Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From here to there funny things are everywhere.....

I was thinking the other day that some of you may grow tired of me using "The Magnificent Seven" for illustrations so I decided to branch out into fine literature.........The above is a page from "Red Fish , Blue Fish" by that insightful writer....Dr. Seuss

As Anna and I learn French we are rediscovering indeed that funny things are everywhere. People everywhere are slightly different but mostly we are more alike than we are different.

Example number 1: Although Americans get a bad rap for speaking our language slower and louder when people do not understand, we are not the only people that do this. I know from experience that Gabonese do and Quebecquois (Quebec denizens) do as well.

Example number 2: I discovered a language learning cross cultural principle the other day. If you speak someone's language with such a bad accent that they cannot understand you, then it does not improve communication to speak English with that same bad accent. I was standing in line at McD and tried to speak french to the attendant, but she did not understand, and she then indicated she did speak English. I then for some unknown reason began speaking english in a horrible french accent....this also did not help.

Example #3: When speaking French channeling the french knights of "The Holy Grail" and/or thinking of what Fancy Nancy would say. The latter is a girl who likes to be fancy and say things in French.

Example #4: French has some words that are very similar with very divergent meetings. They are a little hard to explain since I am missing some french accent marks but here goes.
If one says peche with a little "rooftop" over the first "e" then its means to fish. If you spell the word with a little upstroke over both "e"s it then becomes sin......So you can say For all have sinned....or All have fished and fallen short of the glory of God. IF you put an upstroke on just the first e then it becomes peach. So you can also say all have peached and......
Also in Mt 4:19 Jesus either calls his disciples to be fishers of men or.....sinners of men.
Other words are bureau (a desk) and bourreau (an executioner) and each of them sound very similar. Before you say...."those crazy frogs" remember batter, bitter, better, and bettor from our own language.

Thanks again for praying for us and in our acquistion of the language. Pray also for Ian as he is having trouble adjusting to the French in school. For someone who has always read well it is difficult for him play 8years of catch up with the other children. Isabelle is doing well scholastically but still is exhausted by the end of the day.


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