There is a cartoon here called Barbapapa that the kids love, this is him and the lovely Barbamama:
We took the kids to what I can only explain as a stock-show/agriculture show on steroids and as we are walking up Jaylee goes into a very excited high pitched French rant and then I spy what she is talking about.
Otherwise known as Barbe a papa or "papa's beard".
As Brandon and I are laughing at ourselves that we now have to ask our child to speak English to poor mom and dad, we pondered which came first, Barbapapa or Barbe a Papa?
Thanks to a quick google search I can tell you that cotton candy came first and the later was fashioned after it.
See the resemblance?
Okay, now you've learned some fun French background on cotton candy and cartoons, you ready for more?
I was shopping with the kids at our local paint/craft store. I can't say they love the kids and I, but they at least don't scare me anymore. As we are doing some shopping we run into Herve, Mimi's husband, and let me tell you when we started to talk to him and the kids where kissing him, uptight sister working the counter took notice.
Ah, it was a proud moment.
But, all moments fade and when we made our way upstairs looking for some kraft paper we found a funny surprise. I wanted to know if the paper was acid free so I flipped it over to read about it.
I see this:
That, ladies and gentlemen is a piece of paper taped over the English description. So, I think to myself, surely that is a little joke some employee did, so I check the rest.
Nope, they are all done.
As I stand there and think many things in my head I start to remove one. Have you ever removed tape from taught plastic? It makes a loud noise. Want to see a French man's head turn on a dime? Remove the piece of paper neatly placed over the English translation.
So Brandon and I want to know, what company rationalizes the time and energy of an employee doing this verses something productive? I don't know how about try doing something that will actually earn the store some income? How about customer service? These are the types of things that stop me in my tracks sometimes.
When we first moved here I stood in front of the hair care isle for what seemed an eternity trying to figure out the word for conditioner. I stood there forever trying to find just one word that might fill me in, but it never came. Mind you I had two kids circling my legs and a cart full of groceries I wasn't even sure if they would eat and all I wanted was some conditioner when all of the sudden a light bulb went off and I remembered I speak Spanish!
Thankfully for me the Monoprix had not instructed its people to black out the Spanish translation on the bottles or I might never have figured out that conditioner is "Apres Shampoo".
Just for the record here's a little break down of languages in the world, because I'm geeky like that:
The following list is from George Weber’s article “Top Languages: The World’s 10 Most Influential Languages” in Language Today (Vol. 2, Dec 1997):
(number of native speakers in parentheses)
- Mandarin Chinese (1.1 billion)
- English (330 million)
- Spanish (300 million)
- Hindi/Urdu (250 million)
- Arabic (200 million)
- Bengali (185 million)
- Portuguese (160 million)
- Russian (160 million)
- Japanese (125 million)
- German (100 million)
- Punjabi (90 million)
- Javanese (80 million)
- French (75 million)