By Peggy Sims
Absolutely not! Some of my Southern English is so drawn out with my Southern accent that some cannot understand me at all times. For instance, I might tell you to sit down on the “banch” (bench) or tell you to go on down yonder to that “lil forrrk” in the road. So for me to speak fluent French - I don’t think so.
My husband’s brother was in the Army for several years. He was stationed in France during one of his duties and when he came back to Mississippi, he brought a beautiful French wife with him. Her accent was so heavy we could not always understand her. We sometimes nodded our heads at her questions when we should have been shaking our heads - utter confusion. My brother-in-law always had his Mississippi Southern
accent. He would ask “Parley vou Francis” with that Southern quality.
And he called his wife “Cherry” instead of Che’ri’, pronounced “SHE’REE”.
He and his wife have visited us frequently through the years and we understand her somewhat better now, but not always. She had two of her friends visiting from her hometown several years ago and they brought them to Mississippi to visit with kinfolks.
Simone and Danielle - neither spoke a word of English.
They were from the coastal area of France and all of them loved the water. We have a pool in our backyard so this is where they took up residence. Before the first swim, my husband was walking around with Danielle in our backyard. We have a hot tub at the end of our pool. A small area about eight feet round. Danielle kept asking my husband,
“Babe’? Babe’?” After a few seconds, Roy believed if he talked very
slow and loudly - “NO. IT’S. A. HOT. TUB.” Then he would understand it was not a pool for small children. I quietly whispered, “Honey, he’s not deaf. He
just can’t understand you.”
One other thing about French men, they are very uninhibited and pleased with their “swim suit” bodies. Danielle had on a small bikini type swim suit that rode dangerously low on his hips. He loved to dive…..He would dive in over and over and over. Each time he came out of the water, his swim suit rode lower and lower and lower. The third time he climbed out, he was dressed in his birthday suit. I was checking out
non existent dirt in the bottom of the pool. He never missed a beat.
He pulled his suit back on and said something that sounded like “exusem
wha” - very uninhibited…. The French are also known for being very good cooks. But, my husband is the MASTER
Griller of steaks, so he grills us steaks for our supper that night. We were sitting around our table eating and my husband kept complimenting himself on just how good the steaks were, teasing honestly. But Danielle took him seriously. He jumped up from his
chair ran toward my husband, grabbed his face and laid a big ole kiss directly on him and said something that sounded like “my compliments to the chef.” I believe that’s what he said. At any rate, there was no more bragging about ANYTHING the rest of the visit.
I love the French people. They are so animated, entertaining, and loving. (They love to kiss.) My French sister-in-law is just one of my favorite people.
4 one inch thick rib eye steaks marinated in 1/2 cup of worcheshire with
1 T. roasted garlic,
1 T. of onion power, salt and pepper
Cook on hot grill until your desired doneness.