Top Four French Language Mistakes #FRENCHPROBLEMS

Many of you know I work for Whirlpool in their French Canadian department. Quebecois is very, very different than the French I learned at university and not even remotely the same as the Frolof I spoke in Senegal. Needless to say, talking to customers all day long in what I feel like is a third language makes for some interesting times. Here are a few of my favorite embarrassing moments from work! Enjoy!

Do you know the exact date of purchase?

I ask this question on EVERY call. And for the first month, no one said anything to me about this. Instead of saying, “la dah-t da sha” I was saying, “La dah-t da shaat.” The first means, “the date of purchase,” where the latter means, “the date of the cat.” Yup. Oh Lord. Check out a French video of a cat wiping out below to see my sentiments on the issue. PS- I’m the cat.

The payments are monthly.

[THIS MIGHT BE A LADIES ONLY ONE…] Let me preface this with, I have not said this to a customer. Sophia, a girl from Haiti, was practicing a script with me and helping me  learn some new vocab. She just told me the French word for monthly. It is mensuell. Don’t confuse it with another word that sounds just like it, menstrual otherwise you’ll be telling your clients their payments are in menstrual cycles.


My name is Mary Lou.

This is another pronunciation issue. In my defense, in Senegal we always said, “Je m’appelle” or “Mon Mary laa toodo.” We never said it this way. So, there’s my defense. Here’s the case: Yawo, a friend from the Togo, was listening to calls with me helping me if I didn’t understand or was confused on some vocab. He stopped me and said, “Mary Lou, stop saying the “m” at the end of ‘Mon nom est Marie Lou.'” I looked at him and realized what I had been saying:: My man is Mary Lou. Bless it.

Me as a man.

And lastly and most embarrassingly…

You can find your model and serial number on the back.

It all happened so fast that I can’t remember which definitive article or possessive article I used before the word back, but I am maybe 50% certain I used the word “votre” meaning “your” or “la” meaning “the.” I want to say that I used the word “la” because I would have a better defense, but I am pretty sure it was possessive.

You know that little French word, derriere? You know how us lil’ old Americans think its so funny to pretend like it means your butt? Well, mixed with the right articles, it does mean that in French. It also means behind, as in “My Chapstick fell behind my purse.” I was trying to tell the woman, that she would have to look behind the appliance to find her model and serial number. Instead? I either told her that her model and serial numbers were located on the butt -OR- on her butt.


Here’s to another day at Whirlpool hoping I don’t get fired! Please enjoy this video below that will show you my French isn’t all that terrible…. 😉



Dreaming, Hoping and Aspiring

The fact that I’ve been “in transition” for the past month and will be for a while, has driven me nuts. I blame it on my ESTJ personality. I’m a planner and overly logical to the point where it is annoying to myself.  [Seriously, talk to me about my dating life; I dare you. Dee-sasters.]  I should have a plan for where I’m going to live or even what I want to do, but I don’t. I should have direction on what I even like, but I don’t. And today, I finally got to the point where I was okay with that.

I was talking to my friend Jackie last night on Skype about all the different ideas I have floating intensely bouncing around my head on what I could do next. She said, “Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t you write down things you are interested in pursuing or feel passionate about, pray about them and see the Lord weed out the ones that don’t stick?”

WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?  So, here’s what I did tonight.


I started to flood this blank page with ideas and things I feel like I’m passionate about.

  • Love the Lord and walk intimately with Him daily
  • Work with refugees and immigrants in America teaching them English, how to adjust to American culture and find jobs.
  • Women’s Ministry
  • Take some classes in Life Coaching or pursue Biblical Counseling?
  • Write Women’s Devotionals
  • Be a covenant member of a gospel-centered, missional church [probably the hardest one on this, which is sad].
  • Live overseas again
  • Become certified to teach English as a Second language to maybe open a center overseas or stateside?
  • Go see Celine Dion in concert.

So that’s my list! 🙂

John-Mark, a good friend from STINT, told me once, “You kind of get really passionate about things and then a month later you’re over it.” That’s so true. I’m learning how to balance that out, but I feel like this is a great way for me to allow those passions to be Spirit-led so that He weeds through them and they don’t become distractions for me.

