• Harriot Grinnell-Moore

French Words & What To Do With Them (no.3)

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

So, Achille has a lisp and every time we do drawing he wants the blue felt tip (blue being his favourite colour) however not just any blue will do it has to be bleu foncé, but it always sounds like he’s saying “bleu Français”. At first, I thought this was a certain shade of blue, like tiffany blue or baby blue, so I told him we didn’t have that shade of blue. He looked at me like I was mad. Fair enough. He couldn’t spell it for me either, he sighed deeply and picked up the blue, obviously I'd failed him. It wasn’t until another child I teach kept going on about bleu foncé as she coloured in that I realised it just meant dark blue. They must think education in England is awful if I didn’t know what dark blue meant.

My struggle with French doesn't stop with Achille either, “Je dois plier?” Cesar asked me, as I ran through my head when on earth I’d ever done ballet with him and why he thought of all times now, right after his shower and before dinner we were going to do dancing. I came to the conclusion I must have heard him wrong, but no he repeated it again, just to be sure I did a plié and asked him, “this?” He started giggling uncontrollably saying “non, non, non!” Although, I think he thought I was joking, and that I wasn’t actually extremely confused and genuinely thought he might mean he wanted to dance. A quick word reference later as he flapped his towel around my face I found out it meant fold. Completely different. It turns out, however, he can’t plier or plié.


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