My ability to discuss politics in French intelligently is seriously hampered by my inability to discuss anything in French intelligently. Up until now, I’ve pretty much limited my political ravings to blaming the Bush administration for the weather. Obama still gets the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been hoping that hope thing pans out.
I decide to use my next French/English session with Carole, my neighbor to discuss what’s happening on the geopolitical front.
We settle down with our drinks, pens, paper and dictionaries for a deep discussion of the world political situation… in the others’ native tongue
Moi: Aime-tu Sarkozy?
Carole (making a face): You no longer have Bush. Now we have Sarkozy. We have exchanged shames.
Moi: Ah, mais Bush est un grand, grand…shame (flipping through dictionary) HONTE.
Carole (correcting): Bush ETAIT un grand, honte.
Moi: Etait. Bush etait un grand, grand honte. Huit annees de honte. Mon Dieu! Et Sarkozy?
Carole: He pretends…pretend? he possess the world.
Moi: He thinks he owns the world.
Carole: (repeating) He thinks he owns the world.
Moi: or he’s an entitled asshole.
Carole: Say this again?
Moi (simplifying): An asshole. (trying to explain it in shitty French)…Iil est un grand ane. Ou …le hole…qu’est ce que c’est hole… (flipping desperately through dictionary) de derriere.
Carole: Connard! I’ll est un connard! Un trou de cul. Oui.
Both Carole and I scribble our newly learned words down furiously.
Moi: (repeating to self) trou de cul, trou de cul. Connard. Connard.
Carole: (repeating to self) asshole, asshole, asshole.
Me: Oui tout les politicians …comme que dit suck?…Mauvais, mais plus mal…(thinking) .Les politicians est putains.
Carole laughs at my use of the curse word.
Carole (correcting): Sont putains.
Me: Les politicians sont putains.
Carole: The word again, please?
Moi: Suck. All politicians suck.
Carole starts scribbling down the phrase
Carole: Please spell “suck”.
Carole (reading what she just wrote): All politicians suck.
Moi (applauding her): Oui! Tout les politicians sont putains!
Carole (reading from her notes): Sarkozy is an asshole!
Moi: Oui! Tous les politicians sont connards!
Now that a consensus has been reached, we relax a bit, proud of all that we’ve accomplished. I certainly feel better having gotten all this off my chest and that my French partner and I have found some common ground. We move on to other pressing matters of the day.
Moi: Ou est se trouve en bon homme ici?
Carole: There is not a good man in the world.
We laugh together conspiratorially.
I think we may be on to something. This trying to speak in the others’ language without translators could be a good thing for international relations. Sure, our political conversation was a little limited. But when you get right down to it, I’m sure we resolved much more and found more common ground in an hour than the UN has in years. Heck, maybe the US senate should try it.
Filed under: Bush, corruption, culture, Deep thoughts, diplomacy, french culture, international diplomacy, Language, learning french, Obama, politics, putain, Sarkozy, travel, travel humor Tagged: | french politics, life in France Living in France, politics, US politics