Category Archives for "French Culture"

8 embarassing mistakes English speakers make that make you sound horny

8 Mistakes In French That Make You Sound Horny!

embarrasing-French-phrases

If you’re keen on improving your French or learning more French words and phrases but want to avoid the embarrassment of accidentally sounding like a sex craved foreigner than read on. Here are 8 French expressions many English speakers use incorrectly and quick tips to help you say what you REALLY want to say in French.

How To Not Sound Like A Horny Sex Addict When You Speak French

You know what you want to say in English and you think you know how to translate it to French but it’s challenging to find the right French word  or that perfect French phrase that matches the meaning and nuance of what you want to say because exact word for word translations don’t always match up in French with their English counterparts.

One small slip up and you could accidentally tell your French Friends they are “good lovers” rather than “good cooks”.

To help you avoid some embarrassing situations, I’ve put together a list of common English phrases English speakers incorrectly translate word for word into French that end up making you sound  less then respectable. Or put another way, here are 8 sex phrases… I mean French love phrases  you didn’t know you were accidentally saying.

Related: Worlds Best Lovers By Country: Are French Men The Hottest Lovers?

1-You Accidentally Say in a very vulgar way: Someone has a good body or nice curves instead of good at something else…

Elle est bonne (DOES NOT ALWAYS=) She is good

When someone is good at something, whether it’s dancing, art or cooking, it’s not uncommon for an English speaker to say “wow, she is good” which when translated word for word to French would be “elle est bonne” for a woman.  The problem is,unless you specify “she is good at something”, you are inadvertently saying a woman is a good shag or a good lay. It is not very flattering and you might actually get punched.

To correctly say “she is good at something” in French: You should always specify in what he or she is good at. “Elle est bonne cuisinière = she is a good cook. vs. “elle est bonne” which means she is a good lover. Another common way to say someone is good at something is to say “elle/il est doué(e)” which literally means he/she is talented.

You can also say “elle est doué

2- You Accidentally Say: You are horny instead of saying you feel hot or warm

Je suis chaud(é) (DOES NOT ALWAY=) I am hot
Il est trop chaud (DOES NOT =) He is too hot ( as in temperature)

The phrase “Je suis chaud”, literally translates to English as “I am hot” but has another sexual innuendo for women. If you say “Je suis chaud(e)”, you are actually saying “I am horny”. For men if you say “il est trop chaud”, which translates literally to he is too hot, you are actually saying he is a good lover.

To correctly say I feel hot in French:  You should say “J’ai chaud”.  

To make matters a little more confusing for you, Quebec French has a slightly different usage of the word hot “Chaud”. “Je suis chaud” can mean I am drunk (for men) and “Elle est chaude” means “she is hot” (in a sexual way). Keep in mind, a woman cannot be drunk using “chaude”and a man cannot be sexy-hot.

3-You Accidentally Say: There are too many condoms instead of too many preservatives.

Preservatif (DOES NOT =) Preservative

Trying to explain to someone in French why you don’t eat certain foods that contain too many preservatives is tricky because there exists in French a word that looks just like the English word “preservative”- it”s “préservatif”.

Unfortunately the French word “préservatif” means condoms so a lot of English speakers actually end up saying phrases like “there are too many condoms in cereal for children” ( “Il y’a trop de préservatif dans les céréales pour enfants.”), instead of there are too many preservatives. oops.

To correctly say food preservatives in French: Use the French word “conservateur” – “il n y’a pas de conservateur” = “there are no preservatives” instead of “il n’ y a pas de préservatif” which means “there are no condoms”

4- You Accidentally Ask Someone: To insert themselves inside of you instead of introducing themselves

Untroduire (DOES NOT =) Introduce

I hear English speakers make this mistake quite a lot. They mistakenly think the verb ”introduire” is the same as the English verb “to introduce”. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out their gaffe because the French verb “introduire” actually means “to  insert” or “to enter”.  So unless you want to suggest everyone have a big French orgy, you should not use the verb “introduire” when asking your French Friends to introduce themselves to each other.

To correctly introduce someone in French: Use the French verb “se présenter”. For example, if you want to say “let me introduce you to David”, you could say  “je te présente David” instead of “je t’introduire David” which means “let me insert David into you”. Yikes!

5- You Accidentally Say: You are sexually aroused instead of excited about some upcoming event or thing.

<emêtre excité(e) (DOES NOT  ALWAYS=) to be excited about something

It’s very common for an English speaker to say they are excited about something. For example, if I say “the band U2 is playing live this week” and you love U2, you might say, “I am so excited” which translates exactly to French as “je suis excité”.  Just like in English, there can be a sexual connotation to saying “I am excited”.

To avoid sounding like you are sexually aroused, make sure there is context when you say “je suis éxcité”.  For example, you should include why you are excited. “Je pars en vacances demain, je suis très éxcité” which means, “I am so excited, I leave for vacation tomorrow”.

 Other common French phrases you can use to express your excitement about something:Use “j’ai hâte”, or if you want to say you are really excited you could say “j’ai trop hâte” which can mean anything from “I am so excited” to “I can’t wait”. You can use “excité” in a non sexual senxual way by using certain French expressions such as “excité comme une puce” which literally means “excited like a flea”

6- You Accidentally Say: You want to make love again instead of saying put the utensils away

Remettre le couvert (DOES NOT ALWAYS =)Put the utensils away.

