- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Friday, September 19, 2008

French Lesson of the Day

Ohhh the mistakes we make when speaking in a foreign language.

Last night I got together with a new friend in Paris that I had emailed earlier this week. He was a lot of fun and we had a great time. We met at the Centre Pompidou for drinks on the top floor at the outdoor lounge and then went to dinner at Chez Chartier, a well-known Parisian cafe where they write your order on the tablecloth...reminded me of The Italian Oven (but French-style). Anyone else remember that place? It was like, my favvvv restaurant when I was 9 years old.

He knows how to speak English, and I know how to speak French, so it was a good match and we switched back and forth all night between the two languages. Once we were a few drinks deep and comfortable with one another, he explained to me that the email I originally sent him was a little innneresting. See, at the end of the email, after explaining who I was (a good friend of his friend) and that I would be in Paris from such-and-such dates, I said the following sentence: "J'ai pensee que nous nous rencontrons pour un cafe ou aller au restaurant/lounge, etc. quelque apres-midi ou nuit bientot." Loosely translated to mean, I was hoping we could get together for a coffee or drinks/dinner one afternoon or night soon.

The problem is that in English, the words "evening" and "night" are basically interchangeable, but in French, "soiree" (evening) means one thing, and "nuit" (night) means something very different, haha. In other words I sounded like a dime store hooker!!

I'm so glad I sent basically the same email to all of my friend's friends in Paris (sarcasm). Just fab. I'm like the foreign exchange student in Can't Hardly Wait... "Would you like to touch my penis? I am a sex machine!"... no idea that I was saying something bad.

Ohhh, you live in a foreign country and you learn. :)

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