Wednesday, November 12, 2008

next question, please!

From Jennifer:
What's your most embarrassing memory?

I lived in France for 4 months when I was 17 as an exchange student. The family I lived with had a son, Laurent, who went to my high school in Indiana for a year as an exchange student, and spoke near-perfect English. One night at home, I asked him how to say "I don't care." He said "Je m'en fous."

A few days later, one of my teachers asked me if I wanted to take a test. Since my credits over there had no bearing on my credits at my own high school, it didn't really matter. I said, in French, "it doesn't matter. Je m'en fous." (With much less attitude than those statements would portray, I swear. I just wasn't sure how to be non-committal without expressing attitude.) The whole class exploded in gasps and giggles, and the teacher said something to the effect of "I do not think it means what you think it means." She walked away, red-faced to the point of near-explosion, and I turned to my classmate and said "What did I just say??" She said "It was a little... vulgar."

I tracked Laurent down like a dog on a hunt and asked him what it meant and explained what had just happened. He said "You just said 'I don't give a f***' to Mademoiselle Sala.'" Unfortunately, the earth didn't swallow me whole right then and there, so I went immediately back to Mademoiselle Sala's classroom and explained, without ratting Laurent out, what happened and apologized profusely. Although she was an awful, angry spinster, she smiled and forgave me and told me that I should perhaps use my dictionary rather than my peers for future translation.

Also, I'm embarrassed of myself at 19. The whole year. It'd take much more time than I have to explain.

And this picture is funny.


10 comments:

Amanda Wells said...

That picture is freaking hilarious.

mayberry said...

Heehee! I needed a laugh today. At you and and the great picture!

i'm black betty said...

i needed to see that pic. that is awesome!

Dr. Wifey said...

that is awesome! I am laughing at your expense :) the pic is great too!

Koontah said...

I have a friend who had a similar experience...long story short, he told a bunch of German scientists, some of which were nobel prize winners, "I am erect!!" in german, when her actually meant to say "I am excited!!" Something lost in translation, I think.

Oh, and I love the picture. I can hear W saying that, too.

The DP said...

I got a French one for you, my favorite (no this did not happen to me). We were in French class in Quebec and the teacher asked everyone if they had a good evening. This one girl wanted to say, "No, my mattress (matelas) was too hard so I couldn't sleep" but instead she said, "matelot", which means "sailor." Good times.

Supermom said...

reminds me of the time I had just started a job as a new bank officer... the senior vice president came down to my office to introduce a new employee....

being he was the senior vice president I was nervous as hell...

so when he was commenting how I had the biggest office on the floor... but the most reclusive...

I commented... "yeah, I try to hold the fart down."

When he left... I asked nervously of my friend who happened to be in my office at the time... "Did that even remotely sound like 'fort'????

She said, "nope, that was clearly 'fart'.

The look on his face said it all.

No fart from big corner office.

Koontah said...

HA! That's hilarious supermom!! I can picture you saying it now!!

Jen said...

haha! Poor Stacey. My most embarrassing is not being told, yall would not let me live it down.

Liked the pic too!

From the Doghouse said...

I know some people who would have said that on purpose.