Panda in Paris

je n’ai pas peur des americains

Posted in France by parisianpanda on January 25, 2010
Tags: , , ,

“ni des cons ni des poiliticiens
mais j’ai peur de t’attraper la main
et que tu m’esquives encore”

Mickey 3D : Matador

1) I have decided to stop complaining so much about work, because it is sort of unreasonable to complain about a job that gives me an almost-livable salary for 12(ish) hours a week of n’importe quoi. I am still going to make fun of people at work who do ridiculous things, though, such as:

a) During a lesson about cliches when I had students think of cliches they have about Americans, one girl said all of our movies have “happy hands.” Everyone in the class agreed, American movies definitely always have happy hands. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I made her show me what she wrote – “happy ends.” This is an example of hyperforeignism, because there is no aspirated H sound in France and the French often forget to pronounce the H when speaking English, so sometimes they overcompensate and put it where it doesn’t exist. This is like when Americans use the expression “coup de grâce” (“blow of mercy”/the final blow that puts someone out of their misery) and pronounce it without the “ce” sound because often in French they don’t pronounce the end of words. (In this case what Americans say sounds like “coup de gras”/blow of fat.)

Happy hand?

b) A conversation with a French teacher at the high school:

Teacher: Your name is Amanda?
Me: Yes.
Teacher: That’s weird. It sounds African. Is that a common name in your country?
Me: Yes, it’s very common.
Teacher: That’s so strange. French girls are never called Amanda.
Me: [No, because French girls are all called Anne-Laure-Sophie-Claire-Marie Dupont-Chateaubriand.] No, the French version seems to be Amandine.
Teacher: Yes, but only old people have that name.
I smiled politely.

2) I finally went to the university to inquire about enrolling with my weird transcript. I didn’t really succeed at explaining that I do not have grades, not even ABCD grades, until finally the woman said as long as they’re in English and not Danish someone will be able to read them. I will have to take a French proficiency test, which makes me nervous because I’m bad at standardized tests and because even though I get lots of compliments about my spoken French I haven’t had to seriously write in French since the last quarter at Evergreen. I would still rather take a French proficiency test ten times that take the GRE once, because I’ve realized the only reason I can add/subtract/multiply/divide at all is because of the flashcards my dad made me do constantly in elementary school and not because I actually understand how math works.

3) Yesterday David and Katarina called me out for doing this French air-puff-lip thing that involves filling your lips with air and blowing when someone asks you a question you weren’t expecting and you’re trying to think of a response. I have either picked this up from Corentin or my old host mother, because they both do it constantly. Two is not really a good sample size for calling it a “French thing” but I’m going to assume it is anyway.

4) We have started doing pub quizzes on Monday nights. It’s sort of like knowledge bowl in high school, except with more alcohol and less crushing disappointment.

5) Can anyone tell me why the little feedjit thing on the right thinks I’m in Bordeaux whenever I come on this blog from the high school? I am quite far from Bordeaux.

6) I have evangelized Community to David and Katarina. I’ve loved it ever since I went home for Christmas. How come no one told me how great this show was earlier?



2 Responses to 'je n’ai pas peur des americains'

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  1. Shannon said,

    I have a student named Amandine, so it’s not only old people.

  2. […] more about cliches Posted in France by parisianpanda on May 7, 2010 Tags: cliches, generalities, l'arnacoeur, movie review, romain duris, romantic comedy, stereotypes, teaching, vanessa paradis In this ever painful process of throwing away/packing/mailing all the junk that has accumulated in this apartment, I found more cliches about Americans written by my students from my stereotypes lesson. (See this post.) […]

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