Be careful about offering to put the utensils away in French because this French expression ( “Remettre le couvert”) also means to make love again as in multiple times.

7- You Accidentally Say: You want an orgasm instead of enjoying something

Je veux Jouir (DOES NOT =) I want to enjoy

There may come a point in time when you want to express how much you enjoy something. The dictionary explains that the word for enjoy in French is “jouir”. Technically, yes it does mean to enjoy but if you leave out the object in the phrase than it changes the meaning of the verb Jouir “to orgasm”.

To avoid accidentally using “Jouir” to express enjoyment a sexual way:  Make sure you use an object in the sentence – “Je veux jouir de ma vie” = I want to enjoy my life vs “je veux jouir” which means “I want to cum”.

Also take note that the verb “jouir” is a more formal way of saying you enjoyed something in French. Using “jouir” would be akin to saying “I enjoyed the play” vs the less formal way “I loved the play”. So if you want to be less formal, skip the ver “jouir” and use the verb aimer which means to love something.

Enjoy, No pun intended

8- You Accidentally Say: You want to sleep with someone instead of you envy them

J’ai envie de toi  (DOES NOT =)  I envy you.

The French word “Envie” and English word “Envy” look like they might be a perfect translation match and they are for the most part depending on how you use “envie” in a sentence. If you are not careful, you could end up saying I want to sleep with you “j’ai envie de toi” rather than “I envy you”.

To correctly say you envy someone in French: Say “Je t’envie”.  If you want to say “I am envious of your car”, you would say “je suis envieux de ta voiture” if you are a man and “je suis envieuse de ta voiture” if you are a woman. 

Bonus: How to avoid asking for sex lubricant at the pharmacy when all you want is Vaseline:

I like to have Vaseline on hand for a variety of reasons from making my own lip gloss to fixing a squeaky door, (51 things you can do with Vaseline). Here’s the thing. If you walk into a store in France and ask for Vaseline, you might as well be asking for sexual lubrication like “KY Jelly” or “Astro Glide” because when the French think of Vaseline, they think of it mainly as a sex lubricant and anal sex lubricant. (my French friends swear this is true).

There is even an expression “Et il fournissent le tube de Vaseline avec?” which literally means “And they provide a tube of vaseline” . You say this when you want to say someone is trying to fuck you over.  

Tips for buying Vaseline in France: If you absolutely must have Vaseline, and you don’t mind getting a raised eyebrow or two, keep in mind the following:

  • Vaseline is actually pretty hard to find because it is not always packaged the same way you are used to seeing it back home. It usually comes in tubes.
  • You might have a better chance finding Vaseline or something similar if you ask for petroleum jelly.

Interested in learning French Online?

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It’s confusing

I know this can all be confusing but the point of this post was to make you aware of the different nuances and meanings when trying to say something in French.  Just study and make sure you memorize certain phrases rather than translating certain phrases from English to French.

15 Bizarre Tour De France Facts YOU Didn’t Know But Should

tour de France facts you didnt know but shoult

It may come as a huge surprise to you to discover, once upon a time, the Super Bowl on two wheels we call the Tour de France, which requires athletes to be in tip-top shape, used to be just a bunch of cigarette-smoking, booze-guzzling men riding around on bikes on unpaved roads through the French Alps.  That’s not all, read on to learn more quirky and interesting Tour de France facts that will have you scratching your head in amazement.

Then vs. Now: The Tour De France

For those of you who are a bit clueless or fuzzy about “le Tour de France”,  let me first give you the skinny on the fun and quirky beginnings of the Tour de France.

1- The Tour de France Was Originally A Sales Gimick!

1903 Newspaper announcing first tour de France

In November of 1902, Geo Lefevre, a journalist from the newspaper L’Auto had an idea to boost circulation of the newspaper. The idea was the Tour de France. Two months later in January of 1903, the very first Tour de France was had but the circumstances and details were very different than what they are today.

  • There were only 6 fairly flat stages over the course of 18 days vs. the 21 rather mountainous stages over 23 days of today.
  • There were 60 entrants in the 1903 race vs. the nearly 200 entrants of 2014.
  • 39 riders, roughly 60% of the 60 entrants of the first Tour de France of 1903 did NOT complete the race while only 18% of riders of the nearly 200 entrants completed the race of 2014.

As a result of the Tour de France, not only did Geo Lefevre succeed at boosting circulation of the newspaper, he created a cycling event that would go on to become one of the biggest racing events and perhaps in the world of sports altogether.

2- The Tour de France is more popular than the American Super Bowl And The Summer Olympics

Even if you’re not an American football fan, you probably already know that it is one of the biggest sporting event in the US and one of the biggest American television events.  Each year millions of Americans tune in to watch the Super Bow. Even non-football fans tune in just to watch the commercials and the  half-time show which now features some of the biggest acts in music.

But did you know that the popularity of the Tour de France makes American Football look like a drop in the bucket? Mainly because the world does not share it’s love for American football. In fact, the most passionately followed sports worldwide are not really all that popular in America at all. The Super Bowl looks at best like a runner-up when it comes to global television viewers.  Let me put it into a little perspective for you.

The 21 day Tour de France race attracts a total of 3.5 billion television viewers, 15 million alone watch the final stage.  That is huge if you consider the fact that the US population is roughly 322 million or that China has a population of around 1.4 billion and China 1.3 billion.

