Posts Tagged ‘English’
I was chatting recently on Twitter with @EssParent and we got to talking about funny expressions in different languages, which has prompted this blog post. I hope you enjoy these French expressions which make me laugh, the expression is in bold with its literal translation underneath, scroll down to the bottom for the equivalent English expression, can you guess what they are without looking?
- C’est l’hôpital qui se fout de la charité/C’est l’hôpital qui se moque de la charité (more polite).
It’s the hospital that takes the piss out of/laughs at the charity.
- Il pleut comme des vaches qui pissent.
It’s raining like cows that piss.
- J’ai un chat dans la gorge.
I’ve got a cat in my throat.
- Il parle français comme une vache espagnole.
He speaks French like a Spanish cow.
- Elle a du monde au balcon.
She has the world on the balcony.
- Tu ne peux pas avoir le beurre et l’argent du beurre.
You can’t have the butter and the money for the butter.
- Ca se fait les doigts dans le nez.
It is done with fingers in the nose.
- Ca coûte la peau du cul.
It costs the skin of your arse.
- Appeler un chat un chat.
To call a cat a cat.
- J’ai les dents du fond qui baigne.
My back teeth are swimming.
- Quand les poules auront les dents.
When hens have teeth.
- Ca arrivera le 36 du mois.
It’ll happen on the 36th of the month.
- J’ai d’autres chats à fouetter.
I’ve got other cats to whip.
- J’ai des fourmis dans les pieds.
I’ve got ants in my feet.
- Il faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué.
You mustn’t sell the bear’s skin before killing it.
- Il a la chair de poules.
He’s got chicken skin.
English equivalents below….
- It’s the hospital that takes the piss out of/laughs at the charity.
That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
- It’s raining like cows that piss.
It’s raining cats and dogs.
- I’ve got a cat in my throat.
I’ve got a frog in my throat.
- He speaks French like a Spanish cow.
He speaks pidgin English.
- She has the world on the balcony.
She’s big chested. (Not really an expression in English but the French expression makes me laugh lots so had to include it.)
- You can’t have the butter and the money for the butter.
You can’t have your cake and eat it.
Break a leg! (i.e. theatre).
- It is done with fingers in the nose.
It’s a piece of cake.
- It costs the skin of your arse.
It costs an arm and a leg.
- To call a cat a cat.
To call a spade a spade.
- My back teeth are swimming.
- When hens have teeth.
When pigs fly.
- It’ll happen on the 36th of the month.
When pigs fly.
- I’ve got other cats to whip.
I’ve got other fish to fry.
- I’ve got ants in my feet.
I’ve got pins and needles in my feet.
- You mustn’t sell the bear’s skin before killing it.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
- He’s got chicken skin.
He’s got goose bumps.
I am now 32 weeks pregnant and it has been such an interesting journey, comparing my pregnancy in France to my pregnancy here in the UK, so I thought I would share my comparisons of the two pregnancies.
Pregnancy N°1: The French One
When: March – December 2006
Where: St Vallier de Thiey, a village on the French Riviera, inland above Grasse and Cannes
- Permanent nausea 24/7 for the first three months.
- Permanent exhaustion 24/7 for the first three months.
- No real cravings, except wanting red wine whenever I saw a glass.
- Very low blood pressure (signed off work for this twice, in the first and last trimester.)
- Anaemic for most of the pregnancy.
- Stressful pregnancy, counting down each day.
- Horrific cankles (what are cankles?) from about month 4 until the birth.
- Weight gain of 13Kg (about 29lb) from start to finish, and a teeny tiny bump (this is me at nearly 42 weeks – excuse the highly unattractive photo!):
- A baby that I thought moved quite a lot.
- 45 minute commute door to door: driving from our home in the hills above Grasse to the office in the coastal town of Antibes.
- No ante-natal visits with midwives, all done with my gynaecologist/obstetrician.
- Virtually no ante-natal preparation/classes etc.
- Monthly appointments with my gynaecologist/obstetrician, with full weigh-in, blood pressure check and examination “down below”.
- Monthly blood tests in a separate lab for toxoplasmosis (more information about toxoplasmosis).
- Test for diabetes despite not being at risk.
- Scans offered at every monthly check-up if I wanted them, with 3 obligatory ones.
