Today at lunch we were asking the boys different questions in French and waiting for them to come up with a response. We were just asking them if they would like different types of food that we had on the table, practice for them and for us. Jonah did not think this was a fun exercise. If you haven’t heard, Jonah who is a strong willed four year old, has made it his goal to ensure his entire pre-school class can speak English since according to him they are not talking right. Since he is the only non francophone in his class I asked him what he said when he didn’t know the answer to a question his teacher asked him or one of the other students in the classroom and he said he would say “Jonah say pah.”
That phrase is very close to one of our most frequently used phrases and I’m not sure if he picked it up from us or if he was taught this at school and this is the phrase he got from it. The actual phrase is “Je ne sais pas” which sounds very very very close to “Jonah say pah”, especially for our English tuned ears. Either way he was saying that he didn’t know and got down from the table not knowing why mommy was laughing so hard. So next time I hear someone say “Je ne sais pas” and I begin to laugh you will know why.