Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Ridiculous, Tome 1

Laval is getting loungesque. Two bar/lounge places have opened up in the past six months. And a third will be opening just a few blocks from our house.

None of that is particularly ridiculous. Their names, however, tend to be.

One is the Duplex. That's ok.

Another one is the, get ready for this, Living Café.

Now, I get the whole oh-it's-from-a-foreign-language-so-it's-cool thing. Just like eating at Café Campagne in Seattle or Pastis in New York. But come on, the living café. What does that mean?

It gets worse.

The one on the way to the excellent bakery is called Ze World. Cringe.

Now, I also get how hard it is for francophones to pronounce [th]. (I can't post phonetic symbols, deal.) They are sounds (interdentals) which don't exist in French and putting the tongue between the teeth to produce the sound makes them feel like they're lisping. If it's a voiced (throat vibrates) th, as in breathe, they'll use a different voiced option, like [d] or [v]or [z]. Same goes for the voiceless version, as in breath, where they'll use [t] or [f] or [s]. All of which is fine. We do the best we can.

But, if I had a choice, I'd much rather hear the [f, v] or [t, d] alternatives. SO much softer on the ears.

But I guess De World or Ve World doesn't sell martinis.

8 comments:

beth said...

So, do you have plans to start a new night life? My friend here in town is from Thailand and she can't pronouce "f", like "film" and I've tried to say a few words in Thai, but my mouth and tounge just won't work properly to form the Thai words.

Christina said...

thanks for the linguistics lesson...how come you didn't take me to these places you speak of? :)

Lorraine said...

Did someone say "martinis"?

Nicole said...

Beth - 11 is a late night for me, I've no lounging plans at all.

Christina - I know how much you love phonology...because they weren't open when you were here last time. Well, maybe the living was but it's in a strip mall. Like I'm going to go to a lounge at a strip mall. Even if it is a French strip mall.

Lorraine- Someone did. I'll buy you one when we're in Illinois this summer.

Christina said...

fair enough, i don't like the idea of "lounging" in a strip mall either. you're not getting out of it next time though... :)

beth said...

Did someone say strip mall - haven't seen one of those in a while - I don't think they allow them in my tiny town - unless it's a wine store/winery strip mall (that they might allow)!

zeb said...

Not long ago you complained about nobody checking your blog, they you go days with nothing and this is the best you can come up with a linguistic lesson. How about talking about the new places, how about talking about martinis, something besides how to prononce names.

Nicole said...

Christina - And I can think of lots of things you're not getting out of this summer...

Beth - You're lucky. They're ugly.

Zeb - Blah Blah Blah. I haven't been to Ze world because it's still under construction. The living, as I mentioned, is in Strip World Hell, and the duplex, which I actually did walk into (and right out of) is too smoke-filled to deserve a post.