Vive la France


So… Seemingly my English is almost inexistent, so I will not be able to just casually translate the Hungarian version of this post. So I will not be able to give you back, my dear reader, my personal style and attitude towards any given idea. Instead, I will try (and miserably fail) to write it in a proper, “textbook English”. Lacking in any sort of creativity, but at least I can reassure you that all the following nouns, verbs and adjectives will be in the place where God has intended them to be.

And now to the post.

Initially I stated that the English language is rather poor, and it lacks such simple formulas like the French “bon appétit”. Which was rather rude from my part, since I have heard them say “enjoy your meal” two or three times in the many years I have been interacting with native speakers.  It’s just that the French version is somehow used more frequently, which I believe is a form of self-criticism, since the English are not specifically known for their cuisine. The French one however is recognised all over the world.

Then there are the other life changing inventions of the French, such as fashion, modern democracy and champagne. So it is needless to say: the French culture, especially in the country that I live in, is held high on the pedestal of cultures. (Though I’m not at all sure, if such a notion exists in English, since I do tend to think in my native language, when writing.)

My main problem with the wonderful nation of France is the fact that they are (or at least seem to be) extremely arrogant. They are FRENCH, and feel an almost pathological need to express this whenever and wherever they might be. Funnily enough, through my vast search on the Internet, I have never found anyone besides them who have thought otherwise. So maybe, just maybe, I might be right this time.

My city being a university town, hosts a vast variety of people from all over the world, included quite a lot of French students and another big bunch coming from francophone countries such as the Maghreb and French-Canada. (The latter of course is not an independent country per se, but as far as I know, they do have a tendency of wanting to change that.) This being said, it was basically inevitable for me to get to know some of these people personally, and as such, I do believe I have the right to write down a few observations regarding their general behaviour towards people who happen not to speak their language. Such as myself.

As I’m writing this post, English is regarded as the one and only universal language, understood by the vast majority of humanity. I would even go as far as saying that 95% of the planet’s inhabitants are able to communicate in it at some level, the other 5% being held up by the elderly of the planet and well…the French. Technically of course this is not true. They ARE able to use it, but somehow most of them usually have the tendency to manifest actual physical pain when forced to do so. Not to mention the genuine surprise and revolt on their face whenever I have to explain that my French vocabulary consists of the name of a few Fashion designers. Also until today, they have always failed to make me pronounce that special “R” they have, which, to be honest, reminds me of a sound made by patients suffering from tuberculosis …

Ok. Let them be surprised. They have all the right on Earth to be. What really drives me mad, is the fact, that even after I told them (for example my friends), that I’m unable to communicate en Français, they still continue to speak in it and are surprised, that I just sit there and don’t say a word. Guys! If any of you are reading this (obviously using some online translation service), trust me: by making me repeat your words at 2 A.M. after a few shots, I’m not going to make any progress in my language skills. Want me to learn French? Ok. Cool. I have nothing against it. I already speak a couple of foreign languages; a new one won’t hurt either. But for God’s sake, start with the ABC will you? And possibly while both of us are sober and in a functioning state of mind.

Another “revolting” aspect of the French is their look. How the French women are able to look always so chic is a total enigma for me. I myself usually just grab a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, throw my hair up in a ponytail and am good to go. Fashion is something that mostly interests me only on the pages of the magazines I buy. (Yes, I do read such materials, and I constantly keep myself updated regarding the newest trends even on the internet…)

My biggest annoyance however is the fact that even men are seemingly conscious of the existence of fashion trends. And follow it to the letter. I mean, I know a few guys who are more informed on the subject than me and my friends all put together. Of course, I usually get big loads of critique on my absolute lack of mastering the newest trends. Maybe someday I will ask the boys to go shopping with me, and see what happens when I leave myself to their mercy. It should be fun. (Or I will end up neatly packed in a full body cast, since me and high heeled shoes are not exactly on a friendly basis…)

And now that I have vented all my frustrations at 1:30 A.M. I can admit, that:

1. My favourite foreign writer (in Naturalism): is French.

2. One of my all time favourite foreign poets was also a French man.

3. Except two, all of my favourite designers are French. (Choke it up France! There IS fashion outside of your borders too.)

4. My favourite cheeses were also made by French.

5. All the wines coming from France that I have tasted had an exceptional quality. (And an exorbitant price…)

6. And my favourite foreign national anthem is the “La Marseillaise”…

7. Oh and the French rap! It sounds great. Has a decent (?) lyric as well as music. Kind of like west side meets east side… Aww… I really want to say, that it’s the best! Now just let me get a dictionary so I can at least understand it. >.<

That being said: Vive la France! (Or however you write that…)

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