19 October 2009

Ce n'est pas iPod.

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?!?!)

7 comments:

David said...

So I guess a "walkman" should be a "marche-l'homme"? I'm going to the store this weekend and see if I can buy an E-Pod and see how much help I get when I ask where they are at...I'll take the guy in your class who is thinking logically about what it should be called.

The Marsh Family said...

Yeah, here at the language school portion of Parole de Vie, our similar lesson was that Skype was Skype and not, heaven forbid, Skeep.
Hang Tough

Robin said...

Hihihihihi you said your prof left on maternity leave? How convenient!! Well, this new prof will be the next to go. I think it is just an excuse to get away from you Americans. Hehehehehehe
xoxox Mom

Deborah said...

Nah, my former prof was 1/2 American! And she was great . . . we miss her already. (The new one is good too)

jgodin94 said...

As a Frenchman, I do enjoy your blog a lot. I discovered it via an SIM entry in Facebook!
Regarding the French pronunciation of obviously English word, this is definitely NOT a dumb question, as there are no rules, and usage vary, and often both pronunciation may be heard. (For example, my step-father pronounced Charlie Chaplin name with nasal final "in"; and there are a lot of examples.)

jgodin94 said...

As a Frenchman, I do enjoy your blog a lot. I discovered it via an SIM entry in Facebook!
Regarding the French pronunciation of obviously English word, this is definitely NOT a dumb question, as there are no rules, and usage vary, and often both pronunciation may be heard. (For example, my step-father pronounced Charlie Chaplin name with nasal final "in"; and there are a lot of examples.)

Robin said...

Hihihihihi you said your prof left on maternity leave? How convenient!! Well, this new prof will be the next to go. I think it is just an excuse to get away from you Americans. Hehehehehehe
xoxox Mom