I had crème brûlée for dessert this evening.
I’m not normally so decadent, but it was a special occasion, so why not have some fine French food?
And I do like a good crème brûlée: not too sweet, not too cooked so that it’s basically scrambled eggs.
But of course if I offered you burnt cream for dessert, you might not jump at the opportunity, but that’s what crème brûlée literally translates to.
On the other hand, if I suggested oeufs brouillés for dessert, that might sound fancy enough for you to give it a try, but then you’d more than likely be disappointed to be served scrambled eggs.
Because everything sounds better in French.
To English speakers anyway.
Je mets les déchets dans la poubelle.
Sounds much nicer than I put the rubbish in the bin.
Le chat est sur le tapis.
Slightly more poetic than The cat is on the mat, even if it doesn’t rhyme.
- Omarosa dingue a déjà un accord de non-divulgation!
- Les incendies de forêt en California sont amplifiés et aggrevés par les mauvaises lois environnementales qui empêchent l’utilisation des quantités massives d’eau facilement disponibles. Il est détourné dans l’océan Pacifique! Il faut aussi arbre-claire pour empêcher le propogation des incendies!
- Malgré le covfefe constant et negatif de la presse…
- Allez La Force Spatiale!
- Pas de marionette. Pas de marionette. Vous êtes la marionette!
If you saw those on Emmanuel Macron‘s Twitter feed, you’d probably assume they were quite measured and reasonable statements.
But they are of course, the absurb ramblings of Donald J. Trump. Still, they sound better in French, don’t they?
Naturally I don’t think that French is an objectively more beautiful language than others, but I have written before about why I think we English speakers tend to find it more appealing. It’s something the culinary industry has certainly taken advantage of.
Maybe we could do with a little more French in our lives, to calm us in these troubling times. Perhaps Twitter could automatically translate all of Donald Trump’s tweets into French, and make them seem instantly less incendiary and ill-conceived. Maybe every time he appears he on screen he could be dubbed into French. I mean how hard would it be to translate the following:
Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart—you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world—it’s true!—but when you’re a conservative Republican they try—oh, do they do a number—that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are (nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?), but when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators, so, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.
Regardez, avoir le nucléaire – mon oncle était un grand professseur et scientifique et ingénieur, Docteur John Trump au MIT; bons gènes, très bons gènes, OK, très intelligent, L’École Wharton du Finance, très bon, très intelligent – tu sais, si tu es un Republicain conservateur, si j’étais liberal, si, allors, OK, si…
OK, maybe it’s not fair to force someone to try to translate everything that spills out of his mouth. It’s nice to have the je ne sais quoi that French brings to our lives, but 100% unadulterated Trumpish is effectively untranslateable.