The lexicon of cell phones

My Verizon phone service sucks here, and would be quite expensive, even if it worked.  I need a phone just to be able to find my way to work on the first day, so my first chore is to figure out how to buy or rent one.  Like everything else, this requires a new vocabulary.

  • abonné: As an adjective, this means used to, habitual, or seasoned: Il est abonné aux seconds rôles.  As a noun, it can refer to a subscriber of a magazine or service, a season-ticket holder for the train or a sports team, or a pre-paid customer in retail.  Its use on the mobile phone service web site that I’m trying to navigate is probably that of the subscriber or the pre-paid customer.
  • location: Not “location,” but rental!  This took quite a while to become clear to me.
  • comptant: Up-front (payment), cash payment, buying outright.
  • haut débit: This one puzzled me–I couldn’t figure out why I kept seeing it in advertising posters for phones.  “High-speed.”
  • gérer: To manage, handle, organize, as in managing your account.

Even with your new-found vocabulary, getting phone service turns out to be an ordeal.  See the next blog post.


My first surreal French moment

My first surreal French moment: I’m getting off of the plane in Paris.  In the row behind me, a little girl is happily conjugating a verb: “j’aurai, tu auras, il aura, nous aurons, vous aurez, ils auront.”  That’s the futur simple of the highly irregular verb avoir, for those of you who weren’t paying attention in French class.  Oh là là, says the mother (really).  “I’m good at conjugating,” says the little girl, proudly.

I think I’m going to like this country.