7/31/06

Frenglish .... (sa vary amin'anana)

I am often guilty of intellectual laziness which shows its ugly head when I "inject" French words while speaking or writing in Malagasy or English. There is a word for it in Malagasy, "vary amin'anana" (rice mixed with various herbs) and it's often used in a derisive manner for the poor lad who can't carry a conversation in one tongue. I have now hit the "trifector" by doing so in all 3 languages. It still annoys me that I do that but I came to term with it. There is one instance where it is more annoying though. It's when the vary amin'anana or frenglish is used on purpose by one person thinking it sounds more educated. It was mostly occuring in English using French words. However, this trend has diminished lately because it is now fashionable in US to hate everything French (Freedom fries anyone ?). French speakers using english words also happen but it's either used by youngsters in reverence of hip hop culture or a terminology that is only known in english. (The "exception culturelle" effort of Toubon only lasted so long. )
So here are on the top of my head the most common Frenglish catch phrases that you may encounter from time to time and how they are sometimes quite removed from their original meaning:
a la carte, carte blanche, amuse bouche, au naturel ( that means naked here, why I am not so sure), bon voyage ( sometimes used in a sarcastic ways for good riddance, very popular now), clichE, (wine ) connoisseur ( that's the the correct spelling, it's not a word in french but who cares about such details ? ), coup ( for coup d'etat), deja vu ( all over again ) (this one always gets me ), femme fatale, menage a trois (only the physical act), piece de resistance, risquE, touchE, double entendre ( double sens, I think), maitre d' ( maitre d'hotel), encore (only in theatre, you saucy mint !).
So they are mostly either related to food, or sex. That's "l'art de vivre", I guess.

6 comments:

  1. Lol, funny post (check comment j'ai snobé l'avant-dernier sur la science...mes neurones sont trop pétés...sorry!!)
    And what about : "Voulez vous coucher avec moi?"lol

    ok ok ok it's just for laugh!!

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  2. lol "voulez vous..." definitely has a a "je ne sais quoi" to it :).... even just for laugh :)

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  3. gotta say, my old french class and i tend to slip into (very)broken french all the time :p generally, just please, thanks, you retard, im late, and the basics cos they're all we remember! food and sex come waaay down the list... just for your information :P

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  4. > ani_jane: well that's all we really need :) ( especially the "you retard"). I was just saying that american english equates French culture with food or sex wixh explains the mutltitude of french words in those categories :). Waaaay down the list ? C'mon, a good filet mignon cannot be too far down :)

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  5. frenglish+gasy=??
    On nous a baratiné avec les faux-amis, be careful, be careful... je ne me sens pas glorieuse de faire incorrigiblement du vary amin'anana, mais remarque, au moins, ça a le sens de pouvoir être drôle. Encore! :D

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  6. >tattum, "O natoraly"= frengasy ?
    c'est vrai que c'est drole quand on a une bonne excuse (fatigue etc..) en classe d'anglais en 5eme, j'ai bien fait rire la classe en disant: Where is the "fromage"(prononce fromaiGeu) ? la prof a repondu en souriant: "Cheese" would be enough here. Je ne m'etais meme pas rendu compte de ma bourde.

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