- Strict instructions given from the gynaecologist/obstetrician on what to avoid eating and drinking: no alcohol, no smoking, no raw meats or fish, no cheese made from unpasteurised milk, no foie gras, no shellfish, all meat to be cooked all the way through, all fruit and veg to be washed thoroughly etc.
- No mention of breast-feeding at all.
- An induced and very quick labour with epidural (more about that here) with the end result being a healthy little girl:
Pregnancy N°2: The English One
When: February – November 2012
- Very little nausea, and what I had was very easy to control.
- More tired than usual, but again it was easy to control.
- No real cravings, except wanting to eat lots of fresh fruit and having more of a sweet tooth than usual.
- Normal blood pressure.
- No problem with anaemia.
- A mostly stress-free pregnancy (except for the usual stresses and strains of daily life), with no big rush to get through it. This one has certainly whizzed by a lot faster.
- Cankles only making occasional appearances, when the UK weather is hot and when we were on holiday in sunny climes
- Weight gain of 9kg (about 20lb) so far and a much bigger bump, here I am at just 30 weeks this time round:
- A baby that doesn’t stop dancing. Ever. This is one active baby! I thought that L was a mover and shaker but this one beats her hands down.
- 45 minute commute door to door: a 7 minute walk to the tube station, an 18 minute ride on the Northern Line where I usually get given a seat, then a 7 minute walk the other side.
- All ante-natal visits carried out by different midwives at the local hospital where I will have this baby.
- Refresher NCT classes start tomorrow and I’m also doing hypnobirthing this time round. I’ll have more to report on that later…
- Fewer appointments than with L, I have been weighed once at the very start, my blood pressure is checked each time and to my amazement no one has ever examined me “down below”! This is the biggest shocker after pregnancy in France!!
- No mention of toxoplasmosis at all, except when I asked about it I was told that if I didn’t work on a farm then I shouldn’t worry about it. They did however tell me to wear gloves for gardening and for cleaning cat litter and to wash all fruit and veg thoroughly.
- No mention of a diabetes test.
- 2 scans at 12 and 20 weeks, plus an additional scan planned for 36 weeks to check the size of the baby as L was so tiny.
- A vague mention made of what to eat/avoid eating etc. Although during the first midwife appointment we did discuss alcohol and smoking.
- Breast-feeding talked about and the advantages clearly explained during a recent midwife appointment, despite me stating that I’m a huge advocate and that I breastfed L for 1 year and exclusively for 6 months, and that I fully intended to do it again.
- Hopefully a natural birth this time in a midwife-led suite in the local hospital, which I promise to report back on.
It is hard to say how much of the differences are because it is a second pregnancy, so the medical staff and B and I are more relaxed about the whole thing. Also for my pregnancy with L I had previously had a miscarriage so I’m sure that added a lot of stress as I wondered about my ability to carry a baby to term.
The biggest shocks for me are the fact that no one mentions anything about toxoplasmosis here, which is HUGE in France, both at check-ups/blood tests and when talking to other mums (I was always getting asked, “Tu as eu la toxo?” whenever discussing pregnancy with other women). The other thing that still amazes me is that no one has ever asked to look between my legs! Now I’m not a huge fan of a stranger poking and prodding about down there, but after that being such a regular occurrence at every single check-up for 9 months it France, it still astounds me that not one single person has looked down there yet! According to my UK mum friends this is common and you’ll only get looked at “down there” if you are overdue and need a sweep.
Fortunately I realised fairly quickly that no one was interested in what was going on in my knickers after my first check-up so I’ve stopped getting naked now for my appointments!
How did your pregnancies compare? Was it a boy/girl thing? A country comparison? An age comparison? I’d love to hear if you had any surprises with later pregnancies.
I don’t know why but finding a name for a baby boy seems to be infinitely harder than finding names for a baby girl. Before those who know me get excited and start thinking we’ve given in and found out the sex of our bump, sorry to disappoint you but we are still in the dark. As with L we don’t know the sex, and as with L, we’re struggling to find boys’ names that we’re both happy with.
It doesn’t seem to be just us either; my sister gave birth to my nephew 2.5 weeks ago and they are yet to name him (fortunately for them they live in New Zealand where you have 3 months to name your baby, as against 3 days in France!) I also have a work colleague who took several weeks to name her baby boy.
