20 February 2010

Yellow Screen of Death and Some Other Less Interesting Things

In this process of learning French, I often become very self-conscious with my spelling, so I have come to rely on double checking my spelling and vocab by cutting and pasting my sentences into the online translator at larousse.fr.  But today, my self-editing came to a screeching halt!

THE YELLOW SCREEN OF DEATH for questioning French students everywhere:
It says: (and notice the grand formalities . . . Madame, Madamoiselle, Monsieur) For exceptional technical maintenance reasons, we cannot satisfy Your request right now.  The service is unavailable Saturday, February 20 from 6:30am to 9:30pm.  We apologize for the inconvenience .  Thank you for understanding.

Sorry for the INCONVENIENCE!  Now I have to pull out my dictionary and look up words!!  OY!  Hmm . . . maybe I can make spellcheck work in French on my computer . . . .

So I'm off tomorrow for 5 days back in the States.  I will be at my parents' for a few days.  For those of you with whom I keep more regular contact, there is no new news on my dad today.  I will arrive too late Sunday night to be able to go to the hospital to see him then, but will go Monday. 

For the rest of you: my dad has had a flare up of his autoimmune disease and was hospitalized earlier this week with kidney failure and severe dehydration.  So throw in the coup in Niger and mid-term exams, and it's been a bit of an interesting week.  

I have had a bit of comic relief though . . . turns out I've been pronouncing my profession incorrectly all this time, and have been changing 'therapist' to a VERY, VERY vulgar word in French, simply by means of a slightly altered vowel sound.  So vulgar that my friend who corrected me warned me NOT to post it here on the blog.  So, sorry, not going to incriminate my self further, or expose you to corrupt, foul language.  Let's just say that she and I had a very good laugh over my MASSIVE pronunciation error (she often mispronounces things in English, but this definitely trumps them all!).  But this would explain why, when telling a French person what I do for a living, they look at me very confused and ask me to repeat myself and explain what I do.  Now I know that once they recover from the initial shock of the word, they go home and laugh at the stupid Anglophone who sounds like a sailor and doesn't even know it.  C'est ma vie!

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