Not knowing your prepositions gets you two of everything


Mondays are not bad.

I have a lunch break that starts at 11:15am . This is too early for the school canteen, so we have this routine with my mum.
  There is a lovely place in Nyon where you can shop or get food. My favourite shop sells snacks, pizza, sandwiches and baguettes.

I know what you are thinking, and it is very logical.
  He is hungry; he has a break; he knows the place; he gets the food.

Ehm. This is the French speaking part of the world. The little problem is the language.
  The language can be a bridge to your lunch, or an obstacle on your way to get lunch.

Judge for yourself.

September: We were walking past the place, smelling all the lovely smells of food, coffees, and hot chocolates, but were too scared to ask for what we wanted. We just walked by, silently envying people eating the lunch of their choice.

October: This is the month of our adventure. We approach the sales man. Our new vocabulary contained words Pizza with Ham and Mozzarella, Ice Tea with Peach, and Coffee with Milk. We felt confidence until the sales man asked:

À emporter où vous mangez sur place?

We stared at the sales man hoping he would give us some clue, but if you know the French, you will know they never give you any clue. They leave you clueless.
  We started to do some research and found out that he was actually blocking our lunch by asking a perfectly meaningless question:

Would you like to eat in or take away?

November: There is nothing they can chase us in the corner with. We approached the sales man with confidence and freshly obtained knowledge. He asked something which sounded like:


We stared at him helplessly. He repeated the S'pla question patiently and unhelpfully several times.
  As they do.
  No help there.
  I woke up the following day and I had the flash of knowledge: he meant Sur place! Which means to eat in!

November 2nd attempt: We approached the sales man with our order. To prevent any further misunderstanding, not to mention violence, we placed our order and said We would like to eat in in French.

My mum and dad wanted two coffees. They are very confident with French Numbers, and it showed. The result was two, but Italian dressings, not coffees.
  None of us was quite sure when we were asked about Italian dressings, but here you go.

November 3rd attempt: Armed with our excellent knowledge of French and sentences like No, we don't want any Italian dressings thank you! we approached the sales man.

Unfortunately, my mum started to practice the preposition du.
  You know, de+le=du.
  Now, we ended up with two of everything, as French deux means two. The pronunciation must be the key here. We are doing further research and hope that soon we will be able to get 1 pizza, 1 coffee, 1 iced tea with peach to eat in and no Italian dressings, no roasted ducks, no ski equipment, no helicopters nor flying elephants.

This is easier said then done.

Oh, those French...


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