Dec 2, 2007
There was a young chinese man who came to study in France and ended up in Angers, in the Loire valley, where the castles are made of white stones and slate roofs. The young man came over for lunch a few times and asked several times what a certain expression meant, trying to repeat something he kept hearing here and there, something nobody at the table quite understood. The guy spoke very little french and the little he knew was so distorted by his accent that sometimes we simply smiled at him, not knowing what to answer, and nodded trying to save face when it was obvious that something had gotten totally lost in translation.
"AHBAHNDIDONK"(to be read in french with a chinese accent) was the word that nobody, no dictionary, no soul could manage to explain to him. It turns out the dude was hearing something that was a contraction of words, that when put together express astonishment: "ahbendisdonc!" which comes from: "et bien dis donc!"
(english translation: daaang!)
and that is a piece of french vernacular; not proper french but perfectly understandable (when pronounced without a foreign accent.)