Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On improving my accent

Yesterday afternoon before class, I was waiting for a friend at the tram stop and a French lady with a chienchien (I learned this word the other day in Translation class, it apparently means "doggy" as opposed to "dog" and is just a doubling of the original word chien but in my mind it rolls of the tongue so fluidly that I find myself calling every dog that passes - and there are a lot - a little chienchien. But I digress) sat down next to me to ask for a light.

I was mildly impressed with myself for looking cool enough to a) pass for a French person and b) pass for a French smoker, which obviously puts me in the uppermost echelon of cool. However, not being either of these, I did not have a lighter. She went up to find someone who did and sat back down, proceeding to casually discuss why there were no people in Montpellier in the winter (personally, I think there's lots of people here now...I imagine in the summer it must be exploding, beautiful tan sunglassed people spilling out onto sidewalks, chienchiens' tongues lolling about in the heat). I'm not very good at small talk in either language, so I just nodded and she's like, "Oh, are you American?" and proceeded to ask in broken english how long I was staying for, and I proceeded to respond in broken French. I remember her saying, "In America...they only speak American!" as I responded with. "Oui, c'est dommage," before saying that I had to go find my friend.

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