December 8, 2009


For many people learning French for the first time, it may seem absurd that French words have a specific gender. Of course this is nothing new to people familiar with our very own Hindi. Like mera bag(my bag where bag's male) or meri kursi(my chair where chair is female). Interestingly, taking the very same examples to French yields the same gender. It's mon sac and ma chaise respectively male and female for the corresponding examples of bags and chairs. Most words match for the two languages as far as I checked, except some, like "telephone", which is male in French and female in Hindi. Which makes it "bi-lingual" in more than one sense, if you get my drift. The funny part's when the ignorant English speaker attempts French or vice versa. Often times the gender is messed up.. Perhaps it's not so weird when the English speaker says mon chaise for his chair even though the chair is female. But it's funnier when the French are trying to explain something to you in English. Like when the computer hangs, for example. English, being gender-neutral, we tend to say, It's not responding. When the French people translate it for you, they often say, He is not responding. Ok, I don't know why, but I thought this was funny when I started writing this post. Now it seems a little rhetoric. Ah well, it's something interesting, if not funny at least for a few lingual enthusiasts. For everyone else, Happy middle-of-the-week and hope I think up something more fun next time around! A+


mysticmelodiez said...

Hi Jaya!!

Very true, I think the same happens when most of us Tamilians try to speak in Hindi and are not very conversant in it, as far as the gender goes, lol. However, isn't telephone still pulling in Hindi (e.g. mera telephone hare rang ka hai, aur tumhara?) and telephone ki ghanti (e.g. telephone ki ghanti kitni der se baj rahi hai!!) striling ;p ??

Keep up the good work!

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