Monday, May 15, 2017

My French Mind

As we get further into our year here in France, we find our family using more and more French, sometimes even in the place of English.

The other day I was sitting at school, writing down the lesson, and I thought 'Oh man, I have to efface this whole thing'. I paused, that didn't sound right. Efface, efface, efface, I know it sounds like it, what is it in English? I finally remembered that it was 'erase', but not for a while. This is just one of many situations where we find ourselves at a loss of words.
We have also taken to calling our pencil cases trousses, notebooks cahiers, and have been saying words like commence, comprehend, and bizarre much more often.
Another thing that has been a problem for me is thinking that french words are really what you would say in English, for example:
I was talking to Mom and Biniyam one night, and during our conversation I said, "... you know, when you manque something." They looked at me like I had said I was an alien from outer space. Mom shook her head, "No, I don't know about manqueing something"."That's not an English word? When you don't have it, there's not enough. What word do we use?" They burst out laughing.
After I racked my brain for what it was in English, I realized that I meant to say 'lack'. They sound almost exactly alike to me now. I'm still pretty sure that manque is a synonym of lack, at least in my crazy world.

Something that French people say a lot is "Ça me dérange" which means "That bothers me", or "Ça ne me dérange pas", "It doesn't bother me". This is a phrase that has become one of our favorites to say around each other, another is "Ce n'est pas grave", 'It's not serious'. And this is one that we hear a lot at school, "Ayo, il y a trop de bruit là!", "There's too much noise there!".

Hopefully one day I will be able to sort this all out, and be able to go back and forth between languages without getting tongue tied, or as Mom calls it, French Fried.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation
 of my heart be acceptable in your sight, 
O Lord, my rock and redeemer.
-Psalm 19:14

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