Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sur et Sous

I've been exposed to a lot of Spanish in my life because of where I have lived most of my life--Texas. I think I learned a bit of it by osmosis. In the last two years, I've been trying to learn Italian and French also. I haven't mastered either one of them yet, but I'm learning.
If you're a reader, you may remember when I discussed how easy it was to remember what "under" meant in Italian (Sotto) because--musically--that means something akin to "softer." I made some kind of mental connection between singing more quietly and being under something--like a table or a car.
So, I'm finally to this same section in French and I have found that my bit of Spanish knowledge is causing me problems. In French, 'Sur' means 'above.' In Spanish, it means 'South.' When I saw the first question using the word 'Sur' I chose the picture that had a cat sitting under a table. I was greeted with that annoying buzzing sound and a big red X across the picture of the cat under the table. Soon enough, I became aware that 'Sur' meant above or on top of something. I was baffled and--really--I still am. But what saved the day for me here in directional French was the word for 'under' which is 'sous.'
I have heard the phrase 'sous chef' previously but never really delved into the intricacy of its meanings. I opened up another page and looked up the meaning of "sous chef." It is 'Under Chef' like "I am second in command to the head guy.' So now 'under' and 'above' are cemented in my mind even though I can't quite get with the idea of 'sur' being above. Since 'sous' makes sense now, it helps 'sur' take its meaning in my head at the very least.
By the way, two asides: Didja know that 'dans' means 'inside?' and that 'chef' means head--like chief. So the the phrase 'head chef' is a little redundant! ha!

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Loralee : )