Heist (aliasheist) wrote in little_details,

French and French-Canadian hockey terms, gendered and aspirational language

Setting: Boarding school with interscholastic sports in the northeast United States, somewhen in then next ten to fifteen years but functionally now

Prior research: The dreaded Wikipedia, NHL.com, wordreference.com, "french hockey terms", "french-canadian hockey terms", "hockey sur glace," several French textbooks and multiple semesters of collegiate French class. Unfortunately, this is also a usage question and I'm not sure how to google that, so please please please forgive any egregious or obvious errors on my part.

Here is the situation: I have a character, E, who is writing an essay in her sophomore (or junior year, I honestly haven't decided yet) French class about hockey. She plays right wing on her school's college prep girls hockey team, and she is definitely dreaming big, because she wants to play in the NHL. Her friend in this class, S, a goalie on the boy's prep team, hails from the greater Ottawa metropolitan area, and he has a fair bit of Canadian French (though both are native first-language English speakers.)

This is where things get complicated. I am assuming the focus of the class is continental/Parisian French, which is what most American schools seem to teach, so S isn't a total authority on the subject, but he definitely knows enough to mock E and her incorrect usage when he sees it. What I am trying to communicate is that E is writing that she currently plays right wing for her school, but that she is going to be a right winger in the NHL. I know I'll have to play with tenses, and I want to do it in such a way that S pokes fun at her presumption. (As an example, though I can say "J'écris des histoires," that carries different weight than saying, "Je suis écrivain," and I am fully aware that saying "Je serais écrivain," is NOT the same as "Je serai écrivain.")

So how do I do this? And furthermore, how does E refer to herself in writing? This is something of a joking conversation, E and S are definitely 'bros' in modern American parlance and teenagers at that, but E nevertheless takes this idea very seriously and is somewhat superstitious about the power of intention, and she's very firmly saying she's going to be in the NHL instead of that she wants to be. (Futur instead of the conditionnel here.) I know there are feminine terms for hockey positions, and I know there must be some usage difference between hockeyeur/hockeyeuse versus joueur/euse de hockey, but I'm also aware that in many modern professions (admittedly dependent upon which country you're standing in) gendered language is no longer used because to do so implies a lack of respect.

Keeping in mind that E isn't a French prodigy by any means, is it the 'correct' mistake in this situation for her to say, "Je serai le mailleur ailier droit dans le LNH!" or would it be more that she says she's going to play in the NHL? I've every intention of S 'correcting' her mistakes to bring the essay back into the realm of possibility/correct usage, but by that point E is frustrated enough to be asking their teacher how to say what she'd rather be doing than writing a stupid essay. "Professeur, comment dit-on 'punch myself in the face?'"


Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Tags: canada (misc), usa: education: high school, ~languages: french, ~sports (misc)

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