I love languages because you can always, always learn new things, whether it’s your native language or your second or third (or fourth or fifth, or sixteenth, you show-off).
I ponder words constantly. French makes me laugh. English makes me laugh. I’m frustrating to French speakers, because I always want to know why. Why is “start-up” feminine? (Yes, “start-up” in French is “la start-up.”) Why is the feminine of “rigolo” “rigolote”? Sometimes I get cut off from asking questions. “Non, chérie! Tu poses trop de questions!” You ask too many questions! No more for the rest of the day!
Here’s something I learned tonight that I’ll be pondering for awhile. Christmas Island is “l’Ile Christmas” in French. But Easter Island is “l’Ile de Pâques.” Why?! Why translate Easter (Pâques) but not Christmas (Noël)?! It’s illogical!
And here’s another thing. Apparently, when speaking French, FBI is pronounced as it is in English (eff-be-eye) but CIA is Frenchified (say-ee-ah). I hypothesized that it’s because in the movies, people bust down doors and shout “Eff Be Eye!” and while the CIA is often mentioned in movies, it isn’t shouted individually with the same enthusiasm. (Or is it? I don’t watch enough action movies to be sure.)
Does this bother anyone else?
No? Just me?
What else about French is illogical? I could go on.
(English, of course, is a perfectly logical language with no irregularities.)
What amuses you about French or English? (Or Spanish or German or Swahili or Chinese…)