Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Peut-être Les Quebecois ne Prendront pas L'offense...?

I had to work on that one a bit (with the aid of an online translation tool.) My French is not what it used to be. I studied it for six years when I was younger but if you don't use it--you lose it.

What that should say is: Perhaps the Quebecois will not take offence?

I was catching up on some reading and found an article that amused me somewhat. I say "fuck" a lot on this blog. Now to be fair, I warned everyone in my first post. In the article I read, apparently, "copulate" coupled with it's partner "off" is not really such a big deal in French-speaking Canada. Hmmm.

According to the article, it's actually used quite frequently on shows that run on Radio-Canada owned by the CBC. Now the CRTC has all sorts of guidelines, mandates and even a complaints process but I find it completely impotent in all areas. I don't think anyone gives a "fuck" at the CRTC either, be it in Quebec or in English speaking Canada because you will hear that word on English speaking channels as well. Canadian, American, if you have cable over here you can get some BBC. If you get some wild and crazy satellite operation set up who knows what else you might receive!

Now in Quebec, apparently my completely inappropriate term of language might sound like the word for seal ("phoque.") I actually didn't like this part of the article. It made me think that my Francophone friends sounded dumb? So while all the ranting and raving and swearing is going on during the Radio-Canada broadcasts, people are thinking that they're calling each other seals? Sorry, I'm picking at journalistic integrity again.

In Quebec, it seems a lot of swearing is done to curse the Roman Catholic church such as "Tabernac!" This is alluding to "Tabernacle" where the Eucharist is held. It's a very bad word. There are others but I won't bother to list them. You can get the point--the distinction of how different groups of people determine what is profane, culturally.

I've always loved words. Not just profane ones, that's very limiting. One of my most embarrassing moments occurred during Kindergarden when the teacher had to leave the room during "story time." She asked me if I could continue for the class. A lot of the other kids snickered (i.e. they didn't believe I could do it), some glared ("teacher's pet!") and some just stared kind of dumbfounded. I stepped to the front of the class and tried to hold the book open with my tiny hand, just as the teacher did, so that everyone could see the pictures as I read aloud. The book kept falling but there I sat and recited to the class, completely mortified. I had been reading since about the age of three? I can't remember but around that age--by four for sure.

I took a course in Linguistics in my first year of university and it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It was an introductory course so we only covered certain aspects of the discipline. We looked at Phonetics and transcription (that was like taking words and dismantling them into hieroglyphics!) We also delved into Articulatory Phonetics a subfield of the former. This was a little funny. You get to learn all sorts of terms like "fricative," "obstruent," "trill" and "stop." Well, perhaps that last one isn't so fascinating. The articulations are all over your oral anatomy--well, not all of them in English. That was also rather interesting too. Many different languages make sounds that we, well, not that we can not make but it is very hard to do as we tried to attempt in class! We all failed. Also covered was some Phonology and some Morphology.

If you've bothered to have a look at any of those links, you will see that it's a lot more than just "sitting around and talking about words!" I didn't do as well as I thought I would. Alas.


wolfbaby said...

WOW those are some big words..seriously. sound fun though, i really enjoy learning about different cultures and different times.

just wanted to warn you part six of the soap is up and the schedual has been changed so your up next week ok? If you can't do it just let me know.

have a great weekend!!!

Patient Anonymous said...

Hi wolfbaby...well, I try to use my hyperlexic abilities *cough cough* whenever possible.

Actually, anthropology was one of my favourite subjects while in school.

OH NO! I'm next! AHHHH! I still don't know what I'm going to write and I don't even know the majority of these people! I'm going to mess it up so bad...and it might be very short if I get some serious writer's block.

*bangs head on keyboard*