Me Talk Pretty One Day

sedaris

For the funniest account of learning to speak a foreign language, you should read David Sedaris’ book, Me Talk Pretty One Day. In it, Sedaris describes his new life in France, but first talks about the French lessons he takes in Paris…

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We finished discussing Bastille Day, and the teacher moved on to Easter, which was represented in our textbook by a black-and-white photograph of a chocolate bell lying upon a bed of palm fronds.

“And what does one do on Easter? Would anyone like to tell us?”
The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, “Excuse me, but what’s an Easter?”. Despite her having grown up in a Muslim country, it seemed she might have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. “I mean it,” she said. “I have no idea what you people are talking about.”
The teacher then called upon the rest of us to explain.
The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. “It is,” said one, “a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and . . . oh, shit.”
She faltered, and her fellow countryman came to her aid.
“He call his self Jesus, and then he be die one day on two . . . morsels of . . . lumber.”

~

Here is a video is Sedaris giving a reading of this story on late night TV, back in the 90s.

Happy Friday!

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