Friday, December 17, 2010

Yer Botherin' Me...

For anyone who’s ever taken high school French, you should know that ‘Sorry to bother you’ translates to :  ‘Désolé de vous déranger.’

Yes, you might notice ‘déranger’ holds a mighty close resemblance to the English word ‘deranged’.  I don’t know about you but when I think of the word ‘deranged’, I see a wild psychopathic look in someone’s eye, hair on end, and perhaps a bit of saliva escaping the corner of one’s mouth.--Which isn’t a far cry off from what happens when you ‘bother’ a French person enough.

Because, in my experience, the French are very easily annoyed. 

The first sign that you are annoying a French person:  The long, loud, drawn out sigh or ‘huff’.  I hear this one whenever the lines in the post office, grocery store, bank, or social security offices are moving too slow.  Which they always are.

Next there are the small actions one can commit that fall into annoyance territory:
Ex: cutting in line, talking too loud,  bumping into someone with your grocery cart, double parking, ignoring the ‘priorité’ when driving, taking too long in public bathrooms, holding up the line more than usual in the places mentioned above, banging on walls after 10pm, not recycling your trash, leaving the community garage door open, etc…

(If you are part of a home-owners association, the lists of things you’re not allowed to do because they fall into the ‘annoying’ category is never ending.)

So all of the above could very easily earn you a quick, but sometimes brutal ‘you are annoying me’ phrase from a Frenchman or woman

What’s fascinating is that the French have more ways of saying what essentially translates to ‘you’re bothering me’ than I can count, and they range from the polite to the downright vulgar.  Here are just the ones I’ve learned so far:

C’est pénible:  That’s trying
C’est fatigant:  That’s tiresome
Ça me fait chier:  That makes me shit
C’est soûlant:  It fills up to maximum capacity (Soûler is also the word for ‘drunk’) or ‘You’re making my  head spin- and not in a good way.  But in a ‘I’m so drunk I’m gonna puke’ way’.
Ça me gave :  That’s stuffing me

Ça me gonfle:  That’s inflating me or making me 'swell'
Ça me tape sur les nerfs :  It’s hitting on my nerves
Ça m’enerve :  pretty much same as above
Ça me casse les pieds :  That breaks my feet (yeah, I don’t get it either)
Ça me casse les couilles :  It breaks my balls (and yes, they do mean those balls)
Ça m’emmerde : It puts me in shit (noticing a trend here ?)
And still others:
C’est embêtant- That’s troublesome
C’est agaçant- That’s annoying
C’est chiant – That’s shitty annoying

Hope you enjoyed your Friday French Lesson:)  You may now close your notebooks and get ready for third period.  Stop snapping gum Candyland.  Matthew Rush, your desk is a disaster.  Jessica, for the thousanth time no doodling! and Vicki!  If I catch you passing notes to Stina again...:)

Go forth my fine people and be….annoyed:)
Have a great weekend!

*CQG*

46 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

That's so funny. I wonder what their perceptions of our saying are. We can get pretty huffy in long lines too!

Tracy said...

Mon Dieu! Apparently, I'm French and didn't even know it. Because, rest assured, while I've never complained that someone was breaking my balls I am a total master at the annoyed sigh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll place "annoy the French" on my list if I ever travel to France!

Gina said...

I think all of these apply to the way I feel when I get yet another rejection letter!

And they'll definitely come in handy while I'm finishing my Christmas shopping today. Nothing like a mall full of rude, overextended people to make you need multiple ways of expressing your annoyance!

Emily White said...

It is now my life goal to make a French person say "it breaks my balls" to me. :P

Susan Fields said...

This post reminds me of myself when my husband tries to talk to me when I'm writing. Maybe I have some French ancestry somewhere...

Anne Gallagher said...

Ça me casse les couilles.

My mother was French and used to say this ALL the time when we were kids. NOW I know what it means.
Thanks Katie.

salarsenッ said...

Loved this lesson in French! My entire family on both sides is French. Let me tell you. When things get heated, no one has any clue what anyone else is saying. We all speak way too fast!

DL Hammons said...

Gosh Dang Blogger keeps eating my comments!!!!!!

Ça me casse les couilles

E.J. Wesley said...

"That makes me shit." Ha ha ha ha ... I never knew there were French translations for my American crudeness!

:)

Elena Solodow said...

That makes me shit...hmmm.

Summer Frey said...

So will a complete stranger actually tell you one of these phrases to your face? That's so odd to me. We all do the long-suffering sighs from time to time, but I think most people around here just suck it up and complain later.

Alesa Warcan said...

Nitpicking=>

C’est pénible: That's trying
Ça me casse "L"es pieds : That breaks my feet
Ça me casse les couilles : It breaks my balls- not that far from "busting my balls"
Ça m’emmerde : that puts me IN shit
And still others:
C’est embêtant- That’s inconvenient
C’est chiant – That’s shitty (from verb chier=>to shit)
----
Using literal translations are always fun, but it works both ways. For instance, What does "pissing someone off" mean, really? If you think of the meaning of the individual words as opposed to what they are commonly used to express.

There's a whole book of them as a matter of fact (Ciel mon Mari/sky my husband), you might have fun with it. Here's an amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Sky-husband-Ciel-mon-mari/dp/2866650204

Apparently, a board game was made out of it... I expect you wouldn't need to to buy it, just having the book would be enough. here's a link to info on the boardgame:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/12316/sky-my-husband.