After living in France for 12 years where you have just 3 days to name your baby or the state names him/her for you, I still feel that I need to go into labour with a girl’s name and a boy’s name all set to go. As I mentioned previously we had chosen our two names and we were both happy with these and ready to go….then I got chatting to my sister after my nephew’s birth and I started worrying about whether our choice of a French name would work/be pronounceable in the UK.
To be on the safe side I presented two of my London mummy friends with a shortlist of boys’ and girls’ names and asked them to pronounce them. Oh dear. There went our boy’s name. With the likelihood that it’ll be pronounced wrongly and in a way that I really dislike too we’ve had to delete it from our list. The issue here is that it was the only boy’s name B and I could both agree on.
On the up side we seem to be ok on the girl’s name front. On the down side we’re back to square one with boys’ names; unable to agree on one name that we both like.
So if you’re bored, how about you help us out with any suggestions and pop them in the comments below? Here are our criteria:
- We’re looking for a French name as our surname is French.
- It can’t be too long as our surname is long with 3 syllables.
- We’re trying to avoid names starting with L, B or S as those letters start our names.
- Our surname starts with an L and the letter B is quite dominant.
If my blog bio wasn’t enough for you, here is some more information about me….
Franglaise Mummy pretty much sums me up: I lived in the UK for the first 22 years of my life before heading to Nice, France after graduating. I had a 3 month return ticket and aimed to spend the summer working in a bar, going to the beach and partying. In less than a month I’d decided to stay on indefinitely….I finally moved back to the UK 12 years and 18 days after going out there as a very different person at 22.
After deciding to stay on in France I set about looking for a serious job and becoming more “French” and less of an expat. Here is a brief summary of my life on the French Riviera age 22 – 34:
I lived in 1 city, 2 towns and 1 village, from the beaches of Nice to the countryside of St Vallier de Thiey which is over 700 metres above sea level and where we had snow every year.
I worked as a barmaid, I cleaned yachts, I cleaned toilets, I worked as a secretary for a man who I later discovered was involved in the Russian mafia, and who I saw on the news in handcuffs one night (whilst I was working for him!), I taught English in businesses, I worked as a PA again and this time my boss was put on gardening leave while the company investigated him for fraud and for stealing company money, I worked in marketing and PR, I ran my own luxury travel agency with my husband which nearly brought an end to our union! My final job in France was running my own business working for a woman who declared herself to be a witch and to know how to cure cancer, and doing some final English teaching to babies and children. After this panoply of jobs I was quite glad to move back to the UK and get a “normal” job in a marketing agency in London.
I had a 3 year relationship with my first French boyfriend, resulting in a mortgage, 2 French cats, an adorable set of in-laws who I still class as my family today and a broken heart. Despite this I decided to stick around in France and I’m glad I did as I then met my husband on a drunken night in a bar in the old town of Nice in December 2001. What I have got out of this relationship is another mortgage, a French dog, 2 English cats, my soul mate and our incredible and fabulous half English, half French daughters.
To everyone’s shock and amazement, in June 2010, fed up with the lack of job opportunities and never-ending petty bureaucracy in France, hubs and I made the huge decision to move (back) to the UK. In the next month we sold nearly everything we had, handed in notices, packed up a tiny van of a few key belongings, booked a one-way flight, had a few drunken farewell parties and headed to my parents’ house with L and our hopes high. I never thought that at age 34 I’d be moving back into my childhood home along with my husband and 3 year old daughter but that’s what happened as we job-hunted and then house-hunted.
In the last 2 years or so we’ve settled into our UK way of life very well and it’s made me realise that whether we live in the UK or France or anywhere else I will now be leading my life the Franglaise way.
So where am I at now? Living with hubs, L (our 6 year old daughter), C (our baby daughter, born in London in November 2012), Courage (French dog pronounced Koo-rarj), Ruby (French cat), Gavin & Smithy (English cats) in southwest London. I usually work full-time while L goes to school but I’m currently on maternity leave, looking after L and C.
This blog is about my personal experiences of the differences in pregnancy, birth and raising babies and children the French and the English way. I am not condoning nor condemning either way, merely stating how it is/was for me, which doesn’t necessarily mean that is how it is for everyone in the UK or France.
With that disclaimer I’ll sign off and say thanks for reading!