I’m seeing the Lord closing doors, and I’m trusting that in His time He will open the right door! I’m excited for the adventure with Him!

Thank you everyone who is walking alongside of me and encouraging me in my walk with Christ. I’m thankful for you holding out hope for me in the moments where I can’t. I’m thankful for those of you who pursue em and display the gospel to me in this transition! You’ll never know how much I appreciate your pursuit of my heart and wanting to see me grow in Christ!

Here’s to dreaming, hoping and aspiring to be apart of God’s great, big plan!

7 Things I’ve Learned Since Returning To America

{One} Yeah, that ever lingering stomach ache is normal. Although it is the best invention ever, I’d suggest that you lay off the Chinese Buffets for a while.  [In my defense, where else can you get Lo Mein, sweet potatoes AND jello in one location? HELLO!]  Welcome back to America, Mary. Take it easy on the high-sodium, processed and preservative-enriched “food”. Although in my book, one time at a Chinese Buffet with family=worth the upset stomach.

Thanks to my Step-Mom, Dhel, for creating this fun picture collage!
Thanks to my Step-Mom, Dhel, for creating this fun picture collage!

{Two} Figuring out what you like and don’t like is pretty simple. Last year I was having a personal identity crisis [in the middle of TJ Maxx mind you…] over trying to figure out what I liked. Fashion changed so much since I had left and dressing for college ministry stateside looks so different than in a third-world country. Hence, the meltdown. This time around, I’m taking some time to just be me. I’m figuring out what I like and it doesn’t depend on what’s popular in the US culture, because let’s be honest, I have no clue what’s popular. I don’t Pinterest on the reg., so I’m completely out of the loop. And I am completely okay with that.

{Three} Walmart is overwhelming and makes me realize how impulsive I am. Oatmeal Creme Pies and Ho-Hos have never looked better until you’ve spent two-years in a third-world, developing country in Africa. Granted, the French pastries in Senegal were amazing, they weren’t convenient. And they definitely weren’t stock-pile-your-cabinets-in-case-we-get-nuked-or-dumped available. Poor Bonnie took me to Walmart for the first time in almost a year yesterday and had to see me get goo-goo eyed over chocolate cupcakes and the vast selection of icecream for only $2.79 for a half-gallon! Really, whoever thought of putting all your home needs in one place is a genius.

Sweet Bon!
Sweet Bon!

{Four} The Mummy is the best movie ever. Downside to it being played on AMC: commercial breaks. Rachel Weisz’s character just, well, I’m not exactly sure what happened to her. I had to feed the dog I’m watching, so I missed the part where she went from alive to dead. But I came back and Brendan Fraser’s character (Rick) is holding his sweet wife in his arms, crying as she slips away from him through his fingers. And then BAM. commercial break. Ugh, AMC, what are you good for besides giving me a heart attack??

Yeah, my thoughts exactly Bren!
Yeah, my thoughts exactly Bren!

{Five} The world is full of options. In fact, far too many options. So, I am still processing through what’s next. Staff with Cru? Taking a job internationally? Going back to school? Oy vey! I kind of wish there weren’t so many options. I mean moving to Ireland to work at a non-profit or be a farmer makes total sense to you too, right?

In Ireland two years ago... be still my beating heart.
In Ireland two years ago… be still my beating heart.

{Six} People still haven’t learned to pass on the left side. I’m not even going to begin to expound upon that one because like AMC, it’ll give me a heart attack too.

Praise Him.
Praise Him.

{Seven} Almost everyone around me speaks English. Don’t forget that while talking to a friend in public. It’s so easy for me to think no one understands me. I just moved back from a country where less than 5% of the population speaks English. Whispering secrets need not exist. It’s actually funny the things you can think of to shout across a restaurant knowing that no one will understand.  But in ‘Merica? Oh, not only do they “comprendre” but they are so judging you too. So, enjoy your transistion back to America, but please use discretion while explaining to your girlfriends about just how much that Chinese Buffet is getting to ya!

Instagram? I think Insta-shame is more like it.
Instagram? I think Insta-shame is more like it. [Thanks Mashable for the photo]