Ooh la la – a little language problem

Daily Echo: Burgundy Burgundy

STUNNING landscapes, fine wines and one extremely hot woman. These are just a few of the delights of a recent trip to the French region of Burgundy.

Having signed up for a tour of the area’s vineyards I met my three fellow wine-lovers and we started to tentatively navigate our way through the streets of Paris.

Our masterful grip of pidgin French and loud slow English eventually paid dividends and we found the coach station.

I was surprised to find we were all men in our 20s and 30s but unsurprised to subsequently see the conversation quickly descend into laddish banter.

We tried, with little success, to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other coach-users.

They included a grumpy-faced woman who was carrying a ridiculous little rat of a dog in her bag and a man who showed his disapproval of fun by raising his eye brows so high they disappeared into his hairline.

However, the next person to join us was a dazzling woman who was both stylish and sexy – qualities I have often heard the French boast about but rarely demonstrate.

After hearing her order her meal in a language that made little sense to me I felt I could happily continue telling wildly inappropriate stories without fear of being understood.

I did ruefully regret I would be unable to communicate with her in any depth as chatter about the colour of my hair spiced up with a little basic verb conjugation was unlikely to lead to romance.

Myself and my new friends shared increasingly embarrassing stories buoyed by the camaraderie we had already established and the confidence that the sexy ears attached to said French lady would not be offended.

I was therefore appalled when later one of our group tried to break the ice with some broken GCSE standard banter only to hear her reply in perfect English that she was actually from London and would be joining us on our adventure.

How dare she pretend to be French.

Thankfully over the next four days she proved to be extremely witty and charming.

There were few low points, such as the cycle ride I enjoyed at the time but shuddered when I looked back through the photos later.

With my red waterproof blowing in the wind and my blue jumper visible underneath I must have looked like a low-budget Superman.

Despite this potential disaster, on the final night we ended up talking into the small hours of the morning.

However, my high hopes were quickly dashed when she said the words every single man dreads.

“I feel a little tired... I’m going home.”

Comments (8)

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9:31pm Tue 28 Jun 11

DigbertK says...

Do people from France go on holiday in Eastleigh? There are lots of great charity shops to visit, and of course the Swan Centre and the railway station. Hooray!! Pardon?
Do people from France go on holiday in Eastleigh? There are lots of great charity shops to visit, and of course the Swan Centre and the railway station. Hooray!! Pardon? DigbertK
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Wed 29 Jun 11

MrHarsh says...

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom.

Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom. Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful MrHarsh
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Wed 29 Jun 11

DigbertK says...

MrHarsh wrote:
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom. Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful
Pardon?
[quote][p][bold]MrHarsh[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom. Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful[/p][/quote]Pardon? DigbertK
  • Score: 0

9:52am Fri 1 Jul 11

MrHarsh says...

Pas de problème, mon ami
Pas de problème, mon ami MrHarsh
  • Score: 0

12:03am Sun 3 Jul 11

ameliaS says...

Myself and my new friends ??? OMG. My new friends and I, surely. There are other grammatical errors, I suggest you ask for some help if you can't find them. Please try to master English before moving on to French. Fowler's Modern English Usage might be worth a look. BTW - I wrote this comment myself. Myself did not write it.
Myself and my new friends ??? OMG. My new friends and I, surely. There are other grammatical errors, I suggest you ask for some help if you can't find them. Please try to master English before moving on to French. Fowler's Modern English Usage might be worth a look. BTW - I wrote this comment myself. Myself did not write it. ameliaS
  • Score: 0

11:21am Mon 4 Jul 11

MrHarsh says...

Simon’s columns can sometimes display a very confused approach to spelling and grammar, although I have to say he has improved recently – I think he found the spell-checker on his computer. I think that he adopts an exaggerated version of his own personality when he writes these pieces. If it were not for his history of grammatical “idiosyncrasy”, I would think he was making a subtle joke here. A certain kind of ignorant, self-important saloon bar boor often makes use of the reflexive pronoun in this way, as if “I” were too insignificant a word to completely describe the magnificence of the speaker. The more pompous contestants on “The Apprentice” also use the construction.

Is anyone going to fix the spelling of "beautiful" on his column about the Miss Southampton contest?
Simon’s columns can sometimes display a very confused approach to spelling and grammar, although I have to say he has improved recently – I think he found the spell-checker on his computer. I think that he adopts an exaggerated version of his own personality when he writes these pieces. If it were not for his history of grammatical “idiosyncrasy”, I would think he was making a subtle joke here. A certain kind of ignorant, self-important saloon bar boor often makes use of the reflexive pronoun in this way, as if “I” were too insignificant a word to completely describe the magnificence of the speaker. The more pompous contestants on “The Apprentice” also use the construction. Is anyone going to fix the spelling of "beautiful" on his column about the Miss Southampton contest? MrHarsh
  • Score: 0

8:39am Tue 5 Jul 11

StEmmosfire says...

MrHarsh wrote:
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom. Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful
I actually enjoyed reading this more than the article. Couldnt have said it any better myself.
[quote][p][bold]MrHarsh[/bold] wrote: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear and things had been going so well. Simon was beginning to expand his horizons, even thinking of learning a new language and then we get this. Is it really true that language tuition in secondary schools has been dumbed down so much since O levels were scrapped that a group of “intellectual” oenologists are unable to make themselves understood? And then, as if to underline the unfortunate image “les rosbifs” enjoy in France, he and his merry band then proceed to live up to the worst of our national stereotypes by engaging in “laddish banter”. I can just imagine. A friend from France informs me that they no longer refer to us as “rosbifs” but “les f***-offs” as this seems to be our national motto on such occasions. The unfortunate passengers forced to share the journey are then mocked for having “grumpy” faces or disapproving of “fun”. In France, as most of the world, adults are treated as adults, rather than the over-prescriptive government we have enjoyed in recent years here. The corollary of this is that we are expected to behave as such when in France. They were probably surprised and shocked to see a group of men in early middle age behaving like adolescents on a school trip. That having been said, I think we gain an insight into Simon’s unrealistic expectations when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. Just because the object of your attentions doesn’t offer to leap into bed with you at the first opportunity, doesn’t mean that you haven’t made a connection which could, in the fullness of time, blossom. Harsh words: 0.5 Harshes. Grammar/spelling were fine. I even thought the “Superman” part added to the story, but the image of the coach trip makes me shudder. I would have spent the whole time talking in 1970’s schoolboy French, to distance myself from my fellow brits. Shameful[/p][/quote]I actually enjoyed reading this more than the article. Couldnt have said it any better myself. StEmmosfire
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Tue 5 Jul 11

MrHarsh says...

Thank you, StEmmo. I am thinking of applying for the job that's going on the Echo.
Thank you, StEmmo. I am thinking of applying for the job that's going on the Echo. MrHarsh
  • Score: 0

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