Posted on July 26, 2017
MB has a Yankee friend called JL from Connecticut. MB remembers JL telling him a story many years back about a 6-month French language course that JL had attended. Now JL has many gifts, but the gift of languages is not one of them. And never will be. The end of the course arrived and JL could only mutter one single phrase en Francais; which was:
“Marie, où est la bibliothèque?”
After 6 months – that was the sum total of JL’s French!!!
Anyway, a few weeks back, MB found himself in Nyon, a small French-speaking town some 15 minutes train-journey from Geneva. MB had heard that there was a castle on the outskirts of the town, on the lake edge, that was worth a visit and a few camera shots.
“Parlez vous Anglais?” said MB to a couple of shop assistants, a few minutes after disembarking from le train.
“Mais oui Monsieur” replied les deux Francais.
And just at that precise moment, all of MB’s school French came flooding back to him. Like un tres grande linguistic sunami, en Francais.
“où est le chateaux?” said MB, casually, to les deux Francais, who looked quizzically at l’Irelandais, wondering if this guy before their eyes wasn’t some kind of major p**s taker. He had just asked them if they spoke English and had then addressed them in perfect Francais. ‘Quell assh**e’ they were thinking for sure, thought MB.
“à droite Monsieur” – instructed les deux Francois.
“Merci beaucoup, merci beaucoup, au revoir” replied MB in accent-perfect Francais.
“Un plaisir (assh**e)” replied les deux Francais.
MB turned right just down the street as instructed. What satisfaction did MB not feel on seeing le beau chateaux before his eyes, a mere 100m in the distance. All as a result of MB’s tres bon multilingual skill-set!
Posted on June 29, 2016
As every lady knows, the Euro football championships are on at present in France and are a footballing joy to behold. Iceland football team, and Republic of Ireland fans, are everybody’s favourites. Iceland’s defeat of the ‘auld enemy’, as we in Ireland
sometimes often refer to ‘England’, will be many people’s favourite sporting moment ever, in the whole world, in the whole of sporting history, back as far a the days of the Fred Flintstone & Barney Rubble.
a little a lot ironic, that in the middle of the tournament, Britain voted to exit the European community. Northern Ireland, Wales & England (all Brits) are each playing in the competition; but MB isn’t going to get into a deep (or even a shallow) discussion about Brexit, David Cameron, et al. Instead he wants to mention an aspect of it all that friends of MB back home would not have considered.
The beautiful game is, of course, a world sport and the games are watched avidly in MB’s Middle East abode. And as the ME is a melting pot of numerous races and peoples from every continent on the globe (except Antartica), MB found himself having to explain to many, when asked, the difference between the Republic of Ireland (MB’s patch and one of the participating teams) and Northern Ireland (another of the participating teams). “So you’re all British MB?” asked many Pakistanis/Nepalese/Mongolians/Khazaks/Arabs and God only knows who else.
“Grrrrrrr” replied MB to the first one or two such questions. Then MB though – it’s actually a question that Irish people have also asked themselves for approximate 800 years, since date of arrival of first British visitors to Irish shores, who had previously read all sorts of good and juicy things of the Emerald Isle on some early version of tripadviser.com. And arrived en masse to ‘help’ the locals.
Anway, MB tried as best he could to explain the difference between North (British) and South (Republic – not British – definitely not) Ireland to all who asked, and hopefully the people of Outer Mongolia and elsewhere will shortly receive geographical enlightenment from their cousins working under the hot desert sun in the Emirate of Qatar. The world bwill be a better place for it, and MB will receive less such Grrrr questions in the future.
MB also explained to many that Ireland has it’s own language. “You mean English MB?”. “Grrrrrrrrr” replied MB yet again. But in the spirit of imparting knowledge and wisdom, as MB is often given to do, and to put the geographically and culturally challenged
imbeciles friends of MB in the right direction, MB pointed many to YouTube links to an Irish college, who have numerous really cool videos of the kids performing uber-cool versions of well-known popular music pieces – in the Irish Gaelic language, or ‘as Gaeilge’ as we say back home. MB regularly watches and listens to the videos of Coláiste Lurgan (Lurgan College), not because of any curtural/Irish reason, but because they are so damn good.
So HX followers, herewith, MB gives you the kids of Coláiste Lurgan, singing their hearts out in the Irish language – as Gaeilge. Not in English. Grrrrrrr…………….!
Warning – it’s addictive listening. You may find yourself listening to more than one or two!
Really cool. Enjoy.