Monday, February 10, 2014

How to Speak French, 1694

Antoine Watteau, La Boudeuse
Model dialogue from Abel Boyer, The Compleat French-Master (1694):
Que faites vous?                                  What do you do?
Je ne fais rien.                                       I do nothing.
Que dites vous?                                   What do you say?
Je ne dis rien.                                        I say nothing.
Taisez vous.                                         Hold your tongue.
Ne dites mot.                                       Say not a word.
Demeurez en repos.                          Be quiet.
Ne faites pas du bruit.                      Don't make a noise.
Quel tintamarre faites vous la?   What a thundering noise you make there?
Vous me rompez la tête.                 You break my head.
Vous m'étourdissez.                        You make my head giddy.
O! que vous êtes incommode.     Oh! how troublesome you are. 
On second thought, the Compleat French-Master suggests that you just keep your troublesome mouth shut while in France. Vous me rompez la tête!


  1. A broken head explains so many things. I think I may make this part of my daily speech. Much better than "oh, I think I just had a senior moment."

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