  • Super Bowl ( 114.4 million) : In 2015 the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks set a new viewership record. The Sunday night  broadcast of the Super Bowl averaged 114.4 million viewers per minute becoming the most watched event in American TV history.
  • Winter Olympics (500 million) : Not nearly as big as the summer Olympics, the winter Olympics has nearly 500 million viewers- mostly from Canada, Scandinavia and Russia.
  • Italy’s cycling Grand Tour (775 million) : This 3 week long annual race which takes place between May and June not only attracts millions of live spectators, it is also watched by a yearly average 775 million people.
  • The summer Olympic games ( 2 billion): Loved the world around, the summer Olympic games attracts nearly 2 billion television viewers.
  • FIFA World Cup 1 billion): Football or rather soccer as Americans like to call it has its own version of the Super Bowl called the Fifa world cup which occurs every 4 years. The Cup’s final game is usually the single most viewed sporting event on earth. In 2014, the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina set a record and drew a record number of 715.1 million television viewers worldwide.

Like any popular sporting event, the stakes are high when it comes to winning the tour de France even for betters on sites like William Hill Tour de France.

3- How long is Le Tour De FranceHow long is the tour de France?

The route of the course, and the total distance of le Tour De France changes every year, however the 20 – 22 competing teams of 9 riders from around the world can expect to cycle over 2000 miles (3,500 kilometres), up and down many hills and on routes that alternate between clockwise and counter clockwise circuits of France. In the original 1903 tour, the length was 2,428 kilometres.

4- How many calories do riders burn during the Tour de France?

The average Tour de France rider burns an average of 7,000 calories per day or put another way, a  whopping 123,900 calories over the course of the 21-day race – 123,900! That’s the calorie equivalent of eating 1,625 apples, or 872slices of cheese pizza from pizza hut, or 252 McDonalds double cheeseburgers, or 619 original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

5- How much sweat does each rider produce during the Tour de France?

Over the course of the roughly 3,500 kilometres tour de France, a cyclist will sweat about 1.5 litres per hour totalling 130 litres for the entire race. That’s enough to flush a toilet 39 times. That’s a lot of sweat.

6- Why Did The Tour de France Riders Drink Alcohol?

riders used to drink alcohol during the tour de France. it was considered a stimulant

Two riders having a break on the steps of a tavern during the Tour de France: In the early 1900s beer was commonly drunk during endurance performances.

There is no doubt that the Tour de France is a physically challenging event which only the fittest of athletes can compete. With this in mind, that’s what makes the following fact even more incredible. For a long time, until the 1960s, it was common for tour de France riders to slug a drink of alcohol during the race. Not only did they drink alcohol to dull the pain but they considered it a real performance booster. As you know stimulants are banned and so was alcohol eventually because it was considered a stimulant.

7- Did Tour de France Riders Really Smoke During Races?

Some Tour de france riders used to smoke while cycling

Yes it’s true, In the 20’s it was not uncommon for riders to share cigarettes while riding. Believe it or not, it was believed that smoking would help “open the lungs” before big climbs. Hah!

8- How many tires do riders use?

It turns out that the Tour de France isn’t just a test of physical endurance for the riders; the Tour de France bikes suffer too. During the three-week challenge, riders combined can wear out a total of 792 tires.

9- How Fast Are Cyclist Able To Cycle?

Since the very first tour de France in 1903, average speeds of cyclist have almost doubled. The average speeds for the tour of 2003 was 40.94 kilometres per hour compared to 25.67 kilometres per hour in 1903. The increase in speed is made possible mainly due to the dramatic changes in equipment, diet, roads, training, Tour rules and sometimes even doping. (source)

10- Sexism and Why Are There No Female Cyclers In The Tour De France

If you are a woman and want to join the tour de France alongside other male cyclists, you can forget it. Only males can participate in the race but there was a version for women held each year between 1984 and 1989. Unfortunately It went largely unnoticed. Another event for female cyclists, dubbed “La Course by Le Tour de France,” was held in 2014.

11- What Countries Typically Win The Tour De France?

As of 2015, the French have pretty much dominated the Tour de France with the most wins (36), followed by Belgium (18), then Spain (11), Italy (7), Luxembourg (4) and the US (1). And no the one US winner is not Lance Armstrong. He lost or should I say he was stripped of his 7 titles due to doping. See the cheating section below to learn why.

winners of the tour de France by country

12- How Much Money Do The Tour Winners Receive?

The overall winner of the race receives a purse of €450,000 (about 600,000 USD) which he will usually split with his team-mates.
The total prize money that is awarded for the entire race (stages, sprints, overall classification) is about 4.3 million US dollars.

13- Has Anyone Ever Died During the Tour de France?

A total of 3 tour riders have died while competing in the Tour. A fourth rider died during a rest day  and 20 plus spectators were killed in an unfortunate accident. Below are the details.

