Thursday, July 30, 2009

... and now for some French lessons à la Montréal

(Canada chronicles continued ...)

Je suis ici à Montréal (I am here in Montreal), I mainly seem to be drawn to take photos of signs, maybe because they're in French. A great way to learn. Life is our best classroom.
Maintenant, le mercredi soir, je suis ici dans ce café 'downtown'. (Now, on Wednesday evening, I'm in this café downtown). Just in case I don't go to any cafés to blog or check email tomorrow, I'm pre-shceduling this as Thursday's post.
After buying a drink or something to eat (I bought darjeeling tea), they give you a card with a code to type in and connect to the wireless. Pouvez-vous comprendre le français?
J'aime cette poubelle (I like this dustbin). If I'm reading it correctly, it's basically saying 'hungry dustbin seeks dirty pizza'. Funny. Great idea to get people to throw rubbish in the bin by sticking clever signs like that. I wonder if it will work in Trinidad.

Because there are others ... think. Slow down. (At least, minus my dictionary and given the context, I would guess that 'ralentissez' means 'slow down').
And who can translate what this French chien (dog) is saying?

Wawa is the name of the company being advertised, but this Montreal billboard also implies that "wawa" is how dogs bark in French (or at least how humans would spell a French dog's bark).

I often wonder if animals in different countries have different accents. I first really wondered a few years ago when I was in Grenada and heard a barking dog, closely followed by a bleating goat, both sounding (to me) markedly different to those in Trinidad.

Has anyone else ever heard or wondered about animal accents?


Lynn Cohen said...

I would be quite lost in Montreal. I'd stop at that stop sign and think I was under arrest. The dog is obviously crying WaWaaaaaaaaaaaaa. In French yet! I think it says something about quieting his spirit below. ???
Glad you are still having fun there and yes, life is the best educator.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was able to read the free wi-fi card and the "trash can seeks dirty pizza box" sign, and the Wawanesa Life Insurance Company billboard. Good mnemonic. Is your French improving from the immersion?

Elspeth said...

Lynn, yes I guess if someone doesn't speak French it would be difficult to understand the signs. Kelly, yes I can see how French (or whatever language) improves with immersion. It's easier to learn in real life context.

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