LORELAI: This is a very delicate, fragile situation. It’s like one of your soufflés. If you don’t do it right it’s a disaster.
SOOKIE: And you have to order it 45 minutes in advance.
A soufflé is a classic French baked egg dish which can either be savoury or sweet; its name is from the French for “breathe, puff”. After being cooked, a soufflé will be fluffy and puffed-up, but it will go down after a few minutes, so the serving must be timed with great precision.
LUKE: The counter is a sacred space. My sacred space. You don’t do yoga on the Dalai Lama’s mat and you don’t come behind my counter, period.
The Dalai Lama is the title of the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people; part of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, and a symbol of Tibetan nationalism. The title was created in the 16th century, and literally means something like “great guru”.
The current Dalai Lama is the 14th, named Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Thundup in 1935). Living in exile from his country in India, the Dalai Lama has become not just a Tibetan or Buddhist figurehead, but a global spiritual leader.
SOOKIE (to one of Luke’s customers): OK, I added a little fresh lemon and a little cayenne pepper. You’re gonna plotz!
Plotz is Yiddish slang meaning to be overcome with emotion: the word literally means “to burst”. Sookie’s use of the slang doesn’t seem to mean she is Jewish, any more than Lorelai’s use of Catholic slang makes her Catholic.
MAN: Bonjour Monsieur. Vous êtes francais? Vous parlez francais? … Parlez vous fracais?
MICHEL: Bonjour messieurs. Je m’appelle Michel. Ce soir pour vous aider.
MAN: (laughs) Vous avez faît un blague. Très drole! Très drole Michel!
The man says, “Hello sir. You are French? You speak French? … Do you speak French?”. After pretending he doesn’t and arguing with Lorelai, Michel eventually replies, “Hello sirs. My name is Michel. I am here to assist you this evening”. The man says, “You have made a joke. Very funny! Very funny, Michel!”.
The fact that Michel loathes French people seems to be another hint that he is not actually from France – the actor playing Michel, Yanic Truesdale, is a Canadian-American from Montreal. Truesdale has noted that the accent he used on Gilmore Girls is certainly not French, although readily accepted as such by Americans.
BABETTE: Cinnamon’s not walking good these days but she still likes her passeggiatas. That’s Italian for “a nice walk.”
In Italian, passeggiata means “a leisurely walk, a stroll”. In southern Italian culture especially, the passeggiata is a tradition whereby people go for an evening stroll or promenade between 5 and 8 pm, perhaps through the main street of a town, the town square, or along the sea front. People dress up for the passeggiata, and it’s a social event, a chance to catch up with friends and the local gossip at the end of the day. Babette and Morey are taking their passeggiata early in the day after breakfast, rather than in the evening before dinner.
It is interesting that Morey knows a little Italian – could he be of part-Italian heritage, or have spent time travelling in Italy?
Sookie injures herself at work, and Lorelai demands of her assistant Salvador: Oh why aren’t you watching her? No estabas cuidandola?
She is saying in Spanish, “You were not looking after her?”. Not a perfect translation of her English sentence, but good enough to get by.