About a year ago I decided that I wanted to learn French, so I downloaded a free language-instruction app onto my phone. I lost motivation and quit using it last summer but recently picked it up again. Since it’s been so long I pretty much had to start over, but this has reminded me of how amusing the phrases can be in this app. I’d like to share with you some of the strange things I have learned to say in French, and their translations.*
1. Je suis un tortue.
I am a turtle.
Really? My first thought is to wonder how many English-speaking turtles have downloaded this app with the intention of traveling to France. And then I wonder why it would be necessary for the turtle to inform the French people he meets of his place in the animal kingdom. Don’t French people know a turtle when they see one?
2. Les femmes mangent du beurre.
The women eat some butter.
Just butter? I mean, I’ve heard that French food can be pretty rich but this seems a little excessive to me. You could at least spread it on some bread first.
3. Les éléphants mangent une pomme.
The elephants eat an apple.
That’s either one GIANT apple, or some really small elephants for them to be sharing one apple between them.
4. Nous mangeons du sucre.
We eat some sugar.
Just sugar? I can’t imagine a bunch of French people sitting around a table, drinking coffee and eating sugar by the spoonful.
5. Les hommes mangent une fraise.
The men eat a strawberry.
Is there some sort of strawberry shortage in France? Why can’t they all have their own strawberry?
6. Je suis une abeille.
I am a bee.
Apparently it’s not only turtles that have urgent need of French language tutorials.
Whether or not I will ever actually NEED to say these things in French is another question. But it’s nice to know I am prepared, should the situation arise.
* I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in the language so I am taking the translations directly from the app. Please forgive me if these are too literal. I can only hope that the translation is somehow lacking and that these phrases would make far more sense when spoken in context to actual French-speaking people.