nombres en français

So I am now infected like the others. My life is becoming ultra-boring as it is slowly being shaped by that vicious disease called "routine". It robs from us the precious moments of our valuable time. It breezes by us and leaves us wondering "is it November already? What have I done in my time". Between working 9 hours or more, sleeping, and time spent in showering, eating and driving..There is little room left to enjoy ourselves on weekdays. The only time I have to enjoy would be weekends, which by the way I rarely do since I try to catch up on all the sleep I missed, the books I didn't read and the videogames I didn't play.

So like any other problem I face, I try to rectify the situation with my usual unconventional solutions. I decided to minimize my short-term pleasures (the ones I'd enjoy on a weekend among friends in a coffeeshop, billiards etc) and engage in more routine activities that will yield beneficial results on the long-run.

So, for the last month, I've been going to my gym on Sundays and Tuesdays. And on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays, I am taking French lessons Level 1. It is always have a third language up your sleeve and I really regret not learning French at an earlier stage in my life.

French is not a tough language to learn especially if you keep associating it with English. Nevertheless, I noticed some differences in the semantics and the way French handle pronouns. In English we refer to "they" for both men and women. But in French, it is 'ils' for men and "elles" for women. Moreover, French differentiate between a formal "you" that you use among strangers and an informal "you" that you use among pals. A formal "you" is "vous" and an informal you is a "toi".

The second weirdest thing about French is the numbers. In both English and even Arabic, if you wanna refer to a 2 digit number, let's say 34, you'd take the "thirty" and add to it the "four" to make it thirty four. Same goes for 72..its "seventy" (70) "two" (2) etc.

The system is the same in French. 64 is "soixante quatre" where "soixante" is 60 and "quatre" is 4. 25 is "vingt sept" where "vingt" is 20 and "sept" is 5.

However, and for an unknown reason, numbers beyond 70 starts to get complicated. My only guess is that somebody really pissed off the French mathematicians. The 70 in French is the "soixante-dix" (60+10). So 76 is "soixante dix six" which is like saying (60+10+4 = 74). The same thing applies to the 90 numbers. 92 would be "quatre-vingt-dix deux". Its like saying "80 10 2" (quatre-vingt is 80). This only happens among the 70-79 and 90-99 numbers. Luckily, the 80-89 numbers escapes this anomaly and follow the normal and usual numerical system like the other numbers from 20 t0 60.

These are my basic finding so far. I still have 6 more weeks to finish the courswe. I guess that by the end of level 1, I'll be able to engage in a 2 minute conversation with the locals in France that'll end up with me screaming "please let me talk to one of the representatives in my god-damned embassy".


asoom said...

Wow ya 7araam you do sound quite bored! I have an idea for you to dirsupt this routine of yours, how about I send you some of my applications and you complete them for me, and do my essay I'll just say if I like it or not......

Isam said...

u still didnt get to the verbs shit did u ? cuz someone really hated the french :)

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Hamza, comment ca va ??
You wrote:"25 is "vingt sept" where "vingt" is 20 and "sept" is 5."..Not right,25 is vingt cinq,vingt=20 and cinq=5

also "70 in French is "soixante-dix" which is true so 71 is soixante onze.
72 is soixante douze, 73 is soixante treize and so correct your example:
76 is soixante-seize :60+16=76
92 is quatre vingt douze:80+12=92 and not "quatre-vingt-dix deux".
I hope I didn't complicate it for you but what I said is right..

Bon chance Hamza :)

KJ said...

I wanted to comment something but then I saw Noura's reply and I was like

Hamza said...

asoom - you know, you are extremely lucky you are continents away from me. I don't wanna contemplate on the things I might do to you

isam - just yesterday, I arrived to the verbs part, and you are right. Somebody really hated the french

noura - oh boy. one of the things about this post was to practice my knowledge in the numbers. But you really blew me off. Thanks for the correction :)

KJ- would you like to learn french? :P

Ms Loala said...

Ew ew ew! You reminded me of my previous french dr! I hate her, grose :\

And why you're taking French lessons anyway? it's not like you're going to use it, specially while you're in KSA :P

Comment ca va?

Ms Loala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Good for you! Oh I tried French, it's really difficult, Spanish was much easier, I drove my french teacher nuts with my ungrammatical sentences poor guy. Now I know how my students feel.

Hamza said...

ms loala- I know I won't use it in this idiotic country. But I want to feel that I am learning something new

elijah - my brother is actually learning spanish and he is enjoying it. If its up to me, I'd learn italian but there are no classes here for italian languages. So I am doing the best I could with what I have :(