Standing in front of me was one of my students of English, a man I’ve known for several years. He likes to tease… He was smiling broadly and waving a news cutting at me.
« Have you seen this? » he asked, « The English Chantimor is in Ouest-France ». He then took great pleasure in reading the text in French to me – I hear the words « accordéoniste endiablé « . That’ll be Dave then, I think, and make note to self to check the exact meaning of « endiablé ». Go look it up. You have the choice of « devilish », « frenzied », « swinging », even « crazed, » maybe?
I was wondering what the journalist actually meant to say, but my guy has moved on to the next bit. « De solids et viriles matelots. »
Well – I’ll need to have another look at the crew! We did have some beefy blokes from the Aude Shantymen giving us a hand, mind you – perhaps the journalist was talking about them: strong and virile (« manly » is another possibility). Very flattering. Good on you, guys!
Now he’s actually laughing – « And, and… », he says « des poissonnières à la poitrine généreuse ». He then repeats it, louder, and with actions, just in case I missed it. He points at me – « Is it you? » he asks in delight. I’m appalled! A fishwife?! He’s translating in his best English now.. … »With a generous… » « Yes, yes, » I say, changing the subject, « Can I take a copy of this? »
« It’s for you », he says, then starts to regale the rest of the bemused class with an explanation of the article, the English Sea Shanty group Chantimor (he knows more about us than I thought) & the fact that their teacher has been described in the press as having a generous or ample … well, we won’t go there. To see what the journalist saw, go to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chantimor/576808955673473
You’ll see us all in action: The frenzied accordeonist, the virile (ROFL) sailors and the « fishwives » of Chantimor. And I’ll leave it to you to decide if the journalist’s impression was correct or not. §§