Sunday, 12 September 2010

If you don't laugh ...

I was talking to a French friend today about the town where I went to university and the fact that, because the nights are so short in the north of Scotland, we used to always get woken up by noisy birds in the small hours of the morning. What I wanted to say was, "A Aberdeen il y a beaucoup de mouettes qui crient très fort à trois heures du matin." ("In Aberdeen there are lots of seagulls who scream really loudly at 3 o'clock in the morning.")

What I actually said was, "A Aberdeen, il y a beaucoup de muettes qui crient très fort à trois heures du matin." English translation: "In Aberdeen, there are lots of dumb girls* who scream really loudly at 3 o'clock in the morning."

The puzzled expression on my friend's face was confirmation enough that, once again, I had been caught out by these darn French vowel sounds. Sometimes I'm so ridiculous I even crack myself up.

*Dumb in the sense of being unable to speak. If it had been the other meaning, it would actually have been true.

No comments:

Post a Comment