When I first moved to Canada from the UK, I knew there were going to be differences. Especially in the language department. I knew that Ts would be pronounced as Ds, I’d be going to the washroom instead of the loo, and I’d have to end my relationship with the letter U. But it’s been nine and a half years, and I’m now pretty much certified to communicate.
It was only recently that I’ve started picking up little bits of French here and there (I know, I’m from a country where this came second to God Save the Queen as the national anthem) – I’m marrying into an extensively French-speaking family, so it’s only natural I’m going to pick things up here and there. I can understand what’s being said at the dinner table, and I can usually read outdoor signage, but though I can’t yet speak the language, I did notice something rather conspicuous this weekend on a packet of biscuits:
I’d bought these to dunk in my tea, not just for the lovely melted chocolate, but in a day and age where women’s hearts skip a beat at the thought of Johnny Depp in dreadlocks and a bandana, you can’t deny the power of a wonderfully nautical name.
But then there was the French side.
I double checked with Sweet. “Mr. Christie’s small chocolate pieces?” He nodded. “But what about the pirates?”
I learned in school that there was no French word for breakfast; it was “small lunch”. There was no word for weatherman, and, as George Dubya taught us, there was definitely no French word for “entrepreneur”. If they needed the words, they’d just use the English ones, preceding them with “le”. But this weekend, I learned that there was no French word for “Ahoy”. They hadn’t even Franglicised it. And Mr. Christie had a silly sounding product indeed.
He did borrow something off the English, though.
That’s right – Mr. Christie may make good cookies, but Mr. Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes.
Sweet and I are this close to booking a trip back to England this summer – he’s never been to Europe, I miss it dreadfully and I’d love for him to be able to meet my nan. He’s already made a few additions to his vocabulary – he’ll happily call someone a git, and even writes kitchen roll on the shopping list – but I can’t wait to see lollipop ladies, enjoy a 99, and come home and make jackets for tea.