April 6, 2013

Dictionnaire Español-Français

For my masters, it is required to take a language class and this semester I decided to enroll in Spanish. Having had 4 years of Spanish in middle school/high school, I figured it’d be easier and serve me better than say Portuguese or Italian.

Learning a third language in one’s second language makes for some pretty interesting brain gymnastics. Nevertheless, I sometimes find that translating things into French makes more sense than the English equivalent (and vise versa).

While hoping there would be a Spanish-English dictionary at France's version of Good Will, Emmaus, there were only Spanish-French ones (but really, at a dollar a dictionary who can complain?). I bought one, confident that I speak French well enough that there shouldn’t be any trouble.

Despite it working out most of the time, looking up I no longer remember what, I stumbled upon the cutest word I have yet to cross in French, pommettes. Not sure what it meant, I asked a classmate.

So, what is a pommette? No, it’s not just a tiny pomme (apple). It’s actually the cheekbone part of your cheeks! The little part that grandmas like to pinch when they tell you they could eat you with a spoon.

I love having a word for that specific part of the cheek. Especially since it seems to fit perfectly. It does resemble a tiny apple one just wants to take a bite out of.

Confession: I'm dating a French boy. Since we met, I always adored his cheeks, but telling him so didn't exactly encompass what I meant. Really, I couldn't get enough of his pommettes. After learning this word, everything just fell into place. It felt right.

Now, my favorite part of Spanish class is enriching my French vocabulary.


  1. That is great! I don't know if I'd dare buy a Spanish-Some Other Language dictionary.

    1. Thanks :) I'm sure you're speak Spanish well enough to do it! I'm just a poor student and didn't want to spend 7euros on a new dictionary...

  2. Ha! I took Romanian when I was a student in Montpellier a hundred years ago. It was a challenge, for sure!

  3. I'm just starting to learn french as a second language and it's so hard to remember all of this! Kudos to you for learning a third! How long did it take you to learn french?

    1. Thanks! Language learning is a slow business. I took 2 years of it in college to get my minor in French. However when I moved out here afterwards I quickly realized I didn't speak French as well as I thought I did. After a year out here I was super at ease with the language, and after two years of emersion I was comfortable calling myself fluent (and now I'm certifiably so! I had to take a language test for my maters program, haha). Good luck learning French!


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