Wednesday, 23 May 2012
the French language
I have been in France for almost five years now, and though I speak English at home and work almost entirely in English, I do have to speak French every day, and I watch French TV, read French magazines and newspapers etc - I was recently congratulating myself that I speak it quite well these days. I am even at the top level (nationally) in French classes, which I still take very week. Wrong. It is a plateau thing. I know enough now to know how much I don't know. Lady Jennie, a blogger who is American, married to a Frenchman and has been here a long time, educates us about the French language here. Who knew? "Bof", which people say all the time to express disdain, lack of approval (it's used in film reviews to mean "not up to much") is an acronym, "beurre, oeufs, fromage" (butter, eggs and cheese) which used to be a sign on creameries some decades ago - it has to do with the black market, especially during the German occupation. (Here in Alsace the German occupation signifies something rather different, but that's another matter). Read it anyway, francophone or not, it's interesting.