Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Me talk pretty one day

Well, here I am, masquerading daily as a C1 (advanced) student, and yet I still have my David Sedaris moments. Just now I stepped outside to pick up some wine at the grocery store. I noticed that all the car roofs were wet, so I decided to engage in some meteorological small talk with the chef at the restaurant next door, who was sneaking a cigarette outside. Perhaps I should have thought better of it. As I launched confidently into the sentence "looks like it rained, huh?", I suddenly realized that I was missing one key component. The past participle of "pleuvoir", what the hell could it be?

So I ended up stammering, "Il a pleuré, non ?" Reasonably enough, this was met with the kind of stare of blank incomprehension you would give to an idiot who approached you and said, "it has wept, no?" . What to do? I tried gesticulating torrential rain motion, with predictable lack of success. Finally, since the right word still wouldn't come, I was reduced to pidgin: "the water, she has fallen from the sky, no ?" Puzzled acquiescence.

David Sedaris would have been proud of me.

For the record, the damned past participle of "pleuvoir" is apparently "plu". Which I would never have guessed in a gazillion years, as I have always believed (correctly, it seems) that "plu" was the past participle of "plaire" (to please).

So now the neighbors think I am nuts. Or simple-minded. Or both.

Oy vey!


  1. "The water she has fallen from the sky" sounds great to me. Those French folks are so picky.

  2. Maybe they think you're a poet. I give you credit for starting the sentence, even if you couldn't finish it.