  • The very first fatality occurred in 1910 but the victim, Adolphe Helière did not die during the race instead he drowned during one of the rest days.
  • The first rider to die while actually racing in Le Tour De France was Francisco Cepada in 1935, a Spaniard who lost control of his bike on the descent of the infamous Col du Galibier in the Alps when he crashed into a ravine.
  • In 1964, a tanker truck lost control as it came around a bend too quickly and crashed through a wall of spectators over a bridge and into a canal. The accident took the lives of 20 people, and is one of the biggest tragedies in French sports history.
    1964-tour de France crash
  • In 1995, Italian rider Fabio Casartelli, 1992 Olympic champion died after crashing into a concrete pylon when he failed to make a turn descending down the Pyrenees Mountains of southern France at more than 55mph. At the time, it was not compulsory to wear head gear but many people speculate that he probably would not have survived even had he been wearing head gear.
    FabioCasartellicrash.jpg
  • In 1967, Tom Simpson showed us just how dangerous doping can be when he collapsed and died of a heart attack 3km from the top of Alpe d’Huez. In his jersey pockets there were an array of pills and three different empty vials. His autopsy showed alcohol and amphetamines in his system as well as extreme dehydration, lack of oxygen and over-exhaustion. Apparently Simpson drank a bottle of brandy to get the meds down and tricked his body into not knowing when to quit. Tom-Simpson died during the tour de France from a heart attack

14- Have Tour cyclist been caught cheating?

The most famous and high profile cheating scandal is without a doubt the doping scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong who won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, but was stripped of his titles in 2012 after a protracted doping scandal. Lance wasn’t the only person who was caught cheating during the Tour de France. Apparently cheating and the Tour de France go hand in hand and its not a far stretch to say not a year goes by in this sport without a rider being accused of less than honourable behaviour – cheating.

Here are just a few of the more notable cheats in Tour de France history.

  • The very first scandal in the history of the Tour de France involves the very first  person to win the Tour de France, Maurice Garin. It occurred during the Tour’s second edition in 1904 which Maurice also won but was stripped of his title for cheating, along with five other participants: Allegedly Maurice and the other disqualified participants took the train during the alps part of the race. A claim confirmed by a cemetery attendant who, as a boy, heard Garin tell his stories as an old man. MAURICE-GARIN- The first winner of the tour de France and the first cheater
  • While some riders in 1904 were accused of taking trains or using cars to pull their bikes up hills,  Hippolyte Aucouturier tried to be a little more discreet. Aucouturier, tied a piece of cork to a long piece of string and tied the other end to the back of a car. The idea was for Aucouturier to bite down on the cork and let the car tow him all the while hoping his teeth didn’t get ripped out of his mouth and hoping that no one would see the string. Guess what. someone saw the string. Hippolyte-Aucouturier: cheated during the tour de France by having a car pull him from a string he put between his teeth
  • In 1904, after cyclist Antoine Fauré passed through his hometown,100 of his fans ran out into the street to block his opponents. Riders had to get off their bikes and find their way through the crowd to get by.
  • The winner of the 1947 Tour, Jean Robic nicknamed “the hobglobin” for his slight stature was a strong climber but his weakness was on his descent. He became famous for taking bottles filled with lead mercury from his team car at the peak of a climb which gave him the weight he needed to descend the summit at incredible speeds.  (source)jean-robic-cheated by carrying lead bottles on his bike

15- What technology differences existed?

Prior to 1937, riders had to get off their bikes to switch gears because bikes did not have a derailleur before then.

The bikes of 1903 were much heavier, made of heavy steal and wood which could weigh as much as 18 kg (39 lbs) vs. the carbon/alloy bike frames of today which weigh about 7 kg (15 lbs).

Summary

I was never a big fan of the Tour de France but after living in France for years, I’ve been exposed to all it’s glamour and fanfare making me in the least a little interested in it. It’s an amazing sport that very few people can ever imagine competing in.

Is France The Best Country To Live In Europe

Why France Is The Best Country To Live In Europe

Is France The Best Country To Live In Europe

There are a multitude of reason why someone might want to move to France or live in France. Just ask Ernest Hemingway, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt. Sometimes those reasons are based on nothing more than idealistic fantasies while other times they are based off more practical things such as work or family. Whatever your reasons, if you’re on the fence about moving to France or need help trying to convince, I mean explain your desire to move to France to your Family and friends, here is some ammo for you.

A first hand, totally unbiased (**wink-wink) guest post by my husband Blake on why France is the best country to live in Europe.

Why France Is The Best Country To Live In Europe!

In a word: Microcosm!

France is a microcosm of Europe. It doesn’t have it all, but it has most of what you’d want to see in Europe.

If you have limited time and money, true for most of us, you’d do well to think about visiting only France, and skipping the rest of Europe. Why travel to England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia when you can experience those countries without ever leaving France, and not having to travel so far for the same or nearly the same experience?

Country names aside, there’s a lot of descriptors to think about western end of the Eurasian landmass: northern and southern Europe; western, central, and eastern Europe; Latin language, Germanic language, and Slavic language; beer drinking or wine drinking; and so on.  And add in country names, and you get more details: NATO countries, former Warsaw Pact countries, and neutrals; those that use the Euro and those that don’t; and while the American system of red state blue state doesn’t really apply here, because all Europeans, to varying degrees, believe that a people should help take care of each other, instead there are light blue countries, and dark blue countries. More than any other place in Europe, you can experience nearly all of these facets of Europe in France.

Why France and only France? Start with the topography: here in this one country are waters and landscapes as good as anything found throughout Europe: the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and La Manche (the English Channel) for those looking for salt water. Indeed, France is one of the few countries that border both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and while you do miss out on experiencing the North Sea, the Atlantic should be cold and rough enough for those looking for that sort of thing. For those looking inland, there is the Seine, the Rhone, the Garrone, and the Loire among many other rivers, and plenty of both alpine and lowland lakes.

