My husband and the French language

So with the basic of French, for which I have to say a big thank you to Mr Kyndt my teacher at Grays Convent because seriously I have needed what he taught me for my O’ Level, we moved to France.

Rich has one key phrase that he has off pat:

“Pardon Monsieur Je ne parlez pas Francaise tres bein”

Excuse me sir, I do not speak French well.

He has progressed with some words, but at times has had me in tears (of laughter) as I try and teach him some understanding of the basics.

A good example of this was yesterday. I was trying to teach him his numbers, he can count to 10 well and then gets lost until he gets to 20! We had just been shopping and he gets totally lost when told how much he has spent, which is quite essential really. This is mainly around the numbers after 60 as he cannot get his head around the fact that they then start to add together, for example quatre vingts is 80 (four  20’s).  So whilst driving in the car I said lets go through the 10’s of numbers

10 – dix,

20- vingt

30 – trente

40 -quarante

50 – cinquant

60 – soixant,

70 – soixant dix (sixty and ten)

80 – quatre vingts ( four twenties)

90 – quatre vignts dix (four twenties and ten)

So I explained this as I have to you. I said “at 70 they start to add the numbers together, for example soixant dix is 70 do you get that?”

He said “yes”

I said ” Ok so what is this number quatre vingts dix?”

Now I need to explain that at this point Rich just goes into panic mode, you can see his eyes start moving from side to side (which is worrying when he is driving the car) and you can see his brain starting to panic and he said “34.”

I said “how can it be 34 when I have not said trente? You’re panicking so lets take it slow, what is quatre?” (Now remember he can count to 10) He said “40.” I started to giggle.

“Rich stop panicking” I said  he said “44” I am laughing now! “OK” I said, lets go back tell me what these numbers are – quatre?” He said 4. I said “Vingt” he said “20” I said “dix” he said “10”.  I said ” add them together and what do you get?” He said “44”, I am just laughing now, and whilst trying to seem like I am not laughing at him, I was.

“Rich” I said “Listen what is quatre?” “4” he said. “What is vingt?” I said. “20” he said. “So” I said “when you have quatre vingt how much do you have?” “44” he said. !!!!!!!”Rich!” I said “there is no quatre after vingt so how can it be 44?”  If the small number is before the big number then you have to multiply the big number by the small number. “Oh, I get it” he said.

“So” I said “What is quatre vingt dix?” “34” he said!

I love my husband dearly but I think this show is going to run and run.




  1. Reblogged this on moisfrenchadventure and commented:

    For all those who love hearing about my husband and the French language, my first nlog about it from 2015. Trust me he has got better and even translated for some English school children in the shop yesterday! But reading this again it made me giggle.


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