Sunday, September 16, 2012

What’s In A Name?

I finally figured something out that has been bothering me. It seemed like almost every time a French person would ask me my name, I would receive a very quizzical look when I answered. They would often ask me again, I would answer and then spell it out – “double vé, a, i grec”. Then a look of understanding would pass across their faces and they would say “ah, way.” Geez, isn’t that what I said? I know my French isn’t perfect, but I know how to say my name.

The answer finally dawned on me the other day. It actually wasn’t my horrible French accent. The issue is that the French have different dialects in different areas, and we weren’t hearing the same thing. While we have learned that the correct way to say “yes” in French is “oui”, the pronunciation of that word varies. I was taught that the pronunciation was like “whee”. But in Paris, the South of France, and other areas, they pronounce “oui” like “whey”. Do you see the problem? They ask me my name, I reply “way”, they hear me saying “yes” and they wait for me to say more. Pretty funny. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m quick to add the spelling immediately after I say my name – saves lots of confusion on all parts!

Will give more info on my great solo vacation away later – here are a couple of parting shots in anticpation…

Eh whey…

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