Parlez vous Garlic? — 12 Comments

  1. The language of love, Grandad. Whereas German is the language of osteoparosis. I’ll go a fiver for the giraffe.

  2. Cap’n – A fiver?  For fuck’s sake, it cost me a fifty spot to get him through customs!!

    TT – I’ll have to think about that one………

  3. I spent 7 months in France telling everyone ‘Je suis très désolé, mais je ne parle pas Français’.
    Then I came home to Ireland and found I was actually quite good at it. It’s amazing what you can learn when you keep your mouth shut.

  4. The refined culture of France is something good for us to admire and discreetly envy. I did six years of the language at school but can’t really speak it, and, like you grandad, have had the corrective response of Frenchmen switching over to Anglais after hearing me making a hames of their grammar and enunciation. I still like to read that most intelligent and wide ranging daily newspaper, Le Monde, online once every twenty-four hours. It often carries good photographs too.
    I did two years of German at school and learned to pronounce its deliberate and guttural sounds fairly well, probably because I used to handle Irish pronunciation well. When hiking as a student through Germany I took the opportunity to practise speaking and believe I made myself understood.  Invariably after preliminary small talk a motorist giving me a lift  – Germans were generous lift-givers –  would politely ask me: Wo kommen Sie her? and I would reply Ich bin Irländer.  This reply would pleasantly surprise them as they wouldn’t in those days have expected somebody of my nationality to learn their language. I noticed that Germans didn’t get into a huff when I made grammatical mistakes or stumbled when grasping for a word auf  Deutsch. Many of them politely corrected my grammar by repeating a phrase or sentence I had mismanaged interrogatively in its correct  form.

  5. Chris P – That was more or less the line I used all the time.  I did find I could understand a lot more than I thought I could [and a hell of a lot more than the French thought I could!  Heh!]

    Cap’n – You’re bidding against yourelf now.  I’m keeping the giraffe.  He’ll be good company for five llamas I have somehow acquired.

    Wally – Welcome! Apart from a few previous trips to France, my entire learning of the language consisted of French classes in secondary school, where I was taught by a religious[?] brother who was more interested in fiddling with the pupils than teaching French.  My highest exam result ever was 15%.    It’s a wonder I got anywhere at all.  My knowledge of German is zilch.  Not a single focal.

  6. Mais oui, les cinque llamas, ils mangent bien l’herbe douce autour de votre maison actuellement n’est pas, grandpapa?  Is herself thinking of knitting you a nice white winter cardigan by any chance?  Et les Gardai n’en soupçonnent pas.  Shades of Shergar maybe. They should call in Inspector Clouseau immediatement.

  7. Wally – Will you please stop trying to confuse me?  [You are succeeding].  The Gardai can search all they like – they won’t find the llamas [or the three goats].

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