!

Fatmammycat - aha! It all makes sense now :)


Dr Maroon said...

Shouting is the only language they understand.
E7.60? Dick Turpin wore a mask.

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