"I spy, with my little eye, something that starts with the letter A," Helena challenges me while we lunch.
None of the usual possibilities are in evidence. She's been trying new things lately, but I draw a blank.
Finally I ask an all-important question: "Starts with A... In English or in French?"
"English. En français, ça commence avec Z." She's quite clear on this. English, A; français, Z.
I need a hint. "Everybody has two of them." Arms? No. "They can be blue, or green, or..." I throw out random silly answers: feet, parents, eyes, cars.
She smiles as if I've hit on something. "A-, aaa-, a-, eyes." Oh.
But the French doesn't fit? "Z-, zzz-, z-, zyeux. Lay zyeux. Les yeux."
It's clear we have a way to go in our spelling skills. In both languages.