On land it’s just as good: flats, meadows, hills, and mountains, including the highest point in Europe – Mount Blanc at 4,800 meters. There’s even a canyon, the Gorges du Verdon, just as good as the Samarian Gorge in Greece, and while there are fjords as Norway has and no steppes as in Russia, it must be said that in the case of the latter you really aren’t missing anything.

For those given to a more technical classifications, the variety of France remains impressive: France has not one (like England), not two (like Germany), not three (like Spain), but four distinct climate zones- count’em: oceanic, semi-continental, Mediterranean, and alpine. France does lack the arctic climate found in Russia, but like the steppes, you’re not missing much.

Looking for a particular country or experience or site? Read on.

Prefer France over these countries

Germany and the Netherlands, also known as the lands of heavy food and beer, Two words for those thinking of travelling to these countries: Alsace Lorraine. These two regions in northeastern France shared their neighbours fondness for cabbage, sausages, and beer. Moreover, Heineken is one of the few drinkable beer sold in France, and you can find aged gouda in all French supermarkets.

Portugal, Spain, and Italy: like these, France, is a Catholic country with a Latin language (those two often go together) on the Mediterranean. All have olive trees, great sea food, hot climates, and lots of great wine. Change the language and the religion, leave everything else the same, and it’s Greece.

Russia? Yes, as mentioned there are no steppes or arctic climates. And yes, St. Basils in Moscow is wonderful, but why go to Russia, when instead you can see the Russian Orthodox Cathedral right on the Mediterranean in Nice? And if you want to meet Russians, they are already on the Cote d’Azur, buying up property to launder money through real estate transactions.

Ireland? There are plenty of sheep and stone walls in France, and the weather is better than Ireland. And because the Irish diaspora is huge, and there’s an Irish pub with Guinness on tap in almost every town. Don’t worry, the French don’t drink real beer, so there’ll be plenty waiting for you.

Scotland? There are plenty of sheep and stone walls….wait…I just wrote that. There’s not much golf in France, and the French don’t go in for men wearing kilts (scarves are okay), but whiskey is available, and instead of haggis eat some andouille which is stuffed with just about every part of the pig:  lips, assholes, and all.

England? No, there’s no Stonehenge in France, but there are there are plenty of primitive stone structures – carnacs, menhirs, and dolmens – throughout France.

5 Reasons You Should Prefer France Over other European Countries

Architecture? It’s all here from Paleolithic waddle and daub replicas, to  Romanesque churches, Gothic cathedrals, Art Nouveau,  Modern, and so on, the only style France seems to have missed is Communist/Facist Unspired, although Le Corbusier comes close.

Fashion? Seriously? Sure, Hugo Boss and Armani are nice, but this is FRANCE! You know: Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, Cardin, Vuitton, and YSL.

Food? See Fashion. Disclaimer – if while here and you are looking for some different cuisine, especially Asian, don’t even try. All foreign cuisine has been modified to suit the narrow French palette, and you’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for some spicy curry or savoury pho.

Cathedrals, castles, churches, museums? Too many, just like every other country, so save yourself and just stick to a few in France. Not sure where to start? How about if you’re near Paris: Chartres, Château de Vincennes, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. These are as good or better than anything in London, Berlin, Moscow, Rome, or Madrid.

Looking for romance? In the south of France there are Latin dark haired dark eyed passionate Mediterranean types who will love you today and maybe tomorrow, while in the North are the Nordics – pale, blue eyed,  and reserved.  Comme tu veux.

Remember, while France is in Europe, and a lot of Europe is in France, the converse does not hold:  it’s hard to experience France in other parts or Europe.

And that is why France is the best country to live in Europe. Keep it simple and travel to only France.

French business etiquette and international business etiquette do's and dont's

International and French Business Etiquette A Visual Guide Infographic

business-etiquette-France

If you’re going abroad for business the last thing you want to do is accidentally do something to offend your business colleagues. With some help from Cyborlink, I’ve outlined some basic French business etiquette for you to follow when doing business in France. I’ve also included an infographic on business etiquette from WD Storage which outlines the do’s and dont’s of international business etiquette and conduct in seven countries including: France, South Africa, Argentina, China, Germany, UK, and Italy. Study up so you can make a great impression.

French Business Etiquette

Due to its large geographic area, regional differences and large number of immigrants, France is a diverse country.  Despite France’s ethnic and cultural diversity, the French attitude towards foreigners can vary widely but in general, the French are NOT very tolerant of foreigners.  For example, if you are a Muslim women who wears a full head covering veil, you may have issues conducting business in France since the wearing of such a veil in public is banned by law whether you are French or not.  The official reason for the banishment of the full head covering is security.

Here are some other tips to help you manoeuvre French business culture etiquette from how to dress and act to communicating and gift giving in business situations.

How to dress for business situations in France

The French are very conscientious of their appearance.  Both men and women dress relatively conservative. Here are a few tips to help you blend in and not call unneeded attention to your attire.

  • Women should keep it tasteful and elegant: Women should avoid bright or gaudy colours and anything glitzy such as flashy jewellery. Good shoes are a must!
  • Men should keep it solid and dark: Men should invest in well-tailored clothing. Patterned fabrics and dark colours are most acceptable.
  • Keep your tie and jacket on: French businessmen do not loosen their ties or take off their jackets in the office..

How to behave in business situations in France

The last thing you want to do is unknowingly come off as rude or vulgar without even knowing it. here are some basic French business etiquette rules on how to behave at work in France.

