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    October 19

  • 06:16 PM

Parlez-vous français? time to learn it!

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 11 September 2012


Dear Nesta, Comment allez-vous? How yuh mean wuh I axin’ you? I jes’ wanta know how yuh gine, yuh moojin. Yuh mean, you en know neffin a-tall? Wuh dem is de very firs’ words anybody should know, ef duh want to be polite, when duh meet any French body. Wid all o’ dem French people in an’ outta Engelant dese days, you gine ha’ to do better dan dat, y’know. ’Specially when I know you an’ yuh frien’s always hoppin’ ’cross de Channel whevevuh yuh feel de need to get wunna han’s ’pon de people perfumes an’ wines.   I know how it is wid wunna English-speakin’ folks. Evuhbody mus’ speak you language ef duh wanta talk to you ’cause you don’ inten’ to mek much effort. You know de French words fuh “wine” an’ “perfume” as yet? My reason fuh tryin’ to pick up few French words is because I read few days ago how a big-up travel editor an’ a photographer from France was down hey visitin’ de islan’ an’ tekkin photos fuh duh magazine – Marie Claire Maison – one o’ dem fancy magazines dat nuff French people does read. Now, ef duh start readin’ ’bout we luvly li’l islan’ Buhbayduss, some o’ dem mus’ start wonderin’ ef it won’ be a good t’ing to come down an’ see fuh duhselves wuh we got to offer. An’, as yuh know, we got plenty. I know de French got duh own Caribbean islan’s, Martinique an’ Guadeloupe, whey sun an’ san’ dey fuh de takin’, wid no language problems; but a lot does speak mo’ English dan we speak French so it shun be a problem fuh mos’. To-besides, de two French gentlemen like duh fall in love wid we islan’ real bad so when duh tell de ethuhs how dis place en only beautiful, wid nuff int’restin’ places to visit, but how Bajans polite an’ easy to deal wid, we should be gettin’ some French visitors in de future. Now I en too sure I ’gree wid de “polite an’ easy” description, but dem gentlemen was hey as tourisses an’ mos’ likely woulda meet de polite Bajan. We dat livin’ hey, don’ get treat so sweet, doh.        Sence Philomena realize dat we might be gettin’ visitors to de islan’ from France, she decide to learn de French word fuh “snails”. She say dat as de people ovuh dey eat “escargot” (she learn a French word, chile), she don’ see why she cyahn pass off dese African snails we hey grapplin’ wid, as a tasty Bajan dish. Well, she could try, but I don’ hol’ out tummuch hope fuh success.   I en know hummuch de Guvment involve wid dese gentlemen, but befo’ I start t’inkin’ ’bout menus fuh any visitors, I learnin’ muh French, wid de hope dat we gine get nuff tourisses comin’ ovuh. I remember hearin’ las’ year ’bout de bariffle o’ Brazilian tourisses dat woulda been headin’ fuh Buhbayduss an’ upwards to now, howevuh hard I look ’roun’, I en spot duh yet. I even went an’ try to learn few words in Portuguese so I woulda been able to handle muhself when it was necessary, an’ wuh happen? Not one t’ing. I en gine tell yuh a few din come down, but not dah big crowd Guvment mek we expeck. But . . . at leas’ I learn to say “hello” an’ “goodbye” in Portugese. I gone fuh now. Time fuh class. “Au revoir” . . . yuh see hummuch I learn a’ready.   Tek care o’ yuhselfYuh frien’ Babsie     


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