Lost in Translation…Salut!

This guest post comes from City Momma who has a 7 month old baby boy and just started her blog last month. She’s someone who has a talent for writing and I’m very happy to say that she is also part of a big announcement that I have coming soon.

Get to know more about City Momma here in her introduction. You must check out her post Visiting for Dummies which I’m sure a lot of us can relate to (ahem, attention my in-laws) and I love her post Every Day Superheros.

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Q and A with City Momma.

Elle: If the zombie apocalypse happened tomorrow, which weapon would you want to have to fight these brain eaters?

A. a flame thrower.

B. an unlimited supply of ninja throwing stars.

C. a chainsaw.

D. a shoelace because you’re bad ass.

E. other and what would it be?

F. none of the above, I want to be a damn zombie!

City Momma: I’d go with D. Not because I’m a bad ass though, more because my ass would be running so quickly, I’d definitely need a back up.

Elle: If you could drop everything and go anywhere (real or fantasy) in the world, where would it be?

City Momma: I’m about to out myself as a huge computer game nerd but there’s this game series, Myst, and the world is amazing. I could gush on and on about it forever but I don’t want to embarrass myself 🙂 Here’s a picture instead:

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Elle: What’s a favorite book that you like to read to your kids?

City Momma: Harry Potter. The beauty of having a baby that is so young is that I can read him pretty much anything I damn well please, and it counts!

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Lost in Translation. Very Lost.

By City Momma

When I was 19, I spent three months on the island of La Reunion, and it was amazing. I was with my now ex, staying in his parents’ amazing home while they were off in Bali doing business. Being French, they weren’t thrilled with the thought of an American girl dating their son, and the sooner it came to their return home, the more nervous I got.

When they finally got back, things were good. They were great, even! I mean, I think they were at least. They didn’t speak a lick of English (although his dad did once ask me, “What’s shakin'”), so I guess I can’t be too sure.

My ex soon began to return to work at the bar next door. Yes, a bar. Next door. It was where I tried violet flavored rum. It was disgusting by the way. Anyway, the more time he spent at work, the more time I spent with his parents. Sunday lunches outside with wine, cheese, bread, and tons of other amazing things.

Now, to begin to explain exactly what happened, I have to tell you all that although my french wasn’t so bad, it wasn’t so good either. A lot nodding and smiling happened in those 3 months. I did know the basics though. I could use about 3 swear words and have a basic conversation. “Bonjour” obviously means “Hello,” but for a less formal greeting, “salut” is appropriate (it’s translated into “hi”). One day, I decided that I felt comfortable enough to begin to use “salut” rather than “bonjour,” so I did.

His father was home most of that day, so it must have been a Sunday. My ex’s mother had been out at the markets, so it was just the two of us. Awkward!! What could I possibly do to make it less awkward? I hid. I spent time outside, I spent time in the bedroom where I was staying, I did anything to avoid running into him, but when I did, I made sure to say, “salut” and smile.

After the sun set, and as my ex and I were preparing for bed, he had asked me how my day was. I told him that it had been great. I thought it was. Boy, was I wrong. Apparently, my accent got in the way of the enthusiastic greeting that I had been throwing around all day.

Instead of hearing “salut” like I had intended for, my ex FIL heard, “salope” which translates perfectly into “bitch”. Needless to say, I became much more comfortable using “bonjour” for the rest of my trip.

That, ladies and gentlemen is how for one day I made my ex FIL my “bitch” and why I never, ever use the word, “salut” when I run into a french person.

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2 Responses to Lost in Translation…Salut!

  1. Elle September 12, 2011 at 17:56 #

    I think that’s hilarious! Next time my in-laws visit I can call my MIL a “salope” and she’ll be none the wiser. 😉

    • City Momma September 12, 2011 at 18:36 #

      It works especially well when you do it under your breath. 🙂

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