Monday, 11 July 2011

French Breakfast

As I mentioned the other day, I'm in France on holiday and vainly attempting to cope with the strange language they speak here. Patrick Leigh Fermor, who died a few weeks ago, managed to cross Europe from England to Istanbul picking up the languages on the way. His method was to buy a Bible in every new country that he stumbled into. His idea was that the Bible used all the most basic words of a language, and that he knew the stories so well already that he could work out the sense in another language.

It is thus in imitation of him that I've been staggering through the Evangile Selon Marc, or Gospel According to Mark. Not all of the words in there are actually useful - I haven't been involvend in any baptisms yet and certainly haven't fasted. But I was interested in the word fasting: jeuner.

You see the French word for lunch is dejeuner, and for breakfast it the petit (or little) dejeuner. This means, unless I am more horribly mistaken than usual, that de-jeuner means break-fast, the idea being that you don't eat anything all night and then stop your fasting in the morning. It also means that an English breakfast is just a French lunch, off to which I now am.

What I did on my holidays


  1. Also related to jejune, ultimately - I suppose both have something to do with being starved or insubstantial. x

  2. And after that fast we choose to breakfast on bits of shredded cardboard with milk poured on. I'm sure the French must think us crazy while they're eating their pain au chocolat.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. French language is romance language and people can improve their language skill by taking various courses. I think people can practice French language using interesting French phrase such as food lovers can memorize some menu , food item in French language and in this easy they can improve vocabulary and they can learn French language easily .