Thursday, 17 September 2009

Hooray! A two-slip-up day!

I reckon any day I make the sort of language error that makes me curl up with embarrassment is good - you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, as they say, and you certainly can't learn a new language without making a complete eejit of yourself on a regular basis.

Firstly I managed to inform the Hausmeister's wife, when extricating my bike from her complicated plant arrangements, that I liked having an old and knackered bike because it helped with the servant situation (rather than deterring thieves, which was what I was aiming for). She knows I'm English - lord knows what she now imagines my background to be!!

The second interesting point came during a coaching, when discussing the meat I'd bought in Alsace. This time, I had a dreadful suspicion as the sentence was emerging from my mouth, and before anything could be said, I asked whether I'd just pronounced my hatred for lamb flavoured with condoms. Bless him, the répétiteur managed to swallow most of his giggles and set me right (made exactly the same mistake in French years ago, damn it!! Evidently doesn't protect one. As it were...).

It's impossibly counter-productive to get all self-conscious about such mistakes; I learned that long ago. Better to accept that the open and talkative mouth is going to have a foot inserted from time to time, and try to laugh at it... (I still remember the first time I buggered up in France; being all of fifteen, and at a mayor's banquet, I tried to protest that I'd had enough food and was full... and of course pronounced to the entire company that I was pregnant! At the time, it was Not Funny).

I also managed to negotiate a photoshoot, being batted from pillar to post within the impossibly complicated innards of the theatre without too much harm, and even ending up with what looked like a decent photo for the theatre website (although I wasn't sure of the arty forties-styled ones for the foyer; too many jowls for my liking...).

Now to round the day off with roast duck leg on a bed of garlic-infused courgettes... Thank you, Alsace!!


  1. I've made the same error. Visiting French jam-making friends recently I said "J'aime la confiture de la maison parce-que il n'y a pas de preseratifs dedans". I knew before I said it that it was a) wrong and b) hilarious but couldn't stop myself.

  2. Lamb flavoured with rubber? Or with the contents of the used rubber? Enquiring (ok, dirty) minds want to know!!!

  3. Ah. Thing is, you see, that they tend to "flavour" all the available, non-frozen lamb with orange/green Stuff, mostly, in my opinion, formed of chemicals, including preservatives (has to be; you just don't get those colours in nature!). Trouble is, if you just Germanise the word "preservatives" you get, as in French, the word for "condoms"...