French lessons, pandemic edition

Eiffel Tower at night
Photo credit: Wendy M. Scott

I’ve been taking French lessons for a couple-few months now in preparation for two trips to France this year (both of which have obviously been canceled, thanks COVID-19). Just a couple of weeks ago, my lessons revolved around fun, travel-related things: speaking to hotel desk clerks about my reservations, inquiring about train schedules, and the like.

My most recent lesson however is yet another sign of the times. I did at least learn some new vocabulary like “la crise” and “la quarantaine”. I also learned that most words related to catastrophes use feminine articles (la pandémie, la catastrophe). Quelle surprise, eh?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve traded in phrases like “Is breakfast included in my booking” and “what is the wifi password?” for “there are shortages in the supermarket” (il y a des pénuries dans les supermarchés) and “the governor has closed all bars and restaurants” (Le gouverneur a fermé les bars et les restaurants) as well as other useful phrases like “La gestion de la crise est chaotique” (I think you can figure that one out on your own).

One thing that I love about language is how bits and pieces of them are shared and incorporated into other languages.  In the midst of so much stress and difficulty over the last several weeks, it amuses me to know that “covidiot” has made its way into the French vernacular. Now there’s a word that I think we can all understand. 🙂

Ne soyez pas un covidiot !

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