Thursday, September 3, 2009

Back to School Daze

Back to school
Back to books
Back to teachers’ dirty looks
‘Cause my accent’s lame
It’s such a shame
But don’t make my kid take the blame!

It’s la rentrée. Parisians slowly shuffle back to work and school after a long, lazy summer.

But according to his teacher, Big Fry brought back more than souvenirs from his vacation in the States. He also brought back – quelle horreur! – an American accent.

La Maitresse de Classe: Bonjour, Madame. Did you have a nice summer?

La Mom: Yes, it was great. We spent a lot of time in les Etats-Unis – it was really good for Big Fry’s English.

La Maitresse: Hmmm…I noticed his accent has – comment dire – deteriorated.

La Mom: Deteriorated? But he’s completely bilingual! He speaks both languages perfectly. He never mixes French and English up.

Big Fry: Bye, Maman. Don’t worry pour moi. Je suis big this year. Je passerai un good time at l’ecole!

Merde. It’s going to be a long school year.


Buckeroomama said...

They somehow manage to make liars out of us at the most inconvenient times, don't they?

Lisa said...

I stumbled upon your blog the other day and have loved reading through it. I love hearing about your everyday life in Paris. I thought it was funny that you were going through the same frustrations searching for back to school supplies. I hate going shopping with that list and searching for specific pencils and pens! There are so many other things I'd rather shop for, especially if I were in Paris!

Looking forward to reading more!

vicki archer said...

Pauvre little darling - he wil be speaking comme moi maintenant. Always a melange! xv

Katie said...

big fry is Awesome! When ever I see the expat children who are fluent in both languages I yearn for their knowledge. It will be a gift for the rest of his life.

Cecilia said...

He will be fine. When I'm about to take a trip back to Portugal, I spend the weeks prior and following the trip mixing both languages every time I open my mouth. And I've been in this country for 16 years!

Under the Influence said...

But can he curse in both languages? THEN he will be really be able to mix it up!

Jeanne Suica Vintage & Collectable Clothing said...

Thanks for your perceptive and hilarious posts. Another LaMom in Paris

La Mom said...

@Under the Influence,

Oh yeah, he can cuss anybody out in both English and French. Wonder where he learned to do that? (Says the mom who thinks it doesn't count if she swears in another language.)

La Mom

Elisa, The Unlikely Housewife said...

Ah, come on! Every bilingual or multilingual person knows that when you speak a different language a lot, it takes a little bit to get the right accent back after you switch again.

I've only been in Europe for 5 weeks and I can already spot my English accent deteriorate. But I'm still fluent. So what's her worry?

Though Big Fry's, ehm, input may not have been of great help right then ;-)

Lauren said...

I'd love to hear your tips on raising a bilingual child. We're not at the talking stage yet (only 6 weeks old) but could use any advice.

Virginia said...

I'm sure the teacher was horrified! That is hilarious. I was in France almost all summer and I learned to read signs and menus but I'm still very hesitant to try much conversation. My southern accent is like fingernails on a blackboard for the French I'm sure. I will say though, everyone was quite patient and kind at my attempts!
PS I see Vicki Archer commented. LOVED her book!

{Kiki} said...

I enjoy speaking franglais as well. It's easy and fun. I hope Big Fry has fun at l' ecole. My son does not go back until Wednesday. Double merde avec legumes. Take care.

SuZ said...

Nothing wrong with an American accent, damnit!


Anonymous said...

I've been wondering and can't find this info on the web - how long is the school day in Paris for young children? I remember way back when - being taught that they are in school from 9 - 5 and go 1/2 day Saturdays. Is that true? Thanks for clarification!


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