or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Straw Man

Why, it seems like only days ago that I was criticizing people who use foreign food terms without understanding them, and now look what we have here!

TIP: Use creme fraise instead of cream in the peas.

"Fraise" is the French word for "strawberry". The term the writer was taking a blind stab at was "creme fraiche", or, if you want to be particularly accurate and French about it, crème fraîche, though of course in English we generally discard accent marks in foreign imports.

"Fraiche" is the French word for "fresh"; more accurately, it's the feminine form of the adjective, the masculine of which is "frais". "Fraise", despite the fact that it looks very much like these words, is quite unrelated, instead being akin, believe it or not, to Italian "fragola", "strawberry", which in turn is derived from (of course) Latin "fragum". (French "framboise", "raspberry", is also related: the "-se" ending on "fraise" was apparently appended in imitation of "framboise".)


Anonymous Jim (Yes, THAT one) said...

"Frais/Fraise" made me think of my favourite test of automated translation. The french verbs "être" and "suivre" mean "to be" and "to follow/take" (as in "take a course").

Unfortunately, the first person singular for both is "je suis".

I always test translation s/w with "Je suis Jim et je suis un cours de français." If it responds

"I am Jim and I am a French course"

well, that is just made of sad, isn't it?

Sunday, December 27, 2009 2:22:00 PM  

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