May 262011
 
How this can be that so much would be borrowed from French in the English language?

I was always curious how this can be that so much would be borrowed from French if English has 1 million words and French has, what, maybe 100,000 tops? Rome invaded England before France did, and there were also the Danish, Norwegian, Greek and Dutch influences, and also English is a Germanic language itself, closest to the endangered language Frisian. (asked by Diane) Well, we’re straying away from French stuff here as we’re going to talk about the English language [Read the rest]

May 132010
 

(asked by E from the US) I always ask (in French) if the person speaks English. I’ve noticed French people tend to give some sort of demure response about not speaking English well… or very little. Then they proceed to speak very good English. It doesn’t seem like false modesty, but perhaps an underestimation of their own abilities. Is this a cultural thing? Head to Italy and it’s the opposite. I’ll ask if the person speaks English and they’ll give [Read the rest]

Mar 012010
 

(asked by Holly from the US) Okay, so you’ve had a question about whether the French can recognize regional American accents BUT what do they think about an American accent when someone speaks French? I have friends living in France who have had several reactions–one man complimented her on her “charming” accent and another told a friend that she shouldn’t speak French so well because American accents are charming and hers wasn’t strong enough. So what…is she supposed to “dumb [Read the rest]