Dedene recently published a post about the problems she sometimes has with the French language. Took me back a few decades.
The first day I arrived in France, years ago, my knowledge of the language was -- 'ow you say? -- rudimentary. Later I was to work in France and live in France and I became reasonably fluent, though I still manage to make my share of grammatical errors I assure you.
Anyway, that first day, knowing very little French, I went to a restaurant. I was starving. I was ready for one of those great French meals I had read about. I stared at the menu. There was nothing resembling an English word anywhere to be seen. I wanted to order something typically French but I had literally no idea what any of the dishes were that were listed on that sheet.
I decided to go with one of the items that seemed to be perhaps more French than anything else listed. It was "choucroute." It had such a Gallic feel to it. I could pronounce it okay, even if I didn't know what it was. I was sure it was a classic example of gourmet cuisine -- a piece, as the saying goes, of resistance.
When the waiter brought it to me I nearly fell off my chair. My first day in France, my first meal in a fine, expensive French restaurant, and I had ordered -- SAUERKRAUT!
Took a few days to get over that experience. :-)
1 year ago