Friday, May 15, 2009

Silly French word of the day

Lepénisation: the influence of far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen. Sounds just as silly in French as in English, or would, if it didn't mean the resurgence of quasi-fascism. Although I suppose the double-entendre works in the sense of France being screwed when this man gains power, and less so when he does not.

7 comments:

Jeff said...

when reading Le Pen's name in the past, I assumed it was pronounced like "pen", not "peen"... is that not the case?

Or is the french word pronounced like "pennis"?

Oh, what do I know about pronouncing French words... I just don't pronounce the last few letters and hope that's close enough

Phoebe said...

Nothing funny about "Le Pen" - it's when it takes on the "-isation" and the "e" becomes a "é" that things get interesting.

asg said...

You have a very scary "when" where I would have expected an "if"; has Le Pen won a national election, or is he favored to do so?

Phoebe said...

"when" as in, at times when. He has done surprisingly well in elections, but I don't believe he's next in line for anything.

asg said...

That is a relief. I remember when he beat Jospin in the runoff, the Paris-Match cover picture of a voter wearing rubber gloves to cast his ballot for Chirac, etc. That was the same time that Vlaams Blok was making a charge in Belgium.

When I was researching a boardgame about the interwar period last year, I read a lot about French politics of the time. How terrifying it must have been to see one's republic in actual danger of overthrow from the streets, on multiple occasions no less!

ck said...

Sigh... I miss Phoebe!
Brilliant and great to know. I will use that term today as soon as I come across a French person...

ck said...

Found a Frenchman. He's in Yeshiva in Jerusalem in the process of converting to Judaism (!!). Used the term in conversation. We laughed and laughed! Good times, good times.