Please allow me to introduce myself - Macleans.ca
 

Please allow me to introduce myself


 

Le Devoir‘s Antoine Robitaille points and laughs at an unfortunate anglicisme by Robert David, the Liberal candidate in Hochelaga, in an email to constituents:

«Bonjour, Je vous écris afin de m’introduire en tant que candidat libéral dans la circonscription d’Hochelaga.» J’ai eu envie de répondre : «Pas gêné! T’introduire dans quoi exactement, mon bonhomme? On ne se connaît même pas et tu veux déjà t’introduire?»

It’s easy to see why Robitaille seems worried. “M’introduire” doesn’t mean “introduce myself”—it means penetrate.


 

Please allow me to introduce myself

  1. Well I suppose Ignatieff is a man of wealth and taste…

  2. What would have been the correct useage? Neither my French Larousse nor my Canadian Larousse translates s'introduire as to penetrate

      • Interesting that "allow me to present myself" and "allow me to introduce myself" have exactly the same meaning in English, yet differ so wildly in French. Makes one appreciate how easily the two solitudes misunderstand each other.

      • is this a Quebec vs Parisian Frenc thing?

        Even if it is the above issue, it highlights something Mr Coderre would likely agree with.

      • is this a Quebec vs Parisian French thing?

        Even if it is the above issue, it highlights something Mr Coderre would likely agree with.

  3. So who does he want to penetrate?

    • Obviously not your thick skull, as that would be beyond the power of mortal man.

      • Poor little Liberal…feeling grumpy today for some reason? Maybe yo should go M'introduire yourself.

  4. Stop it youngings' now git, git!

  5. Thank you for so quickly illustrating the point.

    • Settle down, folks. Why waste a perfectly good opportunity to make fun of somebody else by making fun of each other?

  6. Canada's media is a veritable mind introduction!

  7. But I bet he knows how to spell Iqaluit.

  8. Reminds me of when I was cautioned not to say “That sucks” in Quebec, as it apparently has a more ‘mature’ meaning in French slang.

    • Also, I dare you to go into a depanneur and ask, "Can I have a pipe, please?" in French. Much hilarity will ensue.

      • Either that or you'll have found the Best Dep Ever.

    • Actually, it has that "mature" meaning in English too, it's power has just been diminished through almost incomprehensible overuse.

  9. So who would have written this?

  10. Reminds me of a priest I knew once who'd been stationed in Mexico. His Spanish wasn't very good at first, so he described to his congregation that while he was doing his best, his poor command of the language made him feel embarazado … which, it turns out, in context means "pregnant".

  11. Reminds me of a priest I knew once who'd been stationed in Mexico. His Spanish wasn't very good at first, so he described to his congregation that while he was doing his best, his poor command of the language made him embarazado … which, it turns out, in context means "pregnant".

    • Funny, there are 5K words that are the same in English & French. Not knowing the correct word in French I kept saying I think I might be pregnant (obviously with a French accent). I just rec'd dumb looks. That was 40 yrs ago living in a French country and thankfully I wasn't 'enceinte'. BTW, my husband is from France and it took him awhile to understand les Quebecois.

  12. Or in the Monty Python skit,

    "If I said you had a great body would you hold it against me?."

    • Been awhile since I heard that one. Reminded me of a time in the Hunter's Horn in MTL on a Sun. eve. I was singing along with the band. Gorgeous guy came up behind me and said I couldn't sing, but he'd love to go to bed with me. He lost.

  13. What a Freudian car accident.

    "Hi, pardon my protrusion, but I'm the new Liberal candidate for this riding!"

  14. What a Freudian car-accident.

    "Hi, pardon my protrusion, but I'm the new Liberal candidate for this riding!"

    • Is that a pickel in your pocket or are you the new Liberal candidate?

  15. What a Freudian car-accident.

    "Hi, pardon my protrusion, but I'm the new Liberal candidate for this riding!"

    Terrific.

  16. What did you expect with your stupid little post?

    Many francophones in Canada are guilty of this anglicisme as well.

    • Relax dude. Admittedly any Liberal candidate is basically a divine representative of truth, justice, beauty, and All That Is Good. But surely we can have a tiny bit of fun at their expense once in a while?

      • You should never put a comma in front of "and."

        Ha ha ha! My sides are splitting!

        • Clearly sir, the Oxford comma needs to "s'introduire" to you.

  17. Relax dude. Admittedly any Liberal candidate is basically a divine representative of truth, justice, beauty, and All That Is Good. But surely we can have a minute bit of fun at their expense once in a while?