  • It’s ok to be a little late: Punctuality is treated very casually in France.
  • You should always shake hands when meeting someone, as well as when leaving:  French handshakes are not as firm as in the United States. The French handshake is brief, and is accompanied by a short span of eye contact.
  • Knock and wait before entering a room: The French have a great respect for privacy. Knock and wait before entering into a room.   Additionally, do not “drop in” unannounced. Always give notice before your arrival.
  • Power lunches are accepted: Business can be conducted during any meal, but lunch is best.
  • Don’t drink hard liquor or smoke between courses: The French believe this permeates the taste buds, compromising the taste of the meal. It is however very accepted to smoke after a meal.

How to give a gift to business associates in France

Giving a gift to business associates is not common practice in France so giving one in France is usually left to the foreigner’s discretion: If you would like to express appreciation to a French business contact, you may be better off hosting a special event or diner than to give a business gift. If you can’t host a special even than here are some basic tips to follow.

  • Give a good quality gift or none at all: A good gift to present might include esoteric books or music, since they demonstrate interest in intellectual pursuits. (Gift giving at social events, especially to thank the host or hostess of a private dinner party is expected.)
  • Don’t be vulgar: Do not offer gifts with your company logo on them. It’s considered vulgar in France.
  • Forget the business card: French business etiquette dictates that you do not include your business card with a gift.
  • Don’t send it to their house: Never send a gift for a French colleague to his or her home unless it is related to a social event.
  • Send them a new years card: Instead of a gift, consider sending a card during the New years holiday thanking your business partners for the previous year’s business and wishing them a prosperous year to come. Your card and sentiment will be much appreciated. You can send the card during the whole month of January but not later.

How to communicate in business situations in France

You probably already know that French is the official language in France and that the French have a great appreciation for the art of conversation. So if you don’t speak French or speak very little French, you should know that many (not all) French people in business do speak some English.  Here are some general guidelines on how to communicate with French collegues and business people.

  • Do apologize: If you don’t speak French, it is very important that you DO apologize for your inability to speak French.
  • Interrupting is accepted: The French often complain that North Americans lecture rather than converse so don’t be shocked when you see French people interrupting one another. The French frequently interrupt each other because the argument is seen as a form of entertainment.
  • Don’t talk like a loud American: Americans tend to talk at a louder level than French people and are known to offend everyone in a restaurant, meeting, or on the street with their loud voices and loud laughter. So please be sensitive to the volume of your voice.
  • Eye contact: Eye contact is frequent and intense, and can often be intimidating to North Americans. Make sure you keep eye contact during handshakes and while clinking glasses and making toasts.

Related to international business etiquette is 7 strange table manners in France and around the world. 

Below is an infographic on international business etiquette

by @WDStorage

7 International business etiquette rules including French business etiquette

6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Go To France In May: French Holidays Explained!

Don't go to France in May! French holidays explained

True story: It’s some random day in May. You’re newly arrived to France and the sun is shining so you decide to take a leisurely stroll and find a café to sit and watch the world go by. Too bad everything is closed and you have no idea why. Dazed, confused and annoyed, we went home and did a little research only to discover we were in the middle of one of 6 possible holidays in France that occur during the month of May which wouldn’t be so bad except for the fact that many things are closed. Here are the holidays and what to expect.

Why you may not want to come to France in May

Besides being the month of my birthday, May is also special because you can observe or celebrate up to 6 separate holidays. I don’t think any other month has as many separate holidays or celebrations as the month of May in France. If you have kids in school then you also get the extra special 2 week spring break where kids don’t go to school. 

I suppose all these holidays can be culturally interesting and great if you need a day off from work or school in France. However it can put the average tourist or unknowing and newly arrived French expat in a bit of a predicament.

What happens on French public holidays?

 Everything except crucial services come to a complete halt or have special modified hours. If you are in a big city like Paris, things may be open but you should always call or check websites for any tourist things you may want to do.

  • You might not be able to get around:

    • Buses and some trains run on a modified less frequent time schedule.
    • You can’t pick up or send packages: Post offices are closed.
  • You can’t go to the bank:

    • Banks are closed
  • You may not be able to eat out either:

    • Restaurants may be closed on a public holiday like labour day or be booked up on observed celebrations like mothers day.
  • You may starve:

    • Grocery stores are either closed or close at noon so if you are staying in a hotel, you may not be able to eat out. If you live in France, you may need to go into your reserve stock of food no one wants to eat.
  • Kids have no school:

    • If  your kids go to school while you live and work in France, you will need to book child care for the kids in advance. Otherwise you will have to keep the kids home with you. Not a problem for us, since we have home offices.

 

So what exactly are these days and what do you do?

I’ve written about every holiday in past posts but below is a brief over view of all the possible holidays you may come across in the month of May.

The first two public holidays in May actually fall on the same day — the 1st of May. They are May day and Labour day which used to be two separate holidays in France but have been combined into one.Don't go to France in May: French holidays Labour day and May day. 2 of 6 possible holidays

1- May 1st: Labour day / International Workers Day:

Called La Fête du travail ( 1st of May): Public holiday

On this day don’t expect anything to be open. It is however a good day to take advantage of acrobranching which is a combination of zip lining and climbing trees.

2-May 1st: May Day in English:

Called La Fête du Muguet:  Public holiday

On this day, make sure you buy your loved ones *read your wife, female friends and loved ones, a muguet flower, called Lily flower in English.

Click here to read what I wrote about this combined holiday.

3- 8th of May: Victory in Europe Day:

Called la Fête de la Victoire. Public holiday

Don't go to France in May: French holidays Victory in Europe Day: How its celebrated in France 3 of 6 possible holidays

The 8th of  May 1945 is an important holiday to many European countries because it marks the official end of the second World War and the end of Nazi Germany.  You can read more about it here.

4 – Ascension Day: 39 days after Easter Sunday

Called Ascension: Public Holiday

Don't go to France in May! Ascension Day 4 of 6 French holiday

Ascension day is on a  movable date, falling on a Thursday exactly 39 days after Easter. It usually occurs near the end of May but can occur as late as the 3rd of June.

Ascension is the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection. Many French people attend a special church service but many people also just use this day to spend time with family and loved ones. Because this day falls on a Thursday, people often take an extra long weekend from work. You can read more about it on this post I wrote about Ascension.

5- Mothers Day: Last Sunday of May

Called Fête des Mères: Observed holiday

Don't go to France in May! Mothers day Day 5 of 6 French holiday

Technically mothers day is an observed holiday and not a public holiday. Restaurants and florist shops that would normally be closed are open for mothers day. If you do plan on eating out, make sure you check to see if you need a reservation at those restaurants and be aware that they might have a fixed menu at higher prices.

Like Mothers day in the US and Canada, mothers day is on a movable date-the last Sunday of May and not on the 2nd Sunday of May like in the US and Canada.

6- Pentecost Monday also known as Whit Monday: 50 days after Easter Sunday

Called Lundi de Pentecôte: Public Holiday

Don't go to France in May! Pentecost Monday aka whit Monday 6 of 6 French holiday

Pentecost Monday is the day after Pentecost which falls exactly 50 days after Easter Sunday. Like ascension day, Whit Monday is another religious based holiday which has a movable date and can occur in either May or June.

Many people spend Pentecost Monday quietly in the company of friends and family or enjoy a picnic in the park.  You can read more about Pentecost Monday on this post I wrote.

Conclusion

When I said don’t go to France in May, I was just being dramatic. By all means do go to France in May but be especially mindful that the days you have planned excursions and outing are not official holidays where services you need will be closed.  If ever in doubt, you can always check this wiki page to see what days each holiday is on.

Why Is April Fools Day In France Such A Fishy Affair?

How the French celebrate April Fools day in France

Surprise, in addition to the hot air balloon, the sexy little black dress, photography, the French also invented April Fools’ day by accident. Discover how this happened and how to properly celebrate it in France. 

Past and present April Fools’ Day traditions in France

When I was a kid, I used to love playing pranks on friends and family for April fools’ day.

Silly things like putting a whoopee cushion under someone’s chair or some other ridiculously silly prank. Then after the prank was done, I gleefully shouted April Fools’”  as I scurried away laughing and looking for my next victim. Oh how I loved the annoyed looks on peoples faces.

Now as an adult and a confessed prank lover, I still love to play practical jokes on people for April fools’ so when we moved to France, I was not entirely sure if my pranks would go over well with the French. I wasn’t even sure if April Fools’ day was celebrated in France.

As luck would have it,  yes, April Fools’ day is in fact celebrated in France much like it is in the US and Canada with one small variation which involves a fish.

Present day April Fools’ traditions In France

On April fools day, kids in France like to tape a paper fish to the backs of their friends as a prank

Simple office pranks to elaborate hoaxes are just as much part of the French tradition for April Fools’ day as it is in the US and many other English speaking countries however, it’s not called April fools’ day.

Instead, those lucky victims who are fooled on April 1st are called a “Poisson d’Avril” (April Fish) and a common prank, especially among school aged children is to stick a paper fish on the back of some unsuspecting person. Then when that person discovers the fish, he or she is declared a “Poisson d’Avril.”

This year, I drew a fish and stuck it on our daughters back before she went to school. When she got to school, her friends had a good laugh when they saw the fish taped to her back.

Print your own fish

printable paper fish for April Fools day in FranceYou can draw your own fish if you like but you can also print one out from the internet.  Here is a link to a printable paper fish from my favourite toy maker (Moulin Roty pictured above). http://www.moulinroty.fr/blog/poisson-davril/.  You can stick it on the backs of your friends and family for fun and let them walk around all day clueless.

Past April Fools’ day French traditions

At the beginning of the twentieth century, people in France used to send cute little illustrated post cards of small fish on April 1st, to wish love, friendship and happiness! A tradition that is not so popular today which is too bad because the vintage cards are adorable. Here are a few I found.

Old post card people used to send for April fools day in France

Old post card people used to send for April fools day in France

Why April 1st and where it all began!

The origins of playing pranks on April First is debated but one theory which many people believe is that April fools’ day actually began in France.

Around 1562, following the Gregorian calendar, King Charles IX decided to change the new year from the end of March / April (Equinox) to the 1st of January. Many people found it difficult to get used to the new day for the new year while others were not even aware that the date of the new year had changed! (news travelled slowly back then).  As a result, many people continued to offer gifts on the old new years date but were ridiculed, teased and had pranks played on them.

Voila, the beginning of April fools’ day in France which eventually spread throughout the world or so some believe this is how it was spread.

