Starting today my class has merged with the other débutante class, as our prof has left for her maternity leave. After our Unit 5 test, our lesson this morning was reading comprehension about French culture. After we finish reading out loud (which is very reminiscent of a 1st grade class: "Dick . . . and . . . Jane . . . run . . . fast. So . . . does . . . Spot." But . . . when . . . you're . . . just . . . learn . . . ing . . . it . . . takes . . . some . . . time . . . to . . . be . . . able . . . to . . . read . . . and . . . pro . . . nounce . . . and . . . compre . . . hend. Lets just say that reading outloud is very difficult for all of us!) the prof asks if we have any vocabulary questions. Amongst the new words we didn't know was les baladeurs. One girl had already looked it up and found that it meant "a walk" as in "lets take a walk around the pond." But our prof explained that as a noun in this context the word has come to mean a walkman or an iPod.
Free French Lesson #76: The letter I is pronounced as Anglophones pronounce E (as in see or we or tea . . . we'll get to how the French pronounce the letter E around Free French Lesson #302 . . . you're not ready for that one yet). So, the guy to my left leaned over and asked me "So is it pronounced I-pod or E-pod?" So I asked the prof.
There is a certain facial expression common to Francophones that they reserve for the stupid questions us Anglophones ask. All she had to do was look my way. She didn't need to say any more. But she did. "Ce n'est pas iPod, c'est iPod. Do you call it an ePod in English?" ("It is not an E-pod, it's an I-pod. Do you call it an E-pod in English??" Figurative translation: DUH, come on Deb. are you really that thick?!?!)