Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On the dangers of the French language

Poutine (pronounced pou-TIN) = a delicious combo of gravy, fries, and cheese curds

Putin (in French, the "in" sound is nasal) = PM of Russia

Patins = ice skates

Putain = a whore

When I was in Montreal, I rented a pair of skates: "Je voudrais louer des patins." One slip of the tongue and I could have rented some hookers.

Ordering fries with gravy in Ottawa (or Quebec)?: "Je voudrais de la poutine, s'il vous plaît." If you're not a native speaker...Poutine...Putin....Putain...you see where I'm going with this.

Though I gotta say...the Quebecois equivalent of the mother of all swear words..."tabarnak," is the perfect combination of angry, hacking consonants and clipped vowels to create the ideal interjection. I mean, really. Why bother with a simple, one-syllable "FUCK!" when a forceful "TABARNAK!" is just fifty times more fun and dramatic?

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