Monday, March 16, 2009

Mini-Husband's Hints for Successful Spelling in French

Mini-Husband had an evaluation for school last week. A mid-year check to see what he's comfortable with and what he needs to work on. I was happy to see that he's got a pretty good French vocabulary and seems to be solid with reading comprehension.

Of course, I'm looking at his evaluation and realizing that if it were me in his shoes, I'd be at the bottom of the class. I haven't a clue when to use the accents: the accent aigu (´), the accent grave (`), the accent circonflexe (^), the tréma (¨), and the infamous cedillecedilla (ç).

Mini-Husband, bless his 7 year old heart, was happy to go through them all with me and give me some pointers on how to remember when to use which.

"Ok, Mom. If I get daddy gets mad at me, that's grave (aka serious) so remember that the word for daddy in French has an accent grave. Pére. Easy, right?"

Right. Ok. I think I'll remember that one from here on in.

"Now, here's a really easy one for you, Mom. The word for boy is garçon. I know it has a "c" in it, but if I forget the boy's zi-zi, he won't be a boy! That's why the "c" has the cedillecedilla and is spelled, garçon! "

It took me a minute to figure out exactly what he was trying to tell me.


"Yeah, mom. His penis."

Ah, yes. The Zi-zi.

"Yup,honey. You are right. It is very important to spell garçon with his zi-zi, 'cause without that cedillecedilla thing, he wouldn't be a garçon."

Mini-husband smiled at me and said, "Now you're getting the hang of it! Good job, mom!"

There we have it. A way of remembering French that I was never taught at Catholic school.

And it should go without saying that I am so afraid of how I'm going to do with the next evaluation.


magali said...

Another tip about the c cédille : if you don't write garçon will a ç, it sounds like gars con and well, guys can be cons sometimes but not it general ;-)

Dig said...

Another excellent point, Magali!

hubster dave said...

and one minor point from me... pére with a grave accent as in daddy, would probably make more sense if you gave it a grave accent... as in père

Kelly said...

Wow, I can only imagine what the kids at my school would come up with if they had to learn french! LOL