The Language of Love
by Karla ° Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mark can speak French. I can’t.

The first few years of my schooling career began at a French school, but my mom switched me to an English speaking school when I started grade three. The only memories I have of being at a French speaking school are 1) getting in trouble for running around yelling FUCK FUCK FUCK because someone told me that is how you say the word seal in French and because I was five, I thought I had found the most clever loophole ever for swearing and 2) painting a rock for my Dad for Father’s Day. I painted it bright pink and that man must really love me because the pink rock has sat on top of his dresser since 1984.

I never spoke French again until I started High School and it was mandatory to get at least one French credit to graduate. I took French in grade nine and it was the easiest course I have ever taken. We did very little work and I think the biggest project that I accomplished over the semester was writing a menu for a French restaurant called Le Dindon Maison, which in English translates to The Turkey House. Clever. I know.

When our teacher tried to make us work, we did stuff to get out of work, like colour a Kleenex with a red marker and then fake a nose bleed, didn’t we Mandi?! And then to reward us for all of our non-hard work at the end of the week, we got to watch Mr. Bean. Because nothing teaches French quite like the antics of a slow-witted, non-speaking man in a skinny red tie.

Needless to day, I didn't take much away with me in terms of French speaking skills from school because several years later, while trying to be all smart and sexy with Mark, I looked him right in the eye and instead of saying notre amour est spécial, which means our love is special, I said notre armoire est spécial, which means our closet is special.

Last night Mark was teaching me words in French. When it comes to learning new things, my attention span is short. And since I haven’t owned a textbook in years, we turned to the next best social learning tool - celebrity tabloids.

The thing that always confuses me with the French language is how to know if something is masculine or feminine. Everything is either a he or a she, like le livre (the book) or la table (the table).

That being said, what article do you suppose would go in front of the word transvestite?

Would it be Le? La? Lela Transvestite?

Inquiring minds want to know.


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Have you ever read Me Talk Pretty One Day? David Sedaris said the only way he could keep genders straight was to imagine them having affairs with one another. Which is funny because he's gay and therefore such conventions shouldn't matter.

I think le.

But I know nothing.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  September 12, 2007

I always hated the whole he she thing in German, too. I like the lela thing.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  September 12, 2007

HAha! Probably LE but that is because I think words like that are in question you just go with the masculine form... but whatever I am totally talking out of mon/ma(!?) dernier.

le travesti, la travestie ?
I grew up in France and lela seems right for this one.
Love your blog, take care,
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  September 12, 2007

Learning a second language is hard. I took 3 years of spanish, and I cannot speak any spanish.
Posted by Blogger Christy :  September 12, 2007

Sounds like you had the same French teacher in high school that I had.

My kids are all thrilled that soon (once Maddie's up to speed) I'll be the only one in the family who doesn't speak French.
Posted by Blogger Heather :  September 13, 2007

I took 3.5 years of latin for a career I didn't pursue. That was smart! :-)
Posted by Blogger Brandy :  September 13, 2007

I kick myself now for faking the nosebleeds, and for not taking it more seriously, but dang that was a fun class because of the silliness.

I forgot about "Le Dindon Maison".

I still think Dindon is a funny word! lol
Posted by Anonymous Mandi :  September 14, 2007


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