Affiches pour les élections villageoises à Pamplemousses.
Seul contre tous
Votez et faites voter
◄ Votez flambeau et pompe petrol
◄ Pierre-feuille-ciseaux villageois
What GT makes of the first sign is actually pretty impressive: « Alone against all / Overcomes ball. »
John, what Google Translate makes out of the poster is not too bad after all. Vaincra is the future of the verb vaincre, literally to vanquish, which could have been translated as to win, to beat, to overpower, to overcome. And here (over)comes Ball, the mighty one! (Actually I don’t know whether Boule has won or not in the village of Grapefruits.)
One thing that could be noticed here is that Mauritian (whether in its Creole or French form) is pretty much like English in the sense that it has only one word for a round inflatable object used in a number of games, i.e. the word ball in English, whereas French French has two words, balle and ballon, depending on the size of the ball, balle being the small ones, like those used to play tennis, squash or ping-pong, and ballon the bigger ones, like those used to play basketball, football, rugby or volleyball. On their side of the pitch, Martians tend to use one word only to talk of both balle and ballon, and it is the word boule, which in standard French is a solid ball, like the ones used in the games of billiards, pétanque or bowling.
Carrot, I saw the poster for the Bus “party” but I never saw those for the Crowns. It is quite hard to read what is written in blue on the poster. “Batte zot bis apré vote couronne”? Then they must have made a pun (“beat the buses”) and must have chosen to put their posters next to the bus ones wherever possible.
So I gather from this that standard French has three words, balle, ballon, boule and Mauritian only one, boule, as English has only ball. Well, it has balloon, but of course a balloon is not now a ball in the relevant sense, though I have played « catch » with one indoors. Once balloon indeed meant « big ball »; its modern sense derives only from the flight of the Montgolfiers. Reading the TLFI and Etymonline, the etymologies of all these words are horribly tangled: both ballon and balloon are from Italian pallone, independently so. It seems clear, however, that the shared root is Germanic this time.
But what really impressed me about GT was the rhyme!
So I gather from this that standard French has three words, balle, ballon, boule and Mauritian only one, boule, as English has only ball.
That’s it. (We won’t bother with the very few who might guess somewhat that there’s a mix-up with boule and balle and mix things further up, as I heard a few times, by talking of a balle while playing snooker. They count for nothing.)
But balle does exist in Martian too, except that it’s a bullet coming out of a gun. Because of the suffix -et one would suspect that un boulet is a small boule, except that it used to come out of cannons (it’s called a cannonball in English) and is usually much bigger than une boule de billard.
On Mars balle can also be used to refer to a large sack (or a sackful), “enn bal douri” (“balle de riz”) for instance, which is a sack of rice. (See the illustration at goni.) And this is what your Germanic word talks about I believe — though it becomes hard for me, at this time of the day, to follow the course of things from the sack to the bullet.
Spanish has “bola” (ball) and “balón” (big ball, balloon). Besides these, “bala” (bullet, cannon ball, bale). Our dictionary says: “balón” is an augmentative disused of “bala”; this word came from French “balle” and this from Franc “balla” (ball); cf. German “Ball”.
It’s now too easy to do a pun with German prime minister, balls and Spanish prime minister.
Too often we tend to forget that the game of handball has a German name and not an English one, and as such should not be pronounced similarly to the word football.
Incidentally, I forgot to mention that the word ballon is used in Mauritius, but it refers to rubber balloons only, the ones that are used for a decorative purpose and which tend to explode as soon as they land on grass.
« Bat zot bis » en kreol à la mode en ce moment veut dire « Prends son argent ! Pique son pognon ! Ca a oresque le même sens que « pik enn lans ». Une autre expression qui s’en approche est « bat enn lakol »
En effet, Arip, bat enn bis est une expression à la mode en ce moment. Mais pour ma part je la comprends plutôt comme le fait de profiter d’une occasion, de s’incruster (gratuitement, sans avoir vraiment été invité ou payé votre place), un peu comme le fameux fraudeur mariage dans le séga de Cyril Ramdoo. Il y a un bus censé emmener un groupe au bord de la mer et vous n’êtes pas supposé faire partie de ceux qui sont de la fête ? Eh bien qu’à cela ne tienne, vous grimpez quand même à bord, comptant ainsi bénéficier d’une promenade gratis et d’une journée sous les filaos. Ou enn bater bis.
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