Friday, January 11, 2008

French Phrase #3

Elle parle français comme une vache espagnole.
(She massacres the French language)

From Les Bons Mots: Literally, "she speaks French like a Spanish cow." It is not surprising that this French characterization has persisted, since the French so love their language, and Spaniards are a nearby target.

I thought I would lighten up my blog with this phrase. I think this will be very important to know while in France, so when someone utters this phrase about my French, at least I won't smile and nod unknowingly. And it proves very useful to say to myself right now, as I'm re-learning French. Moi, Je parle français comme une vache espagnole.


Randal Graves said...

Given the last 7 years, I'm surprised that 'espagnole' hasn't been replaced by 'américaine.' ;-)

b said...

Well, this book was published 10 years ago, so perhaps the reference is not as prevalent. But I figure that it is best to know the jist of the phrase even if espagnole is traded for américaine!

Anonymous said...

It's still used and it's my tag line.

Richard said...

I think the literal translation is much better.