09 February 2010

How to Succeed in Insulting Without Really Trying

So here at the language school there is a recording studio.  I see the guy who works there quite frequently, and occasionally we exchange a casual bonjour as he comes in the door when I'm going out.  Until today, that has been our only contact.

While eating lunch with some other students, he came into the kitchen in search of a carafe for water.  We tried to describe for him, en français,  bien sûr, where they were in the kitchen, but he kept looking in the wrong place.  I went around the corner and pointed, "Ils sont là-bas, dans le plus bas tiroir" (They're there, in the bottom drawer).  As he pulled one from the drawer, what I thought I said to him was "Maybe someday we will be able to speak French" . . . as in, "Maybe someday our French will be good enough to give proper instructions on where things are located in the kitchen so that you, dear stranger, will not need to waste your time searching everywhere else." He gave me a strange look . . . it was almost a bit angry.



I was confused by his response . . . the only rationalization I could muster was that maybe he thought I was hitting on him, by saying "Maybe someday we can speak" . . . "we" as in "me and him."  But it seemed like a very far stretch.


I began to recount the story to the girls at the table . . . "I don't think he understood me . . . he gave me a dirty look when I said 'Peut-être un jour vous pouriez parler le français'."  And that's when it hit me!  I DIDN'T SAY "WE" AS I THOUGHT I HAD . . . WHAT I SAID WAS: "MAYBE ONE DAY YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SPEAK FRENCH!" 


Oops!!


My classmate, H., looked at me and said "Well, at least you said vous and not tu!" (Since vous is the formal you that one would use when speaking with strangers.)  See, there's a silver lining in everything!



Il y a un homme qui travaille dans le Studio Cèdres, ici.  Aujourd'hui il a venu à la cuisine et nous a demandé pour une carafe.  S-P et moi avons essayé lui donner l'explination de la place où les carafes habitent, mais il a cherché toute les places incorrect.  Donc, je suis allée là et le lui ai montré.  J'ai dit, "Ils sont là-bas, dans le plus bas tiroir." Pendant il a pris la carafe du tiroir, j'ai dit (ou, j'ai pensé que j'ai dit) "Désolée, peut-être un jour nous pourions parler le français." Comme, "Si nous pourions parler meilleur vous pouriez trouver la carafe dans une manière plus facile." Mais, il m'a donné une visage très bizaire et peut-être un peu fâché.  C'est très confusé pour moi.  J'ai pensé, "peut-être il ne comprend pas.  Mais, pourquoi?" Hmm. 

Donc, j'ai reconté l'histoire aux femmes à la table, et quand j'ai dit l'histoire, ma tête était illuminé!!  Je n'ai pas dit "Désolée, peut-être un jour nous pourions parler le français" comme j'ai pensé . . . j'ai dit "DÉSOLÉE, PEUT-ÊTRE UN JOUR VOUS POURIEZ PARLER LE FRAÇAIS!!" QUEL DOMMAGE!!!!!!  SAPERLIPOPETTE!


Mais, après cette découverte, mon ami, H., m'a dit "Ce n'est pas grave!  Tu lui as dit 'VOUS' pas 'TU'!!" 


Donc, c'est ma vie!

No comments: