Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cora: I'm famous in France!

Before arriving in France, my brother and I were chilling one night and I was playing around with Siri on my iPhone asking it silly questions. In anticipation of my departure, I had changed my phone language to French so I could immerse myself in it as much as I could before I left. After telling me to leave him alone, "French" Siri pronounced my name with a French accent which included some heavy 'r' action that is notoriously hard for English speakers. Hating the way French sounds, my brother proceeded to mock me for the next two weeks, mimicking Siri.

It was on this particular night that I realised something:

"When I introduce myself do I have to say it the "French way?Omg! I'm not going to be able to say my own name properly because I suck at doing the French 'r'."

When I finally got to France, I was in for one big surprise! Not only did everyone say it Siri's way (while I struggled...) but the name "Cora" is known everywhere across Northern France because it is a big supermarket chain. For the first time in my life everyone knew my name. Back home most conversations go like this:

"Did you say your name was Laura... Cara?" 
"No, Cora."
"Cora? Wow, that's unusual! How do you spell that? K-O-R-A?"
"Nah, with a C."

Despite being teased by students and other people I met for being named after a supermarket, I must admit that it has been pretty cool seeing my name plastered on food, ads and billboards. I've taken a private satisfaction in buying my 'own' brand in yoghurt, cereal and rice. One day, I was out grocery shopping with my friend Sue (who you've seen in previous vlogs here and here) and she was trying to find good coffee. As part of an ongoing joke, I offered her 'my' brand with a flourish and she was like "Haha, no way! Your coffee sucks!" All I could do was laugh and say "sorry about that." Just us being silly!

Have any of you had funny moments with the French language or with your name in France? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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