Sunday, August 10, 2008

Parlez-vous français? ... Espagnol?

Baccara was a female vocal duo, formed in the mid 70's by two Spanish flamenco artists. The duo peaked at the music charts with their debut single "Yes Sir, I can boogie", soon succeeded by another cult-classic: "Sorry, I am a lady". The combination of English with a strong Spanish accent, a blend of pop, disco and Spanish folk, performed by two charming ladies was a big hit all over Europe. In 1978 Baccara represented Luxembourg at the Eurovision Song Contest with "Parlez-vous français?". Broken French with a Spanish accent was too much for the Dutch - no points for Luxembourg and after the songfestival Baccara was soon forgotten in the Netherlands. In Germany and some other neighbour-countries the story went on, and after a split up incarnations of Baccara appeared into the 90's.

The latin charms of Mayté and Maria appealed to me as young teenager - the album from Baccara was one of the first "LP's" I bought from my own money. The album still is in my - neatly alphabetical organised - vinyl collection: Baccara between the "Satchmo Serenades" from Louis Armstrong and "The Last Waltz" from the Band. Over 300 vinyl records only collecting dust, but I can't say them farewell...

Sorry, I digress. Why this little confession in this personal but mainly seakayaking-related weblog? The explanation comes in two steps. The first step is that I just returned from Paris. I have been biking with partner and kids from Woerden to Paris (click here for the picture album). I enjoyed the holiday in France, but "Parlez-vous francais?" -> communication in French is quit difficult for me, alas. I manage, that's all, and I really do regret I didn't put more effort in learning French in my schooldays...
The second step is that I am busy with the preparations for the Vlieland Seakayak-week of the NKB in September. The NKB-courses are getting more and more international: this year we also welcome Spanish participants. As I heard of the Spanish interest in participating in our seakayak-courses I was immediately very enthusiast about the idea, but a bit worried about the communication. Our seakayak-coaches don't speak Spanish and the Spanish participants don't speak Dutch (nor German, nor English). The solution turned out to speak French: the Spanish participants are said to speak French
fluently - and so does one of our Seakayak-coaches.
Back to Baccara: when the Spanish kayakers speak French like
Mayté and Maria - even I must be able to understand ;-) !


wenley said...

Spanish paddlers? Bring on the sausages! :)

Hans Heupink said...

Sausages? I thought Tapas! I'll tip our chef de cuisine!