Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Random bilingual info

1. At dinner tonight (pasta with chicken breast, julienned vegetables, cream and goat cheese sauce - dessert was white peaches with chocolate allspice ganache) Boy1 said dinner was excellent despite the way it smelled. What do you mean, I asked him. He said, "Come on Mama, smell me this." Which is a direct (and funny) translation of sens-moi ça.

2. Boy1 has taken to using funky question formations like "Mama, is it we're going to eat chocolate sorbet?" Which is a direct translation of est-ce qu'on va manger du sorbet au chocolat?

3. Jertta brings up a good point. And she's a mind-reader. She's been on my mind for the past couple of days and voilà, here she is, on my blog making interesting comments. Anyway, about her point (see comments on last post). She may be right. I must be fair, the teacher in question was very pleasant and polite and tried very hard to frame her request so as not to offend. And I wasn't offended, just unyielding. And honestly, the people, teachers and parents alike, have been very nice at this school, very positive and interested in the whole bilingual thing. But, I have to agree with Jertta, most of the time I feel that people like me despite the fact that I'm American and never because of it. Americans who read this who don't live in abroad (because those of you who do or have lived abroad probably know exactly what I'm talking about): don't get offended. It's just that we don't have the best image in the world, for a variety of reasons, some justified and some not. And your stereotypically badly behaved American tourist certainly doesn't help things. You know the kind I'm talking about. The kind who doesn't travel to discover. But to reassure himself that everything really is better back home.


beth said...

Question: why do you think that when people don't like the policies of ones goverment, they tend (as you put it) tend to "like you despite the fact that I'm American and never because of it". So, basically, if the French don't like America, GW or his policies. . .what does that really have to do with you. . .so why like you despite it?? I've always been confused by that. . .I remember when I went to Paris to visit you almost 10 years ago and I got off the plane to find several people holding signs that said "F*** the Americans. . .Go Home!!" At that time-not know much of goverments and issues of that sort-I remember being shocked. Anyway, just wondering what your thought are on that.

Nicole said...

Because people are really the same all around the world. Why did, at the beginning of the war in Iraq, Americans set up entire web sites dedicated to hating French people? Not the government, but really, all things French. Because the French government didn't support Bush's decision. Freedom fries etc etc. People equate a country's government with its people, especially in a (so-called) democracy, since we (theoretically) determine who runs the government.

Jertta said...

..."like you despite the fact that I'm American and never because of it"... I think you the americans and the french ones do have this in common all over the world ;-). If you ask citoyens of the other countries, almost nobody likes americans or french in general, but everybody is having anyway a good friend from these countries ;-)... You just have this arrogant reputation all over the world and to be liked despite your nationality, you have to prove first you are not arrogant, that you do not think you are better than the others just because you are americcan or french. That is the way I feel it. And I think french and americans are quite alike when it comes to this arrogant point of view of tourists, etc. that you talked about.

People coming from other countries do not have this thing to prove, but some other things of course. Like to prove that even if you come from a place nobody knows, you still can be intresting and know something about the world... ;-) I don't know if you get my point?

Anyway, it was nice to read you again, Nicole... I haven't had time to read your blog for a while, but I will try to do it more frequently now again with the two eldest children being in the school at least a part of the day...