Monday, May 11, 2009

clearly, i do not really know portuguese

I just like to pretend that I do.

Today it was brought to my attention that in my advertising a talk about a Brazilian film, I have been spelling the film's title in two different languages. It starts out in Portuguese just fine—Tropa de—but abruptly switches to French—Élite

Oops.

Incidentally, the title of the talk does mention Foucault. So maybe I was just channeling him.

For the record, I don't really know French, either. As with Portuguese, though, that doesn't always stop me from pretending that I do. 

And now that I'm talking about French, I just want to add: isn't Saint-Saëns such a perfect name for a French composer? It just sounds so French (this from the girl who only pretends that she speaks French), and with just a bit of imagination, the Saëns sounds something like song. Plus, he wrote good stuff. So whenever I see or hear the name Saint-Saëns and I proceed to hear in my head that jaunty, guttural French laugh (I don't know how to spell it, but maybe Vanessa does? You know what I mean, right? Think Ha-ha-ha, only rhyming with Saëns), it is a gesture of endearment, mon ami, and not of mocking.

3 comments:

FoxyJ said...

So I've helping plan a conference and suggested an Italian proverb as a session title. People liked it, we put it on a poster, and then had a professor tell us it was spelled wrong. I felt dumb because they had to reprint the posters. Guess I should have pulled out my dictionary and double checked.

Anonymous said...

Vicky, Christina, Barcelona!

skylark said...

@FoxyJ you should have played it off cool, saying that you meant the unusual spelling, to catch people's attention and um, "make a statement."

@Anonymous sorry, wrong number?