petite anglaise

September 14, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — petiteanglaiseparis @ 3:04 pm

Tadpole currently has a repertoire of twenty or so ‘words’ in English, if you count various animal noises and things like ‘nanaani’ for banana. Although these words are allegedly all onomatopoeia, I’m sad to say that the French and English simply do not hear the same noise when a dog woofs or a duck quacks.

On the wrong side this side of the channel, dogs go “ouah ouah” (wa wa), ducks go “coin coin” (kwan kwan) and cockerels say “cocorico” – which sounds like it should be the name of a cocktail. Pigs say “groin groin” (??!), birds say “cui cui” and frogs go “coa-coa.” Fans of Gigli (which I haven’t seen) will be interested to learn that turkeys/J-Lo’s say “glou glou.”

So I am having a dilemma: should I teach tadpole the English noises and run the risk in the future of other children at school thinking she is a bit soft in the head? Or do I stick do my guns on this one?

Incidentally gunfire in French is rendered as “pan! pan!” Is it only me, or does that sound pathetic?


  1. You think that’s odd? In Korea the dogs allegedly say: “Mung! Mung!” and the cats: “Ya-ow! Ya-ow!” I’d say to teach Tadpole both versions to start her out right. She can choose which ones she likes best. However, I imagine Vitriolica/Madge could help you out on this one, as she’s probably faced the same thing.

    Comment by Nigel M — September 23, 2004 @ 11:57 am

  2. Well, she’s just going to have to do bilingual percy thrower impressions, mine learn portuguese animals at school, ow-ow = dog and coquerockockoh! = rooster, and I have to do duck impressions at home. squeak squeak (they’re sick ducks)

    Comment by Vit — September 23, 2004 @ 11:58 am

  3. and pan pan sounds like spanish bread… ooer, we’re throwing baps at you!

    Comment by Vit — September 23, 2004 @ 11:58 am

  4. When the boy and I were in a Paris, a poster for some cartoon with pigs saying “groin groin” was the source of much childish giggling

    Comment by this girl — September 23, 2004 @ 11:59 am

  5. …and when Guillaume takes his little drum it certainly sounds odd to me to hear the choir sing “patapatapan” in the English version, I’d like to hear them sing “bing a bang a boom” (and tootle tootle too[t] for the flute too!) LOL

    Sounds right in French of course because of the pronunciation of “pan”, which English folk don’t do!
    BTW you can hear my attempt at the original French here:

    Comment by David W Solomons — September 24, 2004 @ 12:13 pm

  6. Reminds me of the time, way back when i was the “assistante” in a French school and discussing Anglophone singers with my class. A couple of the girls told me that they loved “Weeeel Smeeeeessss”.
    I was perplexed. Who? “Weeeeeeeeel Smmmeeeeeessss”, they repeated emphatically, aghast at my ignorance.
    it took me ages to figure out who they meant. :roll:

    Comment by Suziboo — October 12, 2004 @ 12:10 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: