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C'est "oui", non? Si!

I don't know why I was thinking of this today but I remembered a really funny conversation we had with Julien about using "oui" and "si" in French.

As all of you know "oui" means "yes" in French, duh. But there is a certain time that you say "si" for yes in French and that is when you're responding positively to a negative question(in actuality it is a negation of the original statement but the response is positive nonetheless). Anyway, that came up one time when I was talking to Julien in French and Shannon noticed it so I tried to explain it but with the language barrier it was pretty funny.

Shannon: Haha, you said si instead of oui!
Me: Oh no, you see [insert explanation of why I said si], right Julien?
Julien: No, in French yes is "oui", in Spanish it is "si".
Shannon: [lolz at me]
Me: No, I mean [insert even longer explanation with examples]
Julien: Huh? No, "oui".
Shannon: Si is SPANISH dummyhead!
Me: Julien, Shannon n'est pas tres belle? "Shannon's not very pretty, is she?"
Julien: Si! "Yes! [She is!]"
Me: SEE!
Julien: "Si"?
Me: No, you said "si", to say "yes".
Julien: Oh yes, in France, we say "si" if...blah blah blah

big lols ensue...


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 30th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
I know Julien spoke English, but how did you learn enough French so quickly to banter back and forth?
Jan. 30th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
I took three years of French in high school. Actually, quite a bit came back after a while of talking to him.
Jan. 30th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
I took two years, but we mostly spent "group study" sessions eating pizza and playing pool at my house. I need to relearn it pretty soon, probably just get some software at the library since I don't have a cool French friend.
Jan. 30th, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
When I was in HS I was very serious about it and I practiced all the time. Since then I've been pretty lax and I rarely get to practice. Well, until Shan and I retire and move to Bordeaux. ;)
Jan. 30th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Damn. That Julien was a dumb ass, wasn't he?

Jan. 30th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Heh. That's pretty hilarious. I'm guessing they've never seen/listened to people speaking French? I've seen 'si' used a lot, in exactly the way you mention, commonly when someone responds "Non!" to a statement.
Jan. 30th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think she has. Well, not until we had a French guy staying with us for a few months, heh.
Jan. 30th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Wait a sec... wasn't that the running gag in the Inspector Clouseau cartoons?
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 31st, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what it was. He probably never really thought about it before. I think the actual conversation we had was like ten minutes and I was about to give up and THEN it dawned on him, heh.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )