Not Quite French
OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
WILL HINES: Bientot.
EISENBERG: It's pretty good French, right?
HINES: Not really. So it is? I don't know.
EISENBERG: Oh right, OK. I'll go back to English and we'll describe why I just did that. But that was amazing, you'll see. Hi Rachel.
RACHEL FALK: Hello.
EISENBERG: Welcome Rachel Falk. Hey, you're a volunteer guide at the Natural History Museum?
FALK: Yes, I am.
EISENBERG: That's so exciting.
FALK: Yes, it is cool.
EISENBERG: What room are you in?
FALK: I cover the highlights of the museum, so I -
EISENBERG: Best of.
JOHN CHANESKI: So the dinosaurs?
FALK: Best of 'em.
CHANESKI: The dinosaur.
EISENBERG: OK. Lindsay Haddix, everybody.
LINDSAY HADDIX: Oh yeah.
EISENBERG: You work for the Department of Housing Preservation?
HADDIX: That's correct.
EISENBERG: That's affordable housing?
HADDIX: Yeah, that's right.
EISENBERG: You're my hero. Thank you.
HADDIX: I'm trying. I'm trying.
EISENBERG: Yeah, well done.
EISENBERG: This is a game called Not Quite French, kind of like what I was speaking at the top of the show. I know a little bit of French, 'cause of course I grew up in Canada, which is not a lot as you can tell, but just enough to teach.
EISENBERG: So John, why don't you tell us about this fabulous game?
CHANESKI: Well in this game we're looking for English words that could be mistaken for French words because they begin with either the letters L-E or L-A. The trick is, when you remove the first two letters of the word, it leaves another English word with a totally different meaning. OK? For example, here's a clue. It's not a French man who's about to get married, it's the space you want a lot of when you're in a plane or car. The answer is legroom.
EISENBERG: Right. Legroom looks like le groom.
FALK: Oh dear.
FALK: This is going to be ugly, but can throw it together.
EISENBERG: This is going to be le tough.
HADDIX: I need a piece of paper and pen. This is - oh good grief.
EISENBERG: It's going to be le crazy.
CHANESKI: Remember these are English words that begin with L-E or L-A, when you drop the first two letters they form a different word. Here we go. It's not a French thug or bully, it's a small body of water like the kind on Gilligan's Island.
CHANESKI: Lagoon is right.
FALK: I got one point.
CHANESKI: Off to a good start.
FALK: One point. All right. At least I have one point, yay.
CHANESKI: It's not found in a French urn, it's what you'd use to walk your dog.
CHANESKI: Leash or le ash. Oui oui.
HINES: Le ash.
CHANESKI: It's not a square in a French game of Monopoly, it's a popular children's building toy.
CHANESKI: Lego or le go, right.
EISENBERG: So you guys are catching on. I saw that now it's all confidence in the eye, started off you're like, oh no and now le great.
CHANESKI: It's not a French metal, it's a language you should know if you're going to be the Pope.
CHANESKI: Latin or la tin, yes.
CHANESKI: It's not where French men watch television, it's when you're carrying something heavy or burdensome.
EISENBERG: Mmm, we are weighed down by this.
CHANESKI: Perhaps French teenagers play Xbox there.
EISENBERG: And French foxes hang out there.
HADDIX: La den.
CHANESKI: La den or laden, yes.
It's not what the French call the lead singer of The Police, it's how you'd describe something that has existed for a long time. Lindsay.
HADDIX: La Sting or lasting.
CHANESKI: Lasting or la string, thank you.
CHANESKI: It's not a French term for the back of the neck, it's a Native American tribe.
CHANESKI: Lenape or le nape, very good, Rachel.
CHANESKI: That's our game and Rachel takes it.
EISENBERG: Rachel, congratulations.
EISENBERG: Lindsay, excellent job, that was phenomenal. We'll see you Rachel for our final round. Another hand for those two great contestants.
(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.