Sunday, October 28, 2018

The most famous French giraffe

Her name is Sophie and she may be one of France's most classic baby toys. Sophie was invented in 1961 by une entreprise française living just north of Paris. The toy quickly became un énorme succès and has continued to be one every since. 

I'm almost certain that I had a Sophie as a baby. My parents had a Sophie as babies and mes neveux have a Sophie now too. Sophie est tellement a must-have that French people don't hesitate; no matter what the gender of the baby, Sophie always seems to be the perfect toy. These giraffes are indeed pretty great même si they are quickly flooded with de la bave de bébé because babies love to teethe on it.

Bonus tip for people who consider purchasing a Sophie: the toy can be recyclée ! Yes, once your baby is too old for Sophie, the toy will make un jouet adoré for your dog! Sophie has un petit pouet in her body so trust me, babies and dogs love them!

For decades, French people have been in love with their girafe préférée and Americans have recently joined them. Sophie arrived in Californie in 2005 and has invaded the American market since then. Today the toy is still owned by a French company and entirely produced in France. Cocorico !
*A little side not on the use of "Cocorico". As you may know, France national animal is the rooster. A rooster is small but also fier et têtu ! If you you tell a French person that the rooster says "Cocka-doodle-doo" they will look at you very strangely. In France, le coq says "Cocorico." This sound is also used by the French as an expression of pride or something quintessentially French. For example: "France has the best équipe de foot in the world. Cocorico !" 

Vocabulaire :
une entreprise française = a French company
un énorme succès = a huge success
mes neveux = my nephews
est tellement = is such
même si = even if
de la bave de bébé = baby's drool
recyclée = recycled
un jouet adoré = a beloved toy
un petit pouet = a lilttle squeaker
girafe préférée = favorite girafe
Californie = California (You had this one, right ?)
fier et têtu = proud and stubborn
le coq = the rooster
équipe de foot = soccer team

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Une lettre, une année

Une lettre, une année
by Nicolas Yviquel

As you know, we love dogs on Canoe Island. Three dogs lived on Canoe Island this past summer: Eloise, Addie, and Gator. As a French person, what surprised me when I arrived in this country was how much people love their dogs here ! Don't worry, we love our "chiens" too in France. But in France, we express our love for dogs a bit differently than Americans.
Since 1885, the "Livres des Origines Français" (Book of French Origins) has been used by the "Société Centrale Canine" (Central Canine Society) to register purebred dogs in France. The US has a similar system: owners register every newborn purebred with their breed, their characteristics, their date of birth.... and their name. Naming a dog is where the process becomes interesting in France.
For many years after the creation of the "Livres des Origines Français," the system of registration wasn't well organized. Because owners sometimes waited until years after a dog's birth to register him or her, it became impossible for the Société Centrale Canine to chronologically order the register.
The Société found a radical solution to this problem in 1926. From this year on, the first letter of every purebred dog's name had to follow the same rule. One letter, one year. Every purebred dog born in 1926 had to have a name that began with the letter "A." Any dog whose owner failed to abide by these rules would not be recognized as a purebred. This rule proved complicated in 1952, the year of "Z." That year, a quarter of all purebred dogs were named "Zorro."
This system is still in use today after several small changes. The Société removed the letters "K", "Q", "W", "X", "Y" and "Z" from the naming system, leaving behind 20 letters in rotation. This system worked so well than even purebred cats have to follow it! In addition to France, Belgium and Québec also use this sytem.

Addie, born in 2009, would have had to been named with a letter beginning in "E." She could have been named Eloise! In 2018, we are currently in the year of the "O." What would your dog's name have been if you lived in France?