Friday, June 10, 2011

Francophone Friday: Faux Pas

Bangles: France (beach town shop) / Dress: B Moss / Jacket: J Crew final sale / Shoes: Urban Outfitters / Earrings: Gabes (Monet)

When I studied abroad, I lived in the small beach town of Les Sables d'Olonne, in Vendée, France. Funky shops and cafés line le remblai, the causeway that runs along the beach.  The tides in Les Sables get really low and really high, so there's a retaining wall separating the beach from the town, with le remblai running along the top.  I loved checking out the shops on my way home from the beach and one day I stumbled across a very boho, Indian chic shop selling these marvelous bracelets for only 2 euros each!

When telling my host family about my fab find, they couldn't understand me when I said euro. Americans tend to say the eu with a y sound, like we pronounce it in Europe. In French, however, it is pronounced completely differently, more like 'euh' with no y sound whatsoever. When they finally figured out I was trying to say euro, they laughed at my phonetic faux pas and made me practice my eu sound in French a few times :) 

So today, I'm going to discuss the phrase faux pas, which literally translates to false step in English. It originally referred to an actual misstep, or physical stumbling, but today it's used to describe a mistake, especially in the context of social or cultural norms. My mispronunciation example above was certainly a faux pas and lately I'm all about the linguistic faux pas. Last week, for example, I made a really embarrassing mistake with my Francophone Friday post on the phrase je ne sais quoi. The quoi means what and is pronounced similarly to the French verb crois {more so for English speakers, who have a hard time with those French rs}, which is a conjugation of  the verb 'to believe.'  For whatever reason, my brain kept interchanging the two and I entitled my post "Je ne sais crois," which makes absolutely no sense { I don't know believe... ? See? No sense. } Faux pas? For sure. And though I was able to change the title, my faux pas will be forever memorialized with the link to that post. Apparently, I can't change that. Zut alors*!

May your weekend be happy and faux-pas free! À bientôt*!

P.S. I don't usually post on Saturday, but I've got some exciting news and my 30x30 pieces to get out there, so check back tomorrow....

P.P.S. Sorry for photo overload. The Husband outdid himself. Sunshine and mountains are right up there with crashing waves and cliffs for him, and I'm incredibly indecisive. And I was in a hurry. Très désolèe*!
*Zut alors! = Dang it! Blast!; À bientôt = See you soon; Très désolèe = Very sorry!


High Heels & Good Meals! said...

Those hills are gorgeous! Cute outfit too!

Siouxzy said...

So cute. Can't wait for tomorrow's post!

Ana Paula said...

Beautiful scenery!!

And the dress is gorgeous! :)


Ana Paula - Pretty in Polka Dots

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