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How to be… une Canadienne

One of the perks of being socialized as a Canadian is having a rather large latent vocabulary in French. This became evident a few years ago when, after having lived away from Canada for over a decade, I was in Paris with EPI and much to my surprise I was able to decipher all the advertisements we saw. Which was kind of fun, but actually not really all that useful.

When you live in Canada, you cannot help but learn a lot of French words because – as most of you will know – Canada has two official languages, English and French. Consequently, all official business is in both languages, as are many of the road signs [on major highways, at least], as well as all product packages. This means that, over time, you will know what a lot of things are called in French, whereas unfortunately [as in my case] you will not necessarily know how to string all the nouns together. Or, as I recall explaining it to EPI, “You’re sitting at the breakfast table and you’ve got the milk and cereal in front of you, and automatically you start reading, and without even knowing it you’ve learned what milk and cereal are in French.” Or something along those lines.

Anyway, as we were heading home last week, I picked up this hilarious tome at the airport. It’s got these totally funny takes on being Canadian, and as you might surmise, I found this particularly amusing:

“Known far and wide as master linguists, Canadians excel in particular at translating cereal boxes. Often, when the U.N. needs a cereal box translated, they call in the Canadians, who parachute out of stealth bombers clutching boxes of Capitaine Crounche and K de Special. In a situation unique among the world’s nations, English Canadians know what the French is for ‘riboflavin,’ ‘niacin’ and ‘part of a complete breakfast’. And vice versa. English Canadians don’t know what riboflavin is (no one does), but they do sort of know what it looks like in French. And vice versa.”

Heheh. The best books are the ones that tell you something you already know, right?

From the news that petite anglaise got dooced. Shocking! Makes me exceedingly grateful to have but one boss – my very understanding and exceptionally accomodating self.

We’re not seeing any sun, but it’s not windy nor raining and relatively warm[ish]… although having just returned from 30°C-and-up weather my criteria for ‘warm’ is slightly altered from what it normally is. EPI has gone off on a hiking excursion with our hiking group, whereas YT was obliged to miss it this year [boo]; they are currently exploring the doomed area that is set to go under water this fall when the dastardly Kárahnjúkar dam project is completed. Incidentally, speaking of travelling, I’m trying to decide whether I should be pissed off that THE OTHERS put a full 4,000 km in mileage on my car during the home exchange. That’s almost three times the distance around the island in three weeks! Seems a bit excessive, and a heck of a lot more than we put on their car, despite trips to Kingston and whathaveyou. Temps at this time are 14°C and sunrise was at 04.05, sunset at 23.01.



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