Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, December 29, 2011

C & I are finally back in France after 32 days in the US. For some reason, we got an upgrade on our flight back to Paris and ended up in Air France's new "premium voyageur" class.  It was a nice surprise and the perfect end to a great trip.  Plus the larger seat size meant we were able to actually recline back and get a decent amount of sleep. Between that and flying first class to our honeymoon destination, we have gotten spoiled and going back to the cattle class next time is going to be hard!

Speaking of our honeymoon, I can't remember if I mentioned it, but we went to Saint Lucia.  Saint Lucia is an island in the Caribbean, and we picked it because of its Anglo-French history.  It was first settled by the French in 1643 and between then and 1814, it changed hands 14 times between the British and the French!  The Brits won the last battle though and it is now an English-speaking Island.
An old fort on the hill
Traces of the French rule remain, mostly in the city names (almost entirely French), as well as in the last names of the locals.  But other than that, no one really spoke French at all, which was surprising given its proximity to Martinique, just 20 miles north.
Martinique in the distance

The people do speak a sort of Creole, though minus a few French words here and there, it sounds nothing like French.  I asked one of our guides about it, and she said it was a mix of English, French, Spanish and African languages.  Up until a few years ago, it was a 100% oral language, but they have recently made attempts to establish an alphabet for it in order to preserve the language.
Here's a list of a few of their Creole words with French or English origins:
  • quart d'heure becomes qadé
  • pain d'épices becomes pannépis
  • lumière is limyé
  • torche is toch
  • à l'écoute is annékout
  • boy become bwoy
  • computer becomes konpyouta
  • health center is helsenta
  • teacher is titja
  • cheeky is tjiki

As a side note, one of the tours we went on used a boat from Martinique and it had a sticker in the Martinique Creole - it's the green one in the middle.  I'm assuming it says "Protéger notre pays":

Interesting stuff, huh?

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Blogger Michele said...

Sounds wonderful! I'm glad you had a great time on your honeymoon and in the US!

December 30, 2011 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger melinda said...

and people are surprised that cajun french in south louisiana isn't necessarily understandable to native french speakers

December 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Alisa Tank said...

I find creole so interesting. I've looked at some haitian creole stuff and it's crazy that so much of it is recognizable only when you try to pronounce it - it seems like someone who spoke some french just went and wrote down what it sounded like, and that become creole. of course i know it's more complicated than that, but still, so interesting.

hope you're getting over the jetlag well! i'm off to take a nap now... i agree going back to economy class is dur, dur, dur!

December 30, 2011 at 7:10 PM  
Blogger Oneika said...

Jamaican creole is pretty similar but has less French influences.

January 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Kathrin said...

What a beautiful place to Honeymoon! It sounds like everything was perfect... the way it should be and how you deserve it!

You looked so great in the "Today show" segment this morning!!! Oh how I envy you to sit in a cafe and for walking around in Paris!
Reading your blog for years, it's nice to have your face and voice to the written words ;))

Greetings from FL to Paris!

January 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Thanks Kathrin - I haven't seen it yet, so I'm glad to know it came out okay!!

January 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM  

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