payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans online
Payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
Payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
Payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans online
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
payday loans
Short term installment loan bad credit lenders
Fast loan lenders
Safe online payday loan
Loans without checking account and bad credit
Installment loans no credit
Oneinstallmentloansinc
How to get an installment loan with bad credit
Bad credit installment loans no credit check
Same day credit approval
Installment loans 1 hour direct lenders
Installment/payday loans
Guaranteed approved bad credit loans
90 day payday installment loans bad credit
On line installment loans
500 payday loan you pick the payday no fax
Guaranteed approved bad credit loan
Guarenteed installment loan for no credit
Overseas online payday loans
One hour loan approval
Guar approval bad credit loan
Easy online no credit check installment loans
A 24 hours personal loans for alabama
Unsecured installment loans people bad credit
Quick loans online with bad credit
Direct lender payday loans guaranteed approval
Guaranteed online loan approval for bad credit
Easiest direct lender
No credit check installment loan companies
Secure loans under one hour
Bad credit loans
Cash installment
Clickpaydayadvance.com
Oneinstallmentloan
Fast cash now bad credit
First time loans no credit no obligation
Guaranteed approv bad credit loan direct lender
Online money loans bad credit
Installment loans not so good credit
Installment payday loans direct lender
Installment no credit check loans
Short term installment loans from direct lenders
Loans with bad credit check
Installment loans email contact no phone
Safe short term installment loans for georgia
Quick and easy loans for people with bad credit
Installment loan places
Personal loans guaranteed approval bad credit
90 day loans bad credit
Installment losns bad credit
Loans installment payments
Bad credit imstallment loans
Personal sure loan lenders
Personal short term loans
Installment loans
Easy to get check loans
One installment loans
Instant installment loan with bad credit
90 day cash loans bad credit
Mobile loans with installments
Instalment loans bad credit
Unsecured personal loans bad credit no credit check
Bad credit emergency installment loan lenders
Quick and easy cash loan with installment payments
A for sure loan with a direct lender
Personal installment loans poor credit
Easy installment loan lender
Financial loans no credit check
Fast loans for bad credit for 100 days
Payday loan paid back in installments
Payday advance, no credit check
100 day payday loans online
Government personal loans bad credit
Guranteed loans with bad credit
Payday Advances
Good approval loans numbers
Short term loan no credit check online
Need a finance loan with no credit check
Guaranteed acceptance loans bad credit
100% guarenteed loans for bad credit
Payday advance
Loans guaranteed approval for 500
Cheap loans for bad credit
Unsecured loans for poor credit
Xpress loans
On-line installment loans with no credit check
Long term low interest loans
Installment loans in san diego
Bad credit lians
Mobile installment loan lenders
Personal loans poor credit
Payday installment loans direct lender
5k loans
Cash loans 2000
Installment loans in an hour
Installment loans.
Fast loans for bad credit
Pay day advance
Installment loan
Onlinepayday advances
100 pay day loans
Installment loans in tennessee
Loans for bad credit guaranteed approval
Installment loan bad credit lenders
Online fast personal loans checking account needed to qualify
Need a loan for bad credit
Cash loans up to 2000
Fast 1 hour loans bad credit
Online installment loans for bad credit with no fee
Installment loan poor credit
Personal loan companies in atlanta ga bad credit
Installment loans cash in minutes
Who are the installment loan lenders without a broker
Direct online loans for people with bad credit
Quick and easy direct payday lenders
Immediate loans with bad credit
Installment loans with no checking account required
Payday installment loan company
Lenders money in your account today
Guaranteed no credit check cash installments
Guaranteed installment loans bad credit
700 dollar installment loan fast n easy
Online installment loans from direct lenders
Advance pay day loan
Online installment lenders all credit types
6 month installment loans
$300 instant payday loans
Fast secure installment loans online for bad credit
Installment loans from direct lender
Cash installment loans only
Loans with installments for bad credit
Installment loans for no credit
Personal loan lenders for people with bad credit
Bad credit no bank account personal loans
Installment loan
Actual guaranteed approval small bad credit loan lenders
1000 online installment loans instant approval
Online installment lenders, payday loan lenders
Installment loans colorado springs
Government personal loans for bad credit
Need cash now pay back in 90 days
Installment loans for bad credit in michigan
Direct payday loan lenders co applicants
Easy to get installment loan lenders
Installment loans bbb accredited
Bad credit installment loans in texas
Legit bad credit installment loans
100day payday loans
Payday advance loan
90 day payday loans phone
2000 cash loan today
Unsecured installment loans for people with bad credit
Loans for people with bad credit
Apply for a installment loan
Personal loans chicago
Installmentloans
I need a $800 installment loan
Call for cash
Online cash lender
Guaranteed same day loans for people on benefits
Payday loan instant
Need personal loan now
Quick 200 paydayloans
St joseph mo payday
Dandy cash loan customer service
Online payday loan lenders no credit check
Loans with bad credit no checking account
Cash advance loans in lithonia ga
Tax refund advance loans online
Paydaytoday
Paydayloan lender
Bad credit loans wichita ks
Good credit loans
How to get 500 dollars fast
Cash loans in philadelphia
Installment loans with low monthly payments
Pay day loan no credit check
No credit check same day loans from lenders
Get a money loan
Payday in milwaukee
Pay day loans in greeley co
Phones for bad credit people
Cashadvanceloan
Get money now loan
Guaranteed cash loan approval on saturday
Fast cash with in 1 hour
Get a personal loan with bad credit today
Money muchel pay day advanced
Pre qualify loans online
Get a loan today bad credit approved
Poor credit loans fast
Direct lender payday advance no teletrack
What payday loans dont use teletrack
Personal home loans bad credit
Www online payday loans
Total cash advances
Instant loans with a w2 form
Easy money payday loans
Personal gemach loans
Online instant loan approval
Bad credit loans des moines

