⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

December 13, 2008


I like to read Marguerite stories. Most of her books are in French. Most of her world is in French. It is a funny thing with our situation. Marguerite is French and I am American. Obviously. What is not so obvious are all the little implications that are behind that. I speak to her in English - I sing her songs in English, but when we play together or she addresses me in French, sometimes it is easier just to reply in French. More and more she understands English, I think. She has certain English words she knows and employs: "cookies" "somersault" "pumpkin" "again" "grandma rosie" "grandpa brad." But her world has just come together in French. She is very articulate for her age and I learn all sorts of vocabulary in French I would have missed entirely otherwise. We keep insisting that we should have English days with Marguerite and only speak English, but even with Xavier's almost-flawless English this is not a natural thing for him to do.

Anyway, back to story-time. So, I always read her stories in French - she loves Petit Ours Brun (Little Brown Bear). I think my accent adds a special little spicy layer to the tale. Sometimes I mix up important details (for example, I say 'the skin' la peau, when I should say 'the potty' le pot (sounds the same except one is masculine and one is feminine) - I shall never take sufficient notice of the genders of all the things around me).

Those are my stories, but Xavier takes it to another level. Many of the characters surrounding Petit Ours Brun are handicapped in Xavier's version of things. When the story is handed over to him, most of the little bear's friends are suddenly missing legs or they are blind. He also usually adds a constant commentary on which characters are completely stupid and which characters might end up dying. Marguerite is engrossed in the story in the same way and, in this way, Xavier also keeps himself highly entertained.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

It is evident from your pictures that you offer a high degree of expression to your stories...something that overcomes any language barrier! Thanks for sharing the stories and pictures...

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