Tag Archive | France

How Do you Say: “Duh!” In French?





One of my dearest and closest friend’s, comrades lives in Paris France. She is an American girl just like me, having spent most of her life in the U S of A.

However upon falling in love and marrying a French Man she uprooted all she knew for a new life in a foreign country. Mon cher ami de la jeune fille is not someone who lived a necessarily sheltered life. She is a woman who knows a lot about people, life, and even France. In many ways maybe even more so than a lot of native French do. Though anyone French would be loath to agree with me.

The following is a post from my cher ami’s blog. I thought it fascinating and know you’ll appreciate where she is coming from on many levels. Preface this with the fact that my friend is also medically disabled, has no business walking around Paris WITH NO PHONE let alone trying to function without one that is working.

5 days?



Lost in Translation

Posted: 10 Mar 2012 05:01 PM PST

I would love to tell all of you that life in France is perfect, that it’s a dream, but no. Although Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it has more than it’s fair share of frustrations. I will share with you one of my days in Paris to fully appreciate the trials and tribulations that go alone with living in a foreign country.

The tactile screen on my cell phone got spotty and ceased up all together just in time for my contract to end. I searched online for my new toy, the little pocket that contains my whole life. I made a chart and brought it to the store, already anticipating that they would be out of stock of my first choice. I was right. The store nearest my house has a sign on it, “Closed until March 9th for maintenance”. There was not enough time that day to go to another store, so I survived that day and through the weekend phoneless. I’ve written about living in the dark ages here before, but I swear, history is alive and well in France. Visions of something between smoke signals and payphones danced in my head.

My doctor’s secretary, being the genius she is, working on her Ph.d. in stupidity, called and left a message on my cell phone for my next appointment after twice, once live on the phone and once in voice mail, leaving my home phone, she threw all rational thought out the window and left the information on my cell. When I called back to find out what is going on, she actually had the nerve to tell me she left a message on my cell. When I reminded her that my cell was broken, I swear I could hear the gerbil’s feet scamper on the wheel. It nearly killed her to have to give me the information that she already left on my cell.

After surviving all of this nonsense, I walked to another store for help with my phone. It was difficult to enter, due to the latter in front of the door. Every superstitious bone in my body made a run down of the current events. A woman greeted me. I began to explain in French when she noticed my accent and asked, “Parlez-vous anglais?” ‘For those of you still learning, that means do you speak English?) I said yes. She said she spoke English and that I could speak in English. I said, “Ok, my phone won’t receive calls and needs to be fixed.” She smiled and told me, “It’s ok, you can speak at a higher level.” I pondered this offer for a second or two then said, “My phone won’t receive called and needs to be fixed.” I’m not quite sure what higher level of English she wanted for that if she didn’t get the first message? She took my phone, called IT support. Then she asked me what the problem with my phone was. I repeated the, no incoming calls bit, going straight to voicemail.” I waited some more, like a duck stuck in the muck. She asked which numbers went to voicemail. I at first said my husband. She told me that his phone is probably blocking my call. I said, “No, it’s my husband, mon marie!” She said, “Yes, it is probably his phone.” My eyes bulged out of my head. I could actually hear some of my brain cells bursting until I said, “My doctor went to voicemail too.” Everything stopped in an instant, as if my doctor were world-famous. Your doctor went to voicemail, votre medicin?” she inquired. I replied,” Yes him too and another friend.” I heard her repeat in French to the IT person that it’s not just the husband, but the doctor went to voicemail. Then she asked me to list the numbers. Well, gee, I needed my cell phone for that!” I did call my husband to have him call and prove the incoming calls were going straight to voicemail. After this fiasco, she hung up the phone to give me the diagnosis. She said, “Your phone should be working in five days. If not, come back and we will see what we can do.” I looked at her and said,”Five days? What do you mean, five days?” She repeated and remained silent. I, being really frustrated, called my husband and asked her to explain to him ‘in French of course). I heard what she said to him in french and what she said in English. I was certain there was just something I missed. After this, my husband said to come home and he would explain. I came home right away, eager to know what was going on. Once I arrived at home, he said, “They said your phone should be working in five days.” I cannot tell you how infuriating it is when you understand something, but are lost in the shuffle, because it’s not your native language. Luckily, my phone began to work that night and it didn’t take five days. I share this with you, so for any of you that think of moving to a foreign country can prepare themselves for the difficulties they will encounter.



I have been nominated for the ABC Award by Four Blue Hills @ http://fourbluehills.com/2012/02/20/abc-award-2/  who has some of the most amazing photography of our country. I, ironically have had a bug to travel to the great state of Wyoming for some time and her blog is full of enticing places and things to further draw me. I encourage you to visit her blog and see something really new and different. I love her camera’s eye perspective on life.

The protocol for this award is as follows.

1. You must thank the person that awarded you. Thank you so much Four Blue Hills, I am stingy with some things in life, but your blog is not one that should be kept to one’s self. So, I am sharing it and you with my small yet very humble world.

2. You are not limited to the number of blogs you may bestow this award upon.

In that case……..

This may seem as cop-out but some. Yet I cannot think of awarding this to just a few without wanting to award to all of you. You know who you are! This is a hard one for me to follow-up on,  as far as the ABC’s of me. I dislike writing about myself in self serving ways. So I have done the next best thing. Gone to the world of crossword puzzles.

I have always loved anything to do with words. I was never really good at Math, never getting the reason why, or where for. However words, and why they work together to spell words always has been my thing. My family refuses to play Wheel of Fortune in our home because I will walk into a room, see a puzzle, and rattle off the answer in 0.5. They do not think its cool. Well..well… a bit of self serving dialogue after all.

So my ABC’s are words that are typically found in crossword puzzle that I am able to relate somehow, some way to myself. This has taken me a couple of days to come up with all these words. So I hope you’ll enjoy the ride.

So, here goes. I warn you, a sense of humor will be required and oh yeah… there will be a test on this tomorrow.~ See you then.

A = abraid; to awaken or rouse

B = balletomania; abnormal fondness for ballet

C =caesura; natural breathing space in a line of verse

D = duteous; devoted to duty; obedient

E = eclat; to make notorious

F = fabulist; one who invents fables

G =Gallophile; one who loves France or the French

H = hark; to pay close attention; to listen

I =iamatology; study of remedies

J =jannock; outspoken; honest; outgoing

K =kalology; study of beauty

L =lampadephore; torchbearer

M =magirics; art of cookery

N =nemophilist; one who loves the woods

O =obambulate; to wander about

p =paciferous; peace-bringing

Q =quinquagenarian; person between the ages of 50 and 59

R =rachidian; of or concerning the spine rhematic of words or verbs; forming a word or words

S =sanguine; optimistic

T =tantivy; at full gallop; headlong

U =unbosom; to pour out; to tell freely

V =vadimony; bond or pledge given before a judge

And, lastly these few words. I had to try to find a way to summarize this excercise of self telling and sharing. I hope you get the fun intended here. I was absolutely grinding to halt for words. This explains it well..

W =wordbound; unable to find expression in words

X =xanthippe; ill-tempered woman

Y =yonderly; mentally or emotionally distant; absent-minded

Z =zanyism; buffoonery

©tjhelser 2012