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Pardon my French

You realize that you have a problem of Babylonian proportions when you address a waitress at a Paris café, “Mademoiselle, un peu plus de pain, por favor“. With throaty ‘r’s , no less.

Posted in State of travel


  1. John the Scientist

    HAH. We have the same problems.

    I just made a mispronunciation in Japanese not too long a go, saying “tian” for heaven (天). In Japanese, it’s pronounced “Ten”, and the standard American mis-pronunciation is “tin”, shortening the “e” to short “i” too much. They looked at me kind of funny, and I realized that I’d been reading the character on a menu, and the Chinese pronunciation is “tian”. As in Tiananmen Square (天安門).

  2. Tania

    Snort. This is like when Cindy started conjugating Russian verbs with Spanish endings. It was hilarious. Her instructor gave her a funny look, told her that she using the correct form but the wrong language. Hee!

  3. Ilya

    The reverse – with English words – happens very frequently in Russian immigrant community in the States. Энджойте (“Enjoy!” in 2nd person plural). Юзанная (“used” as in “used car”). Трэйном (as in “we’ll go by train”). Etc.

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