When I first came to Paris in March to meet my new co-workers, I was really impressed with how well everyone spoke English. After being here for several months now, there are some quirks that happen when crossing from French to English that I find particularly endearing/amusing/hysterical. Here’s a list:
- Pseudo-inappropriate use of the word “shiny.” Example: “Wow–the sun is out today! It’s so shiny outside!” This one makes me smile every time.
- Addition of the “H” sound to words beginning with a vowel. Example: “Edgy” becomes “hedgy,” “oven” becomes “hoven” or “ear” becomes “hear.” This one usually leaves me scratching my head for a moment or two while I try to figure out what the person really meant to say.
- Pronunciation of the “K” sound in words beginning with “KN.” Example: “I need to wash the kah-nife,” or “My stomach is in kah-nots.” I kick into English Correction Mode when I hear this one.
- Occasional swapping of the “S” sound for a “TH” sound. Example: “I feel sick” becomes “I feel thick.” See how I said this was hysterical?
- Occasional swapping of silent or “F” sounding “GH” for a “TH” sound. Example: “I was laughing” becomes “I was lauthing”, or “This is really good dough” becomes “This is really good doth.” Another head-scratcher. Lots of times these words result in a “Huh?” from me.
- Pseudo-inappropriate (though sometimes applicable) use of the word “funny” as a substitute for “fun.” Example: “It’s not funny being sick.” Uh, no, it isn’t a comedy, you’re right. 🙂 Or, “I saw my best friend this weekend and it was really funny.” At this point I’m sitting there waiting for a story about some drunken mishap that will result in me laughing until I cry, but my blank stare is usually just met with a smile.
- Inappropriate use of plural nouns or adjectives. Example: “I need to get my hairs cut. They are too long.” Or “I just scored 84 millions!” How can you not laugh at this? 🙂