For today’s Fandango’s Flashback Friday, here are two – yes two posts from previous Septembers – one from 2011, the next from the same day in 2013. One’s a quick and useful French lesson, and the next might already be history. Who knows what first names are doing the rounds in France now?
Voilà! The most useful word in the French language.
Here’s what happened at the baker’s this morning. Translations appear in brackets.
Me: Oh! Isn’t the pain bio ready yet?]
Madame: Voilà! (Nope. Quite right)
Me: So if I call in after 9, you’ll have some? Could you please save me a loaf?
Madame: Voilà! (Yes, and yes). Would you like to pay now, then it’ll be all done and dusted?
Me: Voilà! (Makes sense. I’ll do that)
By the way, I was all grottily dressed in my oldest paint-spattered, holes-in-the-knee-ready-to-face-a-morning’s-tiling gear. This is Laroque after all: no shame in working clothes here.
Madame: You’re looking very chic today, if I may say so!
Me: Voilà! (And don’t I know it).
Why bother to learn more French? Voilà donc!
What’s in a Name?
When I was at school, my French text books were peopled by characters such as Jean-Claude, Jean-Charles, Jean-Paul, Jacques and Georges. There were Marie, Marie-France, Marianne, Jeanne and Jeanette.
My own classmates answered to names such as Valerie, Jean, Judith, Janet, Susan and Mary while the boys’ school along the road had types like Alan, Norman, Brian, Keith, Bob (not Robert or Rob), Bill (not William or Will) and inevitably, John.
These names identify us firmly as children of the 1950’s.
So over the last week, on our journey through France, I’ve had fun looking for evidence of the latest trends in French first names, via Coca-Cola’s latest marketing scheme of personalising drinks bottles with the current most popular given-names.