Saturday, September 12, 2009

Un Vote

I had lunch with a dear friend this week who, after the avocado and bean salad but before the jaffa slice, excused herself and took a call; "Ah bon jour, ma cherie!" she answered, pricking my newly Francophiled interest.

[Please note, I've left the acute accent off the first 'e' in 'cherie' for authenticity as she was speaking rather than writing and I thus couldn't see it. Also, I can't figure out how to do it in blogger.]

My friend, it turns out, speaks and reads French fluently and has taught her daughter the same during long car trips and chilly winter evenings. They now converse, entirely for fun, entirely in French. They are my newest dual heroes.

I asked my friend if there was any merit to the idea of learning French by translating a novel and she answered enthusiastically "oui oui!" (sorry, I promise that's the last bad French-word joke; it's also the end of my current French vocab). My friend said that she knew of someone who had translated all seven parts of Proust's In Search of Lost Time into English for precisely that reason.

Happily I'm nowhere near that masochistic so have shortlisted but two novels:

1. All those who vote I translate Hugo's Les Miserables, say 'aye'
2. All those who vote I translate Danielle Steele's A Bon Port, say 'aye carumba!'

So, what'll it be?


Evil Overlord said...

aye carumba!

squib said...


(how many times can I vote?)

Kettle said...

Oh Evil, you are indeed evil.

And Squib, I encourage you to vote often and continue voting well... please!

Kettle said...

PS Squib, ooh ooh! I've just seen 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters' is out. Is it on your list?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...


The only thing I can say in French is "I hate the French".

Oddly enough, this never goes down well with the French.

squib said...

Kettle, I have to say 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' was a bit of a let-down

Useful French phrases

Kettle said...

Squib, ha ha! Thanks for the link; how refreshing to find a language resource that is so pragmatic.

Ramon, I highly recommend Squib's link. It should give you some great suggestions for expanding your conversations with the French.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

At last, a phrase book that's actually useful!

the projectivist said...

aye carumba!

Danielle Steele.

have you started yet?

Kettle said...

Exactly, Ramon, finally. Don't give me random conjugations and pleasantries; give me "Are you drunk?"!

Oh Ms P, Danielle Steele! Although, Danielle Steele in French is less scary than 'Harry Potter' in Russian (or 'Harry Potter' in any language).

The winning book will be purchased on Friday. This weekend is going to be a ripper.