Humor of Giving Up on French School

Humor of Giving Up on French School is adapted from a humorous book by David Sedaris: ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’, with this part about struggling to learn French.

Here are excerpts from the chapter In the Waiting Room in the book ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’:


“Six months after moving to Paris, I gave up on French School and decided to take the easy way out.

All I ever said (in French) was ‘Could you repeat that?’

And for what? I rarely understood things the second time around

and when I did it was usually something banal,

the speaker wondering how I felt about toast,

or telling me (in French) that the store would close in twenty minutes.

All that work for something that really didn’t matter,


and so I began saying ‘D’accord,’ (said with a silent final –d)

which translates to ‘I am in agreement.’ and means, basically, ‘OK.’

The word was a key to a magic door, and every time I said it I felt the thrill of possibility.

‘D’accord,’ I told the concierge, and the next thing I knew I was sewing the eye onto a stuffed animal belonging to her granddaughter.

I said ‘D’accord’ to a waiter and received a pig’s nose standing erect on a bed of tender greens.

I said it to a woman in a department store and walked away drenched in cologne.

Every day was an adventure.

When I got a kidney stone, I took the Métro to a hospital and said ‘D’accord’ to a cheerful redheaded nurse, who hooked led me to a private room and hooked me up to a Demerol drip.

That was undoubtedly the best that ‘D’accord’ got me, and it was followed by the worst.

After the stone had passed, I spoke to a doctor, who filled out an appointment card and told me to return the following Monday, when we would do whatever it was I’d just agreed to.

‘D’accord,’ I said,

and then I supersized it with ‘génial,’ which means ‘great!’”




Humor of David Sedaris in his book 'Me Talk Pretty One Day':

Humor of Two Types of French.

Humor of Knowing Only a Few Words of French.

Humor of Male and Female Genders in French.

Humor of Language Tapes in French.

Humor of Vocabulary Cards in French.

Me Talk Pretty Some Day is about the humor of French Class in Paris.

Humor of Not Understanding French.

Humor of Difficulty Speaking French.

Humor of Learning French in Prison.


Link to Buy Sedaris' Book "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" from


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