Case ka say?

French is one of several languages in which I’m illiterate. I doubt this will change, since I’m using recordings to mangle imitate pronunciation. When I look at it, I become confused.

The title of this post is the pronunciation of “What is that?” But it’s spelled Questce que c’est. When I see a phrase like that, with apostrophes and hyphens, I can think only one thing: “Case ka say?”

French confounds me with consonants that aren’t pronounced and vowels that come from nowhere. For example, why is yeux (eyes) pronounced “eeyou”? (I can’t even type the singular “eye” because of its overlapping vowels.)

I was working on food vocabulary because I expect it to be tricky. When I was in Toledo (Spain, not Ohio), I had to ask many questions about ingredients since names of dishes only hint at what it contains. A potato and garlic dish which sounded like a mashed potato or a casserole ended up a soupy puree of potatoes.

On the other hand, I once explained to confused visitors that “surf ‘n’ turf” is edible in the United States. (And a Tom & Jerry is a wonderful hot drink, not to be confused with cartoon animals.)

But French? It tries mightily to pull la laine over my yeux. A potato and an apple are BOTH “pomme”!  Case ka say?!?

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