Carolyn Abiad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carolyn Abiad said...

Me: Mon oeil! You are creepy, yet not déranged? :D

Creepy: Sigh. Se grafo sta palia mou ta papoutsia!

(Greek meaning - I am writing you on my old shoes, aka, I'm ignoring you - translation courtesy of Jessica Bell. Do I get points for this post? ROFL)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Here in Cajun Country, the French are a bit more volitile! Sighs are reserved for the women. The men are more vocal and finger-gesturing.

To which I reply, "Gee, I think I'm Number One, too. But you used the wrong finger."

Melissa Gill said...

I sure don't remember any of those phrases from HS French, but then I don't remember much at all.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

*smiles innocently*

Yeah, if they taught those phrases in junior high, I might have been tempted to take French in high school. ;)

LTM said...

that settles it. My husband is officially French. ;p

Merry Christmas! <3

Lisa said...

That's hilarious :) If I were there, I'd be constantly hearing these phrases!

Chris Phillips said...

Actually Deranger is also very close to Derringer too, which can come in handy when annoyed. Also asking your Paris tour guide questions and to wait on old people who are on the tour with you seems to be obnoxious also.

Samantha Vérant said...

A few more:

Ça m’enerve! That gets on my nerves! I like saying Tu m'enerve to the kids. Or my husband!

Also a song that's not too bad.

Ça me gonfle! Literally. That inflates me, but means bugs me.

Have a great weekend!

Alesa Warcan said...

Samatha's comments reminds me of another:
Ca me tape sur les nerfs=> It hits on my nerves => It's getting on my nerves

Creepy Query Girl said...

LOL- Alesa and Samantha- It's amazing isn't it? Literally so many ways to say 'I'm annoyed'. Too funny. Thanks for the link Alesa:)

Laura Marcella said...

I took Spanish in high school and college. But my BFF took French. I'll have to ask her if she knows all these "you're really super annoying me" phrases! Hmmm, I wonder if she's ever said them to me... ;)

Jamie Gibbs (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Thanks for the French lesson :) I learned a lot of this kind of French through Eddie Izzard. I only saw annoyed French people in Montmartre, everyone else seemed awesome (especially the kickass postman who gave me directions)

Colene Murphy said...

Haha! That's crazy awesome. I would be so scared to annoy a French person. I wish I knew more of those phrases from high school but French was actually "sleep" class. Our French teacher was super annoying and was made to cry easily. It was just easier to sleep than anything else.

Joanna St. James said...

well I get the sigh repeatedly b4 they just suddenly yell merde at which point I dissolve in giggles.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I adored this! Don't bother me in Spanish is 'No me molesta'... you can see what THAT is related to... and somehow molest and deranged fit their countries somehow (the Spanish being relatively prudish--i think Catholocism and Islam melding will do that) so anything at all WOULD seem like they were being molested...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

So, when I go home tonight and my husband annoys me, I should tell him he makes me shit?! Ha ha ha. :-)

Kelly Breakey said...

What a great lesson. Can you do one for the holiday? Or do they not like the holiday? I am thinking they would really be annoyed with the lines at the malls. Hey I know, I bet they all buy their stuff on line right?

Happy Holidays.

Dan said...

"It breaks my balls." Ha! Only the French could come up with that.

Well, I have to go change the title of my blog now...

Raquel Byrnes said...

That is so funny...and I thought Eskimos and their "snow" obsession was uncanny. Thanks for the laugh this Friday. =)
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Nicole Zoltack said...

Too funny! The Eskimos have some many different words for snow but the French have so many ways to say you're annoying me.

Old Kitty said...

Awww but why is it that when the French get annoyed they still sound ever so sexy?!?!?!?! LOL!!!

C'est magnifique! Take care
x

lexcade said...

oh this is priceless. perhaps i'll have to work this in for my French character ;)

Vicki Rocho said...

Pretty much the only French I remember:

Mon neuve est tres embetant.

At the time it was SO true. Anyhow, you won't catch me passing notes because I was clever. We wrote really small on teeny tiny slips of paper we rolled up and slid inside pen caps and handed the pen back and forth to each other.

Vicki Rocho said...

oh...and I'm copying these for my daughterling who will be goin to France next June!

Kelly Dexter said...

What happened once upon a time to give the French need for multiple ways to say "it makes me shit"?

Hilarious.

Sarah B. said...

Hahahaha, I really like this post. :-) Good stuff, Katie

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wow, that's a LOT of ways to express annoyance! They say that the Eskimo have over 20 words for snow, each one designed to describe a subtle shade of something that plays a big part in their lives.

What does that say about the French?

Of course, I'll bet if we get started, we can find a similar number of English idioms that mean the same thing! ;)

L'Aussie said...

Thanks for the French lesson! No matter how many times I trip off to France I've never been able to master the little 'pouffe' pout. Also, maybe I've been lucky but I've usually been treated with the utmost respect by the French, even waiters and retail madams. Mon Dieu! I tell the truth! C'est verite! (Don't ask me to know how to add accents here!)

Jade said...

That's a lot of ways to be annoyed...

VICTORIA SAAVEDRA said...

The French are annoyed easily I've noticed, but they have really yummy pastries and sauces.

Jazzy E (hivennn) said...

ahah amazing. x hivennn.

Tamara Narayan said...

Is there going to be a quiz? Eeks, that's a lot. It's my impression that Americans in the north get annoyed a lot more than those in the south. Maybe it's the cold.

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