Saturday, September 4, 2010

English French words

It’s incredible ("uncreaaabl") how many English words are actually French!! And every single one of them sounds so chic (oops there’s one) and glamorous!! Décor, couture, décolletage, negligee, deja vu, rendezvous, fiancé, boutique, bric-a-brac, encore, petite...

I have stopped going to French classes – that lasted 1 year – and I’m pretty pleased with that effort. But while I miss my favourite little class mate I have found something even better thanks to my Mr.

Michel Thomas audio records – learning to speak French without any memorizing, writing, homework or even trying for that matter. It’s brilliant! No pressure to learn, just listening and ‘hearing’ what your listening to. Its amazing how it flows in and stays there – the next thing you know your constructing sentences in your head with so much ease it couldn’t possibly be normal. This past week I have learnt about 5 times as much French as I did in that year of French class. I don’t mean to ‘dis’ my teacher - she was TRES magnfiique in her own teaching method – she was quite typically old school French and taught us the ‘proper’ old-school way of learning the language with a lot of it being gramma based. But Michel Thomas’ recordings are a much more practical and modern method of teaching. I highly recommend it!! I listen to the recordings everyday while I drive! (and then freak out when I get to my destination and have no recollection of the journey – scary!!)

But it has been so interesting and eye-opening to learn that the English language actually came from the French language. There are so many similarities that are so obvious but its getting our head around the fact that it’s mostly just pronunciations that are different (there are exceptions of course). One French man was asked what he thought of the English language. He looked at the paper and said: “What?... But it’s French…but with very bad pronunciations” – this man me laugh! Oh how I love the French and their frank dry and honest wit!

So I sat and went through my French dictionary and picked out all the english words that are actually French: (we are so used to these words being part of the English language we don’t even recognize them as French…most of the time)

Budget (comes from Old French bougette (A little purse) – I love that!!!

And these are just the sounds that are clearly french. I found a stack more on Wikipedia. Now that I’m so fascinated in learning the origins of even simple words like 'table'! And the simple truth for me has been understanding that English comes from French – that's all! and with this simple ray of clarity and light ... the key finally turned! - everything's so much easier and clearer to understand and hear and in turn SPEAK. I’m almost French now LOL

Off to listen to recording 4 now!! Au revoir!! (ok that’s not one off them hahaha) xx

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