Wednesday, January 19, 2011


While not observed in lycées throughout France, Mardi
Gras is celebrated in certain cities by lycéens
who go to school wearing disguisements.
Here's a rather successfully put together masquerade
of Karl Lagerfeld from a previous school
 year in Versailles.
Wow, Oklahoma City has a busy chapter of the Alliance Française. When I showed its website to a French friend though, he raised a quizzical eyebrow reading its Mardi Gras announcement "Laissez les bons temps rouler!"

"Ce n'est pas français," he said.

After checking, we found that the expression is  Cajun French--a literal translation of "let the good times roll" and specific to New Orleans Mardi Gras festivities. (Lazay Lay Bon Tom Roulay is how its pronunciation is liltingly treated in most New Orleans publications.)

Nonetheless, it's not a proper French construction and, therefore "not said" here in France. How many times have I heard that quintessential retort, "Ça ne se dit pas." That's not said.

Peu importe, bienvenue au club. No matter, welcome to the club.

Ce n'est pas français: That's not French.
Lycée: secondary school
Lycéen: secondary school student

For more about the Alliance Française d'OKC:

Mardi Gras 2011 falls on March 8.

©P.B. Lecron

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