Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Falling Apples

The children come home at 5pm. They have a snack and talk about their day. At this point in the day they are swinging between two languages; the French of school and my English at home. Some stories can become a guessing game for me, as they flit from French to English expressions, which are sometimes untranslatable. For example, Nina begins to tell me a story….

‘Today, in the canteen, this girl, Beverly, ….just fell…fell in the apples…at lunch, you know what I mean?’
‘What, she fell in her apple dessert?’ I guess, hopefully.
‘No! She fell.. in the apples!’ says Nina.
‘There were apples on the floor of the canteen?’ I ask, wondering if she slipped on a crate of apples, misplaced on the floor.
‘There were no apples, silly Mummy,’ Nina says, looking grumpy. ‘She fell over, like that…’ and she mimes a girl fainting and a teacher saying ‘Elle a tombé dans les pommes
‘Ah!’ I say, playing along with the Charades games, ‘She fainted!’
‘Maybe’, says Nina, not really knowing what ‘fainted’ means. ‘Like I said, she fell in the apples…’

With some investigation, we discover that ‘to fall in the apples’ literally means to fall over and faint. You learn something every day in the OPOL Family!

For more French expressions and their translations in several languages visit:

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