Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Weekend with VOUTCH

"Obviously! You confirmed 'in' the harbor: but you should have confirmed 'on' the harbor."

(Ed. Note: I think he should have confirmed, "at" the port/harbor as in "a la". . . But then again, what do I know?)

VOUTCH not only has a sense of humor which perfectly resonates with mine, but also he somehow manages to deeply understand my problems about living in France.

Number 1: I constantly make errors when speaking. Prepositions can be a problem.

Number 2: Verbs, forget about it.

Number 3: I speak almost exclusively in the present tense. You would be surprised how creative one can be staying in the moment.
"Unfortunately, the operation was a failure: not only will  past participles continue to pose problems for you, but also we believe you have definitively lost the pluperfect and the future anterior."

(Ed. Note: If you, like moi meme, are unfamiliar with the future anterior -- at least in name -- here is an example to explain: I will have finished my marketing before I will have my facial this afternoon.)
Number 4: I do have a handful of past tense verbs at my disposal and maybe three in the future. However, I tend to use the verb "to go" as my future "crutch" if you will. As in, "I'm going to the market to buy vegetables for soup the minute I finish today's post." See? I don't need some complicated "will" verb involved in the structure.

Thus, these VOUTCH drawings and sentiments reflect my problems and my challenges. Also, I'm asking Santa for a GPS. I know where I've been, but I don't necessarily know where I'm going. (I suppose that could have many interpretations.)

It's another gorgeous autumn day here -- crisp and sunny. Magnificent.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend wherever you are.

And, yes, I really do have an appointment for a facial this afternoon. My great pal Christine, co-owner of our local pharmacy, called yesterday to invite me to have a "soin" with a new line of products she plans on buying. Of course I'll tell you all about it next week.

A demain, mes amis.

10 comments:

kathy peck said...

No GPS for me, don't really want to know where I'm going. And it's good to speak only in the present tense, if only we could all think in the present tense most of the time, I think life would be happier? You can tell I've been doing yoga.....

BigLittleWolf said...

Moi, j'adore le subjonctif! But I do like your method for "staying in the present."

And those prepositions... they do give one pause...

Mignon, ce post.

Lost in Provence said...

Oh la, merci pour ce post! Ahem, ok I was actually going to write "cette poste" but luckily saw BigLittleWolfs response first. Such is the state of my French ten years in because I learned it by ear. My grammar is crap but somehow my friends have just gotten used to my particular way of speaking. However, when I am in Paris, I have to brace myself for the pained looks that appear immediately on my listeners faces. As for the future tense, I just slap "-ais" on the end and hope for the best.

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

Letitia the cartoon about the tenses is HILARIOUS. My husband is in school part time working on his French he modestly calls pathetic- it is not that bad- so he is "ready" when we move back to France one day and he is forwarding it to his grammar professor...
You are so funny!

Wally B said...

Same with me. I lived there for 4 years and never got out of the present tense. People were too polite to correct me, so it never improved.

Lorrie said...

After a degree in French I still have troubles with prepositions and direct and indirect objects. Learning a language takes a lifetime.

I'm loving these VOUTCH cartoons!

SewingLibrarian said...

Very funny! I've noticed that non-native speakers of English tend to use the present participle, i.e. the -ing words, with various tenses of "to be" in order to convey the time. So, "Yesterday I was buying my groceries. Today I am making a cake. Tomorrow I am eating with friends." It makes some sense because the present participle doesn't seem to vary as much as the past tense in English.

Susan Tiner said...

VOUTCH makes me smile.

We are trying to learn some French in preparation for our upcoming trip. C'est tres difficile!

I can't even imagine using future anterior in English let alone French.

I love your "to go" crutch.

A bird in the hand said...

How I understood it: "in the port"/dans le port, means: in the sea....

:)

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Oh how I can identify with you and these great Voutch cartoons. I have to conjugate French verbs in my head before I construct a sentence verbally. As for the sat nav.....I have ended up in the wrong country due to an omission of an umlaut!

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