French Mistake #4051: Banks Play Monopoly?

0x600I’ve made a few mistakes in my life when speaking French… When I say a ‘few’ I mean thousands… and I still make them! So I’m documenting a few here for your enjoyment 🙂

I don’t remember exactly where I was when I made this mistake, but I was chatting with my boyfriend at the time about big French companies and governments.

At some point during the day we got onto the topic of big corporations, particularly banks. I started explaining that there were four major banks in Australia, I wanted to say they had a monopoly of the market, so I said:

“Ils ont un monopoly” (They have a monopoly” I said.

He froze in his tracks and began to chuckle,

“Quoi? Comme le jeu?!”

What? Like the game?! he asked me with a laugh.

I had made the mistake of saying an English word with a French accent and assuming it meant the same thing. In French, the correct word for a monopoly is a ‘monopole’, whilst Monopoly is…. just a board game.

“You wanted to say, un monopole” he told me.

“Oh – well, we say ‘monopoly'”

“Like the game?”

“Well yeah, that’s what monopoly means, that’s the whole point of the game” I pointed out.

“Woah…” he told me, “I never thought of that!” he said and we continued on our way, imagining four bank CEO’s trying to score May Fair first.


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