So you can speak French ? Language learning.
Just as they pop in to my head, a few things you may not learn at your evening class:- (accents missing)
to rob Peter to pay Paul – deshabiller Paul pour habiller Jacques
jet lag – decalage horaire
alarm clock – le reveil
the News – le journal, or sometimes les actualites
homeward-bound – au bon port
chicken- if it is a live chicken it is une poule, but if it is a dead one for cooking it is du poulet
back ache – mail au reins (les reins being the kidneys) if it is low back pain, otherwise it is mal au dos
custard – creme anglaise, though their version is runny and a bit light
jig-saw puzzle – un puzzle (pronounced puzz-ll)
Scrabble – le Scrabble (probounced Scrab-ll)
crumble – un crumble (pronounced crum-b-ll)
sweat shirt – un sweat (often written & pronounced swit)
no hard shoulder (on a road) – chaussee deformee
A French word I really like and that has no accurate translation is “les retrouvailles“. This is a noun created from the verb trouver, to find, and thence retrouver, to find again. “J’ai retrouve mes amis a la gare” = I met my friends at the station (I re-found them). The meeting of those friends, having not seen them for days or years, is called les retrouvailles – the finding-againses. Great word.
(illustration: an old gent watching a game of boules in the nearby village of Brouage, France).
For more about language learning visit: http://www.omniglot.com/language/
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Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. She has travelled a great deal and blogs regularly. Her books are available from Amazon (& Kindle) or can be ordered from most leading book stores and libraries; they are also available as e-books on this site, http://turquoisemoon.co.uk)