French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 265 (22 March 2011) – My French Professor

Please meet Aurélie, my French professor. Actually, she works in our favorite neighborhood bakery and is quick with a smile when packaging our pain au chocolat, pain au raisin, baguettes, croissants, and a myriad of other things that make up the RDA of pastry items in France. She has also been extremely friendly these many months to Melinda and me, always putting up with my broken French, helping set my straight when I refer to a baguette as a “he” instead of a “she.” I bet you didn’t know that a baguette is female, did you, while bread itself is male. (Oh, if you think assigning gender to objects is funny, you really should find the David Sedaris essay “Me Talk Pretty One Day” from the book of the same name. Melinda, Chloe, Ella & I listened to it at dinner not too long ago and not only practically choked on our food but nearly lost bladder control. It’s that funny, especially if you are an American in France.)

So, yes, Aurélie helps me with my French. Today’s lesson involved learning that if you want your loaf of bread sliced you ask for it to be “trancher.” You see, today I asked for it to be “couper,” which means cut, as in, “Can you cut my bread, please?” It got the point across, sure, and Aurélie was very nice about it and all. I mean she could have taken a knife and cut the bread in half, right? Instead, she even explained that the machine used to slice the bread is called a “trancheur,” hence asking for the bread to be “trancher.” Maybe Freddy Kruegger wants his bread “couper.” Me, I like mine “trancher.”

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March 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Maybe “couper” is closer to English chop than cut, thus chopped bread would NOT sound right either, but might get the idea across.

    I suppose you’d really learn something if you
    tried <> vs. <> etc. at a butcher shop. “Please chop me a large New York steak”, might NOT get you same result as “Please slice me a New York steak”. And it might ruin a perfectly good steak.

    Comment by P.Hill | March 29, 2011 | Reply


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