Mon été à Paris

Un blog qui raconte mes aventures à Paris pendant l'été de 2012/A blog about my adventures in Paris during the summer of 2012.

L’apothéose des feux d’artifices de la Fête Nationale à Paris/The grand finale of the fireworks for Bastille Day in Paris

Moi devant le Louvre/Me in front of the Louvre

Les colonnes de Pont Alexandre III/The columns on Pont Alexander III

Hello everybody,

Yeah, today I’m feeling lazy, so this one’s only going to be in English. 

Today I discovered one of the most interesting things about language I have ever heard of before.  I feel like I should have realized it, but it just never occurred to me.  We were Basta (a game a little like Scattergories) at work today because there was literally nothing to do.  We had to come up with a thing in that started with a “z” in French.  I put down “zézaiement,” a word that I had learned from a skit I did in a high school French class.  The translation I always found of it was “lisp,” but after a discussion, I found out that it was different than that.  Essentially, this is a French speech impediment where someone pronounces a “j” as a “z.”  As far as I know, there is no such speech impediment found in Anglophones.  This led me to realize that different languages can have different speech impediments.  I feel like I should have realized this because languages all have different sounds and such, but it just never occurred to me.  I find it extremely interesting.  

Another thing that I learned from playing Basta was that Francophones and Anglophones have different ideas of what constitutes a thing.  The category that I put “zézaiement” down for was the category “Thing” and everyone rejected that response because they said that a thing is something that you can touch.  English-speakers, or at least the ones I know, would disagree.  I would definitely say that a lisp is a thing, but the French define things as more concrete. 

-Kevin

La Tour Eiffel scintillante avec les feux d’artifices derrière/The Eiffel tower sparkling with fireworks behind

La façade de l’Hôtel des Invalides/The facade of the Hôtel des Invalides

La dôme de l’Hôtel des Invalides/The dome of Hôtel des Invalides

Le Louvre et la Pyramide du Louvre

La Tour Eiffel, qui scintille, avec un feu d’artifice à l’arrière-plan/The Eiffel Tower, which is sparkling, with a firework in the background