petite anglaise

July 28, 2004

version originale

Filed under: french touch — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:26 pm

Dear Controller of Canal Plus

Why oh why do you insist on programming quality British dramas like Prime Suspect dubbed into French? ‘Spooks’ and ‘24’ are shown in both languages, so why not this? It is unwatchable in French. For your information, Jane Tennison is not supposed to sound like a French version of Hyacinth from Keeping up Appearances and your beautiful language does no justice whatsoever to her wry comments.

I beg you to accept the assurance of my most distinguished salutations…etc.

petite anglaise

I’m sure I’m not the only English speaker who detests watching dubbed television. I mean, it stands to reason that the quality of the original acting is lost entirely when a failed actor professional ‘dubber’ reads the lines into a microphone in a studio in Saint Denis.

Don’t even get me started on the rendering of non-speech sounds: you only have to listen to the moans and groans in a dubbed porn film…

Seemingly child labour is not permitted in the dubbing profession, as the voices of children are mimicked by adult women (regardless of whether the child is male or female). Designed to make Maman, j’ai rate l’avion an even less pleasurable experience.

July 27, 2004

rather elegant

Filed under: misc — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:35 pm

From the guardian weblog page today:

Petite Anglaise
Blog pick: A rather elegant new blog written by a woman who describes herself
as ‘a British thirtysomething in Paris’.
·Jane Perrone

I don’t think I’ve been this excited since I was nine years old and my painting of a girl with an umbrella was featured on BBC Look East weather.

public inconveniences

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 9:59 am

Every time I pass on of these high-tech loo pods in the streets of Paris, it calls to mind a story I once heard about a drowned toddler. I carried out some internet ‘research’, but found no proof that this actually happened, so presumably it is urban myth. Regardless, however desperate I might be, I can’t bring myself to use these automated contraptions.

Firstly, I am suspicious of the automatic door which closes behind you. Just how long would I have before it glides open? What if it malfunctions, revealing me at my most vulnerable, underwear around ankles, to a bustling Parisian street? And what if the cleaning mechanism kicks in and spray me from head to toe in disinfectant? Does the floor really open when this happens? I don’t think I want to find out.

The alternative of course is to use a café toilet. You don’t usually have to pay for the privilege, but you may get more than you bargained for. The queue for the cubicles is often directly opposite the urinals. Not exactly eye candy whether these are in use or not. This proximity is unlikely to be a source of distress/embarrassment to the average French male. Don’t forget, he has no qualms about relieving himself in the street in broad daylight.

What the French call “Turkish” toilets (i.e. holes in the floor) are still fairly common, even in Paris. Females beware: if wearing trousers, any minor miscalculation of trajectory will result in an unpleasant splashback effect.

On a more positive note, I did discover on my fairly extensive tour of Paris conveniences (when heavily pregnant) that metro/underground toilets are not as horrific as I imagined.  At Madeleine they are art nouveau, kept in pristine condition by the Dame Pipi (the attendant who takes your 30 centimes) and have shoe shine throne if you fancy a break and a bit of French polishing.

July 26, 2004

coffee republic

Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 11:29 am

Starbucks recently opened their first Paris coffee shop a short distance from my place of work to great fanfare. I have been secretly hoping it would fail, as I rather like Paris the way it is, that is to say without too many global brands repeated ad infinitum on every shopping street.

However, I gave into temptation this morning on the way to work as I was feeling a bit low and managed to convince myself that a cockroach-free medium skinny caramel latte to go would help cheer me up.

The French have clearly missed the point of Starbucks. First of all, un café latte moyen avec lait écrémé, et sirop de caramel à emporter s’il vous plaît takes rather a long time to say. Then, after ordering, the experience is similar to French MacDonalds in that the global concept of fast food (or drink) has been translated in France into a “service” which is anything but. I was tempted to get behind the counter myself to speed things up.

The Frog in a suit in front of me wanted a café crème. When asked what kind of milk/coffee/sized cup he wanted and where he wanted to drink it, he looked vulnerable and lost, and stammered that he just wanted a café crème.


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