Thursday, May 6, 2010


 We’ve had rain for 3 days and though it has stopped for a few hours, we’re now being treated to a mean mistral wind and I can hear things being blown off of terraces and clattering down the streets.

Weather like this makes me long to take the couch for a little television and a warm blanket. I’ve had a TV now for almost 4 months and I always forget to watch it. It’s really a good learning tool and I keep vowing to remember to watch it. Last night I really meant it…this was it! And I had even purchased a TV guidebook for the occasion.  I got all settled in nicely under my soft polar fleece blanket, remote control(s) in hand and turned it on…but it wouldn’t stay on. No matter how much I messed with each button (and television remotes and the sheer number of them one needs to actually watch TV have always been a mystery to me), I just couldn’t manage to keep the screen on more than 30 seconds.  One of my very few plans and I couldn’t even carry it through.

I was swearing in French and madly pressing buttons (you know, if you push them harder and a couple of hundred times maybe something will work!) when a friend called and asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him. Saved!  Yes, yes, yes…do you have a blanket? He said he did and then said, in English, “I propose to you we watch Retour vers le Future Trois”.

Think…think…think…oh yes. Back to the Future III.  Okie dokie, that was a pretty simple translation but others are not so much so.

I was thumbing through my precious TV guide, since I have this now-practially-usless-journal, and I came across some other program and movie translations that were pretty funny. The French must really like New York because there is
“New York - Police Judiciare” or Law and Order in English, ”New York-Section Criminelle” which is Law and Order-Criminal Intent, and “New York-Unité Spéciale” which translates from Law and Order-Special Victims Unit.  But then there is “La Loi et l’Ordre” (the law and the order) which is actually the name for the movie called Righteous Kill. Figure that out!

Two of the most popular American TV shows right now are House and Desperate Housewives which are called….”House” and “Desperate Housewives” though when the French actually say the titles it sounds like “ooze” and “doosparah hoozweef”

Scrubs is “Toubib or not Toubib” which is Franglais for Doc or not to Doc. I don’t understand why.  CSI is “Les Experts” (the experts) and The Smurfs becomes “Les Schtroumpfs”…which is such a fun word to say but I have no idea where it comes from. It certainly doesn’t sound French to me!

The Bourne Identity, (this one I only figured out after I read the text) is “La Mort dans la Peau” which translates directly to A Death in the Skin (???)and the title to one of my favorite movies  Breakfast at Tiffany’s is “Diamants sur Canapé” or Diamonds on the Couch.  I’m so sorry Holly Golightly but I guess, when I think about it,  I'd choose diamonds on the couch before breakfast at Tiffany's any day!

But probably my two favorite translations in this week’s movie listings are “L’Homme qui Murmurait a l”Oreille des Chevaux” or The Man Who Murmurs in the Ear of Horses which is….or course…The Horse Whisperer.  And last but not least “Les Dent de la Mer” or The Teeth of the Sea.  Jaws!

I hope I get the TV fixed because this wind is just the weather taking a deep breath before it produce more rain. And tonight’s movie pick in my little Télé Magazine is “Un Marriage de Rêve” or a Marriage of Dreams. But I just searched the Internet for the English title and it’s Easy Virtue. This just doesn’t compute.



  1. It takes a lot of effort trying to work out what is showing on French tv - and that is if you can get the set to stay on in the first place. I wonder what the problem is with your remote. Did you try the actual settings on the set itself?

  2. Mlle. ChaussetteMay 6, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    As they say, 'this too shall pass!' hang in there - this weather is killing us all.

  3. Julie, what I really need to do is call my provider but that will involve a long, technical conversation in French...and I need to work up to that! With perhaps a French person on hand for emergencies!

    Holly: Don't you know it. I just want some sweaty sun. I'm going to Antibe and Italy next week and was sort of hoping for some bathing suit weather. As it is, I'm taking boots!

  4. Hope the bad weather blows over soon and that there's lots of sunshine on the way!

  5. I so know what you mean. One really has to be in the mood for a French telephone call.

  6. Delana, it's on my bucket-list to learn to swear in french!! (I know one: merde)(which I have to say doesn't have quite the "punch" as the english version)(but still, it would be cool to have a string of french swear words on the tip of my tongue!)(Therein lies the "punch")

    I have the complete opposite TV-watching problem as you. I make myself do a chore before I sit down to the TV and half the time I don't pay attention to my "rule" and proceed, sans chore-doing, to watch the worst TV in history--The Real Housewives of New Jersey & The Hills & Keeping Up With the Kardashians for example.

    I think your TV problem is less problematic than mine!

  7. YIkes: I can't imagine having the courage to call the "provider" and have to speak technical-ise with someone over the phone! Good luck...
    Desperate Housewives: well, I am addicted to that one!

  8. Sounds like you have similar problems with the TV remote as me! Whether it was Livebox or Freebox I could never get the blasted things to work properly... I gave up watching French TV in the end and got UK TV. French Hubby prefers it anyway now so I only have to decipher the French titles occasionally when I'm trying to be more French!


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