Monday, January 30, 2006

Learning French

The following is a story from earlier this autumn...

P was working on her piano.

I was trying to help.

She was getting frustrated.

"Tu m'énerve!*" she said.

C was horrified.

"You can't say that to her! P! That's like saying that to MOM!!!"

P looked worried.

I asked what it meant, exactly.

(I seemed to sort of remember something about the... and the context...and it sort of sounds like...

OK, yeah, I wasn't sure.)

C tried to explain. Repeatedly. However, she sensed that I wasn't quite getting the gist of what she was trying to tell me.

She walked out of the room, and P looked at me sideways, a look of fear in her eyes.

I was handed a large, heavy English-French dictionary. This one is about 7 times bigger than any we have, and is considered the "Petit Larousse."

It was open to the page.

I looked at the definition. Then, I looked at P.

She looked scared.

"C'est d'accord, P. Quelquefois, tu m'énerve aussi."**

*Tu m'énerve. You irritate me. (drive me nuts, bother)
**C'est d'accord..." That's OK, P. Sometimes, you irritate me, too.



At 2:19 AM, January 31, 2006, Blogger Katia said...

I love this phrase. Depending on the context, it can range from "you're annoying me" to "you're pissing me off".

I would never say it to my boss, however ;)

At 3:32 PM, January 31, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would be just as horrified that she used the "tu" form. My children were always to use "Vous" while speaking to their teachers and sitters.

At 10:20 AM, February 01, 2006, Blogger Katie said...

Hi Mrs. B! I can't remember how I found your blog, but I was a nanny in Paris after high school and your writing is bringing back so many memories. Thanks!

"Tu m'enerve" is one of the first phrases I learned from my five year old charge. I also learned "tu es moche" and "tu es ridicule, et je ne te parle plus."

Ok, maybe nannying wasn't the greatest part of my stay, but I adore Paris!!


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