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    « Yet another club that didn't want to let me in. | Main | Nostalgia, 1983 »

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    Haha. Are you kidding, I blame my parents all the time for my lack of good French. Whenever they criticize it, however, I kindly remind them that they made me take SPANISH in school for years and years instead and that I had to Teach Myself French, sans leur aide, in order to take it in high school at the proper grade levels.

    Then I went and majored in French in college, to their great consternation.

    However, I've been told that I speak French with a Spanish accent, which I suppose is preferable. At least they're both romance languages.

    All three of us were robbed of french as a child, it's the princess being put in the livre de familie that really kills. She was french before she turned 18! None of this Embassy extravaganza.

    That last bit sounds exactly like what I would say. In fact, I could almost get away with it, as my mother was born in Germany but got sick in infancy and had to leave for America. Es ist night meine Schuld!

    Ah, I can totally relate to this. My mom being Korean and my lack of Korean growing up. I heard from other relatives that I spoke Korean beautifully until I was five and then it just stopped. My parents didn't encourage us to speak at a young age and I didn't decide to pick it up again until I was in college and my accent is terrible.

    But I can imagine that you French accent is better than mine and that you sound very charming when you speak. I love cursing in French, I still giggle (internally now) at times because the word putain salope de merde still makes me laugh.

    David (the husband) has a mighty fine anglo-accent (although he does lean toward the american pronounciations, certainly because he spends too much time with me), but the funniest thing is he feels embarassed by it! Like at his old job (at Lucent) when they would do meetings in english because people from other countries would make a conference call, he would add a dose of frenchiness to not be the "brailleur" who shows off his brilliant english or something.

    That, and for awhile they had those chicken strips at McDo here instead of those stupid nuggets, called "Chicken Country." But of course, David purposely said it frenchy, "sheekeen cauntree." Two years later, I still make fun of him for it. heh.

    I am laughing to myself thinking of the mental image of you locked in the gym bathroom, because it reminds me of the time I became locked in a bathroom on a boat where I was the only American. I was in Indonesia and I had no idea of how to say "Help! I am stuck in this smelly bathroom and if someone doesn't get me out of here pretty darn quick, I am going to cry." Eventually, my unintelligible screams and yelps brought someone to my aid. Boy did the boat crew get a good laugh out of that one.

    These comments are seriously making my whole day. I want to put a flag on this post saying "MUST READ COMMENTARY" I also wish I could respond to all of you, but then this comment would be six paragraphs long and even I don't have that kind of time today. Suffice to say MERCI!

    Not completely on topic but ... when I was young my family lived in England where I developed a thick but proper English accent. Upon returning to the States, my first grade teacher couldn't understand me and sent me to a speech therapist! Apparently I cam back with a note that said "he speaks beautifully and he'll grow out of it in six months. Well, I did and am still somewhat miffed my parents didn't have the foresight to record me. This was not a stretch since my dad had all sorts of recording equipment (and even has his own record label today.) And all I have is a couple of older cousins who make fun of me. This of course makes me adamant that when we return to the US, my kids will keep up their french ability.

    ^^ Just to comment on what Uncle M said, my parents did record me growing up and I surprise myself when I listen to those tapes. I plan on doing the same for my kids whereever we end up. Hopefully they will be tri-lingual... but then again they will probably be stubborn like me. Oh well...

    Coquette, I love your site. I can't go a day without checking it. Merci à toi!

    Sigh...all this talk about French and British childhood accents has made me a little jealous. All I have to show for my linguistic upbringing in Marietta, Ohio is that I still call soda "pop." And no, my parents never recorded me saying that EITHER!

    Just a couple of things: Flare, I'm actually really curious about raising multilingual kids (mostly because I wish my parents had done me the favor). How do you plan on doing it? You can email me if you prefer, since it's kind of off-topic to this post.
    And secondly, for Kathleen: https://www.popvssoda.com/. I'm one of the few people in Iowa that calls soda soda because I spent a couple of formative years in Baltimore, MD. I thought you might get a kick out of this map.

    Couldn't resist sharing a memory your post brought back.
    Our British au-pair got stuck in a public restroom in France once.
    She was eventually freed after screaming "Je suis collée! Je suis collée!" at the top of her voice for 10 minutes.
    She just couldn't think of a better translation for 'stuck', poor thing.

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