La langue d’amour

lumax-love-arrowLast Friday, Sybille and I went to eat at our favourite local Italian restaurant. Grosseto is on Jugoslávských partyzánû, (Yugoslav Partisan Street!), about 15 minutes walk from our flat. On the table next to us were a young couple, clearly in love. His left hand was holding and squeezing her right hand, across the table!

Image Source by Lumaxart

Then I noticed that they were speaking to each other in English. But in both cases, it was English spoken with a distinct foreign accent. Clearly, neither spoke the other’s native tongue. They were each using their second language – English, to communicate with each other.

It soon became apparent that she was Czech. She placed their order with the waiter, without using English. But where was he from? It was a bit of a mystery. The answer only came after she had said to the waiter, “úcet prosím”, (‘the bill please’ – literally ‘bill please’ as there is no definite article in Czech). Looking into his eyes she asked, “And how do you say, ‘the bill please’ in your language?” “L’addition, s’il vous plait” came the reply. He was French!

French males believe that they are the world’s best lovers, though Italians might disagree! And certainly they believe that French is ‘la langue d’amour’ – ‘the language of love’. But for this young Frenchman, in order to woo his Czech young lady, English had to be his ‘langue d’amour’.

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