Sunday, June 29, 2008

J'ai lu une poésie dans le Français très mauvais

I used to live in France, but anyone who knows me will tell you that when it comes to speaking or writing in French, I am très pathétique! The best I can manage is to order a beer and a baguette in a bar, and even then I can never be entirely certain what will arrive!

If you do ever find anything in French on my blog it will almost certainly be a joint effort between me and my trusty Babel-poissons translator.

Anyway, I used a French phrase in an email to friend Missy the other day, and she commented in her reply that I should use my near fluent grasp of la langue française when I next write and record a poem.

Well, I’m never one to pass up a challenge so I wrote my poem and enlisted Babel Fish to help with the translation. I then made another ami called TTS – Text to Speech, who helped me with my pronunciation. Actually, TTS is a hoot! You write what you want to hear then choose between Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese or, Russian. Then up pops a very realistic head sporting the appropriate national features, and it jabbers away in your chosen accent! Cool or what? And I have to say that the French girl is très sexuellement attractive!
Anyway, have a go yourself! Type in something like 'my name is ...whatever' then choose a nationality and click 'say it'. It takes a second or two, but it's worth the wait! (please don't forget to come back afterwards!)

But I digress, and to be honest I’ve completely forgotten what I’m writing about! Let me read back - yaba yaba yaba – oh yes. My poem. Well, here it is in written and spoken form, and I apologise in advance to any French speakers, or indeed French people, who‘ll have no more idea than you - or me -what I’m going on about!

I heard a voice, a soft voice
Suivez-moi it said
Suddenly from the gloom
A girl appeared

Ce qui vous veulent? I said
Suivez et vous verrez she said
I said Je fais l'aucun veux à
She said Vous devez

She ran down a dark street
Occasional streaks of light
Revealed her tear stained face
Hâte svp she said

Je ne peux pas continuer I said
Faster and faster she went
Hâte she said
Je suis perdant vous I said

Then she disappeared

Là où êtes vous? I called
Il est trop tard she cried
Ce qui vous a voulu? I asked
Il est trop tard she sobbed

I guess I’ll never know

Here goes - time for me to read it!

In case you are interested, you can read and hear the entire piece in Queen’s ENGLISH by clicking HERE. In the meantime merci et au revoir


  1. Beautiful Keith, it's such a passionate language. It's almost like butter on hot toast lol. Very nicely done.
    Tre magnifique'

  2. you did pretty good! I use mom is french and when i go to family functions with extended family, I usually sit in the corner for an hour trying to pick up tidbits, after awhile I'll be able to figure out enough to know what people are saying and I read it com ci com ca but saying it-forget it...i'll answer in english merci beaucoup!
    (can't spell it

  3. Hi Keith Didn't know that you jhave lived in beautiful France I so love the French language. I have no idea whatsoever "what you said and what she said.

  4. keith that was wonderful... i know not as lick of french,, but i must say it sounded wonderful to me... i listened to the all english one too,, and you just have the perfect voice for this recorder thing... i love it...

  5. I am so tickled that you did this, and so especially tickled that I could still understand the French (written, not spoken - I RARELY understood it spoken, unless it's a short phrase.) It's been 10 years. Use it or lose it is very true, especially with languages.
    But how sad for our poor girl. Too late indeed.
    I'll try to recorder tomorrow when I won't wake everyone up.



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