Monday, October 6, 2008

Les Aubergistes in Marsanne

On the way home from Mirmande, S and I stopped for dinner at Les Aubergistes, a hotel restaurant in Marsanne. S had the poulet fermier laqué au miel et lavande, and I had the noix de veau rôtie et son jus aux pleurottes. Those loosely translate to chicken with lavender honey and round fillet of veal with mushrooms.

I noticed that certain French phrases here were very different from the Canadian French we have absorbed living so close to Quebec. Maybe it's just the way of the service industry, but French French seems more formal and emphatic. For example, instead of de rien or bienvenue for your welcome, the servers here say je vous en prie. Draft beer on tap here is bière en pression, not bière en fut, and we also heard la facture more often than l'addition when we asked to pay our bill.

One of the guests at Les Tuillières told us that the French think Canadian French is quaint, and gave us the example of how the Québécois say char for car. To the French, char is an old-fashioned word for a cart or wagon. Another instance happened when I told a bartender in Paris that we were going to faire du magasinage demain, he didn't seem to understand and then chuckled with an ahh, oui! Later, I looked it up and in France they say faire les courses or quite simply le shopping. So ours must be an older French and the language is obviously not evolving the same way in Quebec. But no matter what Canadian French we mustered up, we were always understood, and in most cases even my rusty French was better than their English. Hourra! All those years of public school French have not been in vain!


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