Thursday, June 23, 2005

A mind field

It was really great to switch back to speaking english for a bit. Kind of like a vacation for the brain. Rattling on at 100 miles an hour, not wondering when I'd stumble across a missing adjective, awkward sentence construction, whether that was meant to be a feminine or masculine plural (more difficult to disguise than my generic gender 'leh', which, if you say it quick enough and softly enough, can pass for either). Once you get into plural adjectives though, there's less room for bluffing.

While all of that stuff is a bit stressful for the language centre, every now and then it provides a great source of amusement - for others (it's character building to be laughed at right?) This mostly happens with words that SOUND similar, or have an english equivalent which SEEMS logical (faux amis - false friends)

Which has resulted in the following examples:

orteil - toe
ortie - nettle
As in 'toe tea is a good blood purifier'

preservatif - condom
conservateur - preservative
As in 'The amount of condoms in food is really worrying'
(note, said during a date...)

une ride - wrinkle
un rideau - curtain
As in 'we need to buy some wrinkles'


leff said...

Hee hee hee. The middle example is the best.

Greg said...

I know where you're coming from. I've had problems with preservatives too!