  18. Stop kicking the poor Liberals when they are down.

    Who can forget Diefenbaker sending Quebeckers his best cows one year in his New Year's message?

  19. When General MacArthur was considering a run for President in 1952 enthusiastic supporters in Japan carried placards saying "We support the erection of General MacArthur".

    • And I am sure during the occupation some did.

  20. When General MacArtur was considering a run for President in 1952 enthusiastic supporters in Japan carried placards saying "We support the erection of General MacArthur".

  21. Poor Robert David. I still think his biggest problem in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is that he is an economist educated at Harvard. That will be his biggest problem.

  22. LOL.

  23. Ha ha, yes. Isn't it funny the difficulties ethnic minorities have with the language? I wonder when we will be reading newspaper columnists in Ontario mocking the grammar of French- or Italian- or Farsi-speaking candidates.

    • Yes, its not like Chretien or Dion were ever mocked for their pronunciation and accent. I mean it was one of the two jokes that the Air Farce had in the 90's (the other one being that Preston Manning likes to say "Refooorm" in a high-pitched voice). Actually I think those were the only two things the show came up with (I lament the loss of Double Exposure first to a crappy tv show, and then to oblivion*).

      *Their flash video on the 2008 election was rather lacking (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv-z1v1YXaY). Only their Dion impression was distinct (the others sounded like Bob Roberts and Linda Cullen speaking in their ordinary voices). I don't think a 2 minute flash video is the best format for either.

    • Let's just say…newspaper columnists are held to a different political correctness standard than the rest of us.

      And it's their own fault, so I have no sympathy.

    • Wow. Where to start?

      (1) Robert David is a white, middle-aged native Montrealer who's taught at the University of Ottawa in both French and English. He's also a Harvard grad who happens to be running in what's quite possibly the most died-in-the-wool Francophone riding in downtown Montreal. There are many places David could be considered an ethnic minority. Quebec is not one of them.

      (2) What I found funny about the passage in question isn't the fact he made a mistake in French. (Never mind that he's bilingual and that his ability to speak French—or English for that matter—isn't being questioned here or anywhere else.) It was the sexual innuendo that mistake contained. Juvenile and pointless? Yes. Sinister or cruel or racist? Hardly.

      (3) I'd rather ban jokes altogether than let Ontarians become the gold standard for humour. That'd be like putting Quebecers in charge of building Olympic stadiums.

      • Re point 3)

        Might want to ammed that to not let Manitobans become the gold standard……

    • I wonder when we will be reading newspaper columnists in Ontario mocking the grammar of French- or Italian- or Farsi-speaking candidates.

      I take it you missed the Sun chain rags' coverage of Stephane Dion's candidature during the last election…

  24. Philippe,

    If you showed that phrase to Layton, Harper or Ignatieff….do you think they would understand the problem?

    • Probably not, but I don't really know.

      To be fair, it's a very common mistake and I'm throwing stones from a glass house over here. My English is littered with francicismes and my French has more than its fair share of anglicismes. If I spoke a third language, I would probably screw up that one, too.

      I just got a kick out of David's mistake. I'm not suggesting it says anything about him or anyone else.

      • No worries, I really wasnt trying to pin anything anywhere…..I struggle with my childrens homework, as they go to French Immersion.

        However, it would raise an eyebrow here if there was someone running for office and they unintentionally used a colloquialism like that. Likely get a few chuckles as well. All in good fun.

        It was more a question of what level of "street" each of these guys has ot to in their understanding.

        But it is surprising for a candidate running in Hochelaga to make that mistake, minor though it may be.

        When things go wrong they really go wrong……nice find

    • Probably not, but I don't really know.

      To be fair, it's a very common mistake and I'm throwing stones from a glass house over here. My English is littered with francisismes and my French has more than its fair share of anglicismes. If I spoke a third language, I would probably screw up that one, too.

      I just got a kick out of David's mistake. I'm not suggesting it says anything about him or anyone else.

  25. On the one hand, french quebecers are always insisting that everyone speak french, even to the point of legislating it.

    On the other hand, they mock people for trying. I will grant them that they do not all behave this way, however.

    Jokes like this are infantile.

    • No, they're juvenile.

      Sort of like when an internal resource translated "our exciting new Pay Per View channels" using a word in French that meant sexually arousing instead of exciting. It's funny.

      • I just don't see how that's funny.

    • Well, geez, how about when the Chinese endeavour to learn English, only to be mocked by websites like engrish.com afterwards.
      (Oh, but I get it : it's not from Quebec, therefore it's alright.)

  26. I guess there wasn't much to attack Ignatieff on today….