Lost in Translation

google-translate-french1My friend Jean-Claude was the one who introduced me to the French language back in the early 90′s. A graduate of the Lycée Français de New York and the offspring of former Parisians, JC (as I call him) was handsome, sophisticated and full of savoir faire. (Still is.) He’s the one who taught me all the gutter French I knew – back before I even began to learn the language.

Flash forward about a dozen years, to a bar in the West Village of New York City, where JC and I were having drinks during one of my visits home. I had just started studying at the Alliance Française and wanted to show off my ever-improving French vocabulary, so I recited one of the paragraphs I’d memorized from The Count of Monte Cristo – in the original French. When I was finished, JC looked at me for a very long moment. He began to nod his head ever-so-slightly until, unable to go through with the lie, he shifted directions and began to shake it, rather emphatically I might add. “I didn’t understand a single word you said,” JC stated.

As I’ve said before, the French language has so many rules – few of which are consistent or make sense – that my accent during the early days of my study wasn’t good enough to be merely horrible. I’d even been told by a Parisienne-American that I spoke French with a Spanish accent, which would only have made sense if I was fluent in Spanish. I’m not.

My accent has improved as my vocabulary has expanded, but I still struggle to be understood. Sometimes it’s the rules that trip me up. For instance, I assumed that “Les Halles” followed the rule of blending the end consonant with the beginning vowel of a following word, so I said lez-ahl. My first mistake was that assuming the “H” was to be treated like a vowel, since it was silent. Nope, “H” still holds on to its consonant status, making the correct pronunciation lay-ahl. I also, until fairly recently, was pronouncing “epicerie” as epi-kerry. Non! It’s ah-peese-ree.

I’ve been enormously grateful to my friends in Paris who’ve been willing to correct me without making me feel like a complete imbécile. But I’ve also found a wonderful new tutor to help with my accent, and its name is Google. Yes, that Google.

Sure, Google Translate’s main feature is to, well, translate between almost any language out there. I’ve used it for French to English (and the reverse), and it’s more accurate than Yahoo’s Babel Fish. But what I really, really love about Google Translate is that it offers sound files to go with the translation.

I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent doing French to French “translations” just so I can hear how a sentence is supposed to flow, or how a word is really pronounced (instead of my mangled interpretation). Frankly it’s been a little mortifying to learn just how badly I’ve mispronounced some words. At times I’ve even wondered how I made myself understood at all.

But the woman who is the French voice of Google Translate is far more patient and much less judgmental than any French teacher I’ve ever had. She’ll repeat a word or a sentence as many times as I ask, never once raising her voice with impatience. She doesn’t roll her eyes or cross her arms. On the other hand, she won’t parler plus lentement if I ask, and I have to tell her my name if I want her to address me personally.

Still, I have noticed an improvement in my accent, although I’ve been told I’m beginning to sound a little … dispassionate.

C’est la vie!

linda-donahue-signature







Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter! And sign up for our weekly e-newsletter (see the sidebar) so you can get the latest news from Paris.

Spread the love...Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

4 Responses to “Lost in Translation”

  1. Virginia says:

    Oh Linda, you’ve made me laugh out loud once again. It’s common knowledge in Paris and in Alabama, that mon français is zee pits!!! A southern accent with bad French is something no one can understand. I mix my anglais with mon français and throw in some sign language and a big ole smile and you know what, I get along pretty well……considering. I’ve discovered our French “tutor” on Google just recently and I’m going to give her a workout. Maybe I”ll improve…when cochons volent!: )
    V

  2. Brad says:

    Funny but true in what you said. So much to develop the right sound. I have found also, aside from the Google Translator, one other site you noted here sometime back which has been very helpful to me in studying French – La Guinguette. Keep writing the way you do; it brings smiles and pleasure to my day.

  3. I am trying to learn as much French as I possibly can before a trip to Paris later this summer. I am totally going to use the google translator now, thanks! I hope my accent isn’t too bad :)

  4. Linda Donahue says:

    Christina, I also HIGHLY recommend Babbel (www.babbel.com). You can pay a nominal monthly fee to learn French online, and even download a “Refresh” program to your computer and an iPhone app – for free.

Post Your Review