Apparently, My French Sucks

Back to life, back to reality. This of course means my stories about the glamorous life in the suburbs are back full force.  As much as I know you are dying to hear about me avoiding the pool dude who talks to my boobs, my piles of dirty laundry and what the scandalous neighbours have been up to, I shall save those stories for another day because I simply must prattle on (I’m 40 now I can say prattle) about Paris! P1000128We arrived in Paris after our red eye flight.  Now I understand why they call it the red eye.  If you are a nervous flyer and excited about what lays ahead, no way in hell are you going to be able to sleep!  Red Eyes.  Anyway, we arrive, catch a 40 minute 55 Euro cab ride to our hotel and the hotel gods shine down upon us.  Our room is ready!  IMG_5996

We stash our bags and go out to explore one of the most romantic cities in the world! 

As we wander the streets I hear a familiar grumbling and realize’s my Hubby’s stomach.  We need food.  Now.  Perfect.  A chance to practice that high school French! 

We enter an intriguing boulangerie and peruse a mouth watering selection of sandwiches, pastries and unfamiliar yummies.  We start panicking slightly as we realize the line we are in is moving at a rapid speed, the french language rolling off the tongues of the locals, even faster.  We are not ready to order, and I’m not sure, but I do not think this is French?  No one taught me this language!  These people are speaking so fast I can’t even pick out a word. 

No worries, I assure my Hubby.  I’ve got this.  When it’s our turn I face the sweet blonde behind the counter and not so boldly state en francais.  Pardon, Je ne pas parle francais?

The tiny shop erupts with laughter.

What?  What did I do?

“Oh…” the little shop owner replies back in his charming French accent, “I think you just did.”  Le Sigh.  How embarrassing. 

Six shades of red later we leave with our poulet and baguette and a couple of free desserts to make up for the fact that my French entertained the crap out of them  our embarrassment. 

So, my French may suck, but it gets me free dessert!


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  1. A little embarrassment for free dessert seems fair.

  2. Too funny! Great story! Congrats on being 40! I turned 40 back in March.

  3. Welcome to the club! It’s a great club to be in! 🙂

    I love your little story very cute. I took French, too (pretty much cheated my way through). Hey, it’s a tough language.

    The little “blunder” is so worth a free dessert. In Paris, too. I bet it was FAB!

    Have a great day!

  4. It sounds like you had a great trip! Funny story, too 🙂

    Hey, I’m just realizing, I try to speak Russian here in Moscow all the time and get nada…only laughter, no dessert.

    Here’s how you say “I don’t understand Russian” in Russian:

    Ya nay poni-my-you pa rooski! Hopefully, you’ll never have to use that one.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your Parisian adventure.

  5. What a great beginning to your trip –free French dessert! 🙂

    The French are not what the books say they are (i.e., stuck-up, snobbish) –as long as you at least attempt to speak their language. 🙂

  6. ha at least you scored free food out of it…smiles.

  7. Ah french! It’s hard to speak another language, isn’t it? My husband worked in mntreal, in a French facility for 2 years, and several times in large meetings he confused his verbs and said that they needed to f$&@ something rather than lower it. He did this many many times, and at least you got french treats for your bad French!

  8. Oh, i don’t even understand any of it. I’m always awed to people speaking French. And my eldest is learning the language and I always ask her to speak French phrases. I love it! Maybe I’ll take classes in the future.
    Love to hear more stories.

  9. LOL! “Le Sigh” cracked me up!

    I’ve never been to Paris, but would love to go some time. It reminds me when I went to Quebec one time, and got totally turned around (before owning a GPS). I stopped to ask for directions and my high school french never taught me what a 4-way stop was called. After 15 mins of this pour man trying to explain just that to me, picture this:
    man pretends he’s driving a car, and stops “arret” then does the same thing four more times in four different directions….I say “OH, a four way stop!?” The man got so frustrated with me he waved me off and walked away!

    I eventually found my way back.


  10. Haha. When I was acually IN highschool I went to Paris and was convinced the French they’d been teach me for 3 years was NOT the french they were speaking. Might as well have been Greek! So I’m impressed you even tried! And hey, free dessert!

  11. Love it! And I’m sure the French appreciated your efforts, regardless.

  12. It’s all Greek to me!

  13. aaah! free desert.. can’t beat that!!

  14. ha ha, too funny!

  15. Free Dessert. Finally a reason to stop feeling inferior about only speaking the English!

  16. My husband is bilingual but me, not so much. I found that everybody appreciated just the effort that I made regardless of what gibberish cane out of my mouth. I don’t know if you found this but the French thought I was American because my accent is not Quebecois.

  17. And they say the French are rude. Nothing rude about free!
    Soyez le bienvenue!

  18. Tee hee! And here I thought all along that the Parisians had no sense of humour – ah! Lovely story, made me smile – can’t wait to hear about the rest of your trip 🙂

  19. Sounds like you had a nice time. I know absolutely nothing in French and I will be alone most of the week. I just might lose some weight being afraid to order something. My dear bowling friend who is French told me to just speak very slowly, that all children learn English from 3rd grade on.

  20. I took two years of French in High school, and aside from saying, “My name is Courtney…” I don’t remember any of it. Sounds like a blast, though. And YAY for free dessert!

  21. Embarrassing yourself for free dessert in front of complete strangers you will never see again… Count me in.

  22. Free dessert sounds good to me! 🙂

  23. It made me laugh too! I’m glad it earned you extra treats!

  24. EEEk you poor thing. But like everyone else Im feel assured for you with your free dessert, after all doesn’t dessert make everything better?

  25. Happy 40th! What a way to celebrate. It was mean of the French to laugh at your attempt. Doesn’t everyone know how to say, ‘I don’t speak your language’ in whatever language it happens to be? I thought that was standard.

  26. Happy birthday Modern Mom! You are absolutely beautiful:-) I think the people in the shop were just amazed to see you and hear your so charming accent. thanks for sharing a part of your paris experience. looking forward for more~!

  27. I’m choking with laughter. That is so cute! And I bet they loved you.

  28. 🙂 I live in the only officially Bilingual province and I don’t speak a word. Canadian French is so very different than France French. You should hear acadian French vs Quebec French.

  29. I want to hear more about your trip! Hey at least you got something free!!

  30. The most important phrase to learn in any language is where are the bathrooms? ?Donde es banos?

  31. Oh, I feel for you! There are so many tourists in Paris that most of these vendors speak English. But hooray for your effort, and at least you scored some free desserts.

  32. That is so funny!!!! I am so happy that you finally got your dream trip!!!!

  33. oh my gosh! I have missed you and am so happy that I have time to play some catch up!!! Too funny.

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