American Myth-Busting

We did some group work in grammar class today, and in addition to doing some learning, I did a little teaching. My partner was an Argentinean girl who had a few misconceptions about the good ‘ol US of A. Our conversation went something like this:

 Anna-Lucia: Tu viens des Etas-Unis?

(You come from the United States?)

 Me: Oui, je viens de New York. 

(Yes, I’m from New York.)

 AL: Ah, Manhattan!

 Me: Uh, pas exactement. J’habite environ deux heures en train dehors la Ville de New York, sur une ferme. Mais je vais à New York souvent.

(Uh, not exactly. I live about two hours by train outside of the city, on a farm. But I go to the city often.)

 AL: Et le Bronx, il y a beaucoup de gangsters, n’est-ce pas?…Attends, il n’y a pas de fermes à New York!

(And the Bronx, it has lots of gangsters, right?…wait, there aren’t farms in New York!)

 Me: Si, beaucoup!

(Yes, lots!)

 AL: Je voudrais voyager aux Etats-Unis, à New York et en Californie. Un vrai “American roadtrip!”

(I would like to travel to the US, to New York and California. A real “American roadtrip!”)

 Me: J’ai conduit à Tennessee, un état au sud du pays, l’été dernier avec mon amie pour une festival de musique. C’était super, bien sûr.

(I drove to Tennessee, a state in the south, last summer with my friend for a music festival. It was awesome, for sure.)

 AL: Et tu a conduit un “muscle car?” Tous les films, ils montrent les “muscle cars” quand on prend un “roadtrip.” Ou peut-être un Chevy?

(And you drove a muscle car? All the movies show muscle cars when somebody goes on a roadtrip. Or maybe you drove a Chevy?)

 Me: Eh…actuellement, j’ai emprunté la voiture de ma mère. Un Subaru.

(Eh…actually, I borrowed my mom’s car. A Subaru.)

 AL: Oh.

 I tried to highlight how much fun I had on my roadtrip to Bonnaroo last summer, but she seemed seriously disappointed that I wasn’t driving American. I probably should have lied and said that I had driven the Beretta.

 She was also amazed that there were farms and countryside in New York. In grammar, we have to give a presentation on any topic, in French, sometime in the coming weeks. In light of my conversation with Anna-Lucia today, I decided to talk about New York as a whole, since I figure most kids in my class are not aware that NY actually has something to offer outside of Manhattan. Schultzville, for example…

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3 Responses to American Myth-Busting

  1. KCodi says:

    Ms. T. Odette,
    There seems to be a pretty big gap between your last post and this. What ever could have gone on in those two weeks? What did you eat?!

  2. Thanks for the laugh of the day! (Even the GEO would have made for a better story than the Subaru!)

  3. Mary Molloy says:

    You would be proud of me Tara! I could follow quite a bit of the French without your translation. Of course reading and iistening are two very different stories. I am so sorry about the imported car but it did offer some relief at the campsite:) I hope you included the General Store in your presentation!

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