Thursday, February 14, 2008

Flowery French to My American Ears

Yesterday, I received an email from Madame Gite-Owner regarding our stay. As I had dealt with a lot of gite owners before we finally chose this one, I was always impressed with this particular lady. Madame Gite-Owner was always so pleasant and....flowery.

Other gite owners answered me matter-of-factly, some even rudely! Others tried to persuade me to change our travel dates and chose their gite (because it wasn't open yet for the season when we needed one.) But Madame Gite-Owner always asked me how we were doing, told me my French was wonderful, and even wanted to meet my relatives who live in a village nearby.

Interestingly, this gite was the very first one I pulled up last year when I was trying to convince my parents that we should all do this thing. It was the gite that made changed my dad's mind about going to France (he didn't even come visit us when we lived there, if that tells you anything.) I looked at hundreds more gites after it, but we always came back to this one.

My uncle called and talked to Madame Gite-Owner and reported back that she indeed seemed very lovely and legitimate.

So the email I received yesterday was really no suprise, and it made me smile everytime I thought about the last paragraph. So I want to share it with you. Now, I'm going to translate this a bit differently. Instead of the idea being translated into how we would speak English, I want to translate what my American English ear "hears" when reading French. A literal translation, if you will.

"....You really need to think of your trip now. You must to count on 10-12 hours on the we are offering you the calm and tranquility of our home and the countryside, and I am hoping that the sun will accompany your stay here, so that you can rapidly recover from the due fatigue that you will have because of the jet lag; and get the maximum benefit from your vacation in France......" --Mme Gite Owner

I suppose if I were doing a translating job, I would say she meant: "I'm sure you have a 10-12 hour flight ahead of you. Don't worry, you'll have peace and quiet when you get out here in the country and hopefully we'll have some sun while you're here, so you can rest up from jet lag and have a great vacation." ---Mme French-to-American English Translator

I prefer flowers.


Cris in Oregon said...

I think I would prefer to hear it the first way too. Flowery and lovely to the ears. :)

La Belette Rouge said...

If an American would speak this way it would sound odd and somewhat eccentric. Yet, with a French accent it reads like a fairy tale.

A lovely literary bouquet! Merci, CC/Chantal/Coco Chanel. Hope you had a lovely Valentine's!!

Anonymous said...

I think have French warm fuzzies or is it warm French fuzzies. I wonder if it would smell like lavender?

I'm so glad it's Friday because I think I'm loosing my mind. *yawn* I need ice cream.

Betty C. said...

How lovely! A beautiful picture too...

My Inner French Girl said...

CC, she does sound so lovely! I rather liked your translation of her message. It sounds almost old-fashioned and quaint, like an Old World grandmother inquiring about her New World grandchildren.

By the way, you've been tagged.