April Fools’ Day in the UK, North America and beyond

It wasn’t until around 1752, over 100 years later that Great Britain finally changed over to the Gregorian Calendar, and April Fools’ Day began to also be celebrated in England and in the American colonies. In Quebec Canada, an old French colony where my own family is from, the poisson d’Avril is celebrated much like it is in France.

Today April fools’ day is celebrated in many countries around the world including Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Canada and many more.

Why a fish on April first?

There are several explanations as to why the French equate a fish with April Fools’ day.

  • One explanation is that people gave fake fish to fisherman as a cruel but funny prank. Apparently April is the breeding period of fish and fisherman were prohibited from fishing during this time so the act of giving fish was a way to torture them? Who knows.
  • Another more recent and maybe more plausible explanation is that since the date of the old “New years”in April was also during the same time as lent, a period which people were only allowed to eat fish, people gave fish as gifts (for new years).

Vintage printable April Fish

There you have it. April fools’ day or rather poisson d’avril in France and it’s ties to the old New years date before the Gregorian calendar in France.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes celebrate things but have no idea why we celebrate them?

ps

I love vintage design and thought you might like this vintage printable fish.  Happy Poisson d’Avril

3D printable fish for April fools day in France

Meme Living in France: What I really do

Living In France Travel Meme: What People Think I do vs What I Really Do

Travel Meme Living in France:

People have all sorts of contorted ideas about what it’s like for North Americans to live in France. Most of these ideas are based on stereotypes spread through the media and Hollywood.  I created a travel meme called “What I really Do” to show all the different preconceptions that different groups of people have about living in France. Enjoy and please share it on Facebook and Pinterest. 

What’s it like living in France travel meme?

What’s it like? Simple, it’s just like anywhere else except in France, they speak French and eat lots of cheese and baguettes; no lie, not a stereotype. But seriously, it is really just like living anywhere else.

  • Like anything new, it’s fun and exciting at first but then you adapt, overcome and slip into a routine.
  • There are cultural differences, different foods, belief systems, styles and more but for the most part my day to day routine looks a lot like it id when I lived in North America.

Luckily I travelled extensively and lived abroad a few times before we decided to spend a year in France, so I knew full well that my preconceived ideas about living in France might be far fetched or completely wrong. Yes, luckily I knew all this before moving to France and I adjusted my expectations, otherwise I think I might have been pretty disappointed.

What my family thinks I do

My Canadian relatives don’t see me that often so they probably think I spend my days strolling around the champs Elysée and hanging around the Eiffel tower.

What society thinks I do

Society in general has so many stereotypes about the French. I know I did before moving to France. It’s only natural that people think I wear striped shirts, dress to kill, wear a beret and look smoking hot as much as possible on my Vespa with a cigarette hanging from my mouth after i stop for a glass of wine and cafe.

What my friends think I do

Like my family, my friends get a healthy dose of my life in France but again, they only see the fun, happy stuff. So they see pictures of me at the beach, smiling, holding my hubby and eating baguettes with the kids.  All are things we do but not nearly as much as they think it happens.

What I think I do

What I think I do is a mixture of what I do and what I want to do more of.  More friends, more fun, more laughing. This is what my mind chooses to believe I do.

What the French think I do

Ok, how shall I say this. The French have this distorted idea about Americans that is very skewed, thanks to the media and Hollywood.  For example, they think Americans are rich and love guns. But the one thing 99 percent of French people think is that ALL Americans just gobble up McDonald as much as possible.

What I really do

Living in France is not all baguettes, cheese and wine. I work a lot.  Working for myself as a freelancer means that I spend a lot of time on my computer, writing, finding clients,  marketing and basically trying to make a living. As a result, my laptop is my best friend.

Your experience living in France will be much different than mine but one thing will be the same. Life in France will be like nothing like you imagined.

That’s a good thing.

If you enjoyed this article please share it on Facebook or Pinterest and beyond

11 weird funny French laws in France

11 Unbelievably Weird, Funny French Laws That Still Exist Today!

11 weirdly funny French laws in France

France, like most countries has its fair share of seemingly stupid funny laws, many of which are outdated but still in existence. Like the one where you can’t name your pig Napoleon. Here are 11 weird, stupid and funny French laws to scratch your head over.

To be exact, France has about 15 500 laws, 127 000 decrees, 7 400 treaties, and 17 000 EU laws.

Some date back to the Middle Ages , some are from the time of the French Revolution and others are more recent.  Most of the laws were put into effect for good reason and stay valid indefinitely while other laws become antiquated or out of date.

Here are 11 weird, stupid or funny French laws

Unless someone removes these antiquated and outdated laws, they remain in tact and remain perfectly legal albeit no one ever really enforces them. Like the law that says women can only wear pants if they are riding a bike or holding horse reigns. There are of course more recent laws that are put into effect and just seem downright weird.

I have put together a list of 11 laws of both types of odd French laws-1) weird recent laws and 2) funny outdated laws.

1- No person may address or name their pig Napoleon

A weirdly funny French Laws in France: You cannot nape your pig Napoleon

You can name your pig anything including Mary Antoinette or Francois Holland- the French president, but thanks to a 3 century old funny French law created to prevent pranksters of the time from making fun of the then emperor, Napoleon, you cannot call your pig Napoléon in France.

2-In France, it is legal to marry a dead person!

weird french law marry a dead person

 

Also called a posthumous marriage, the practice of allowing someone to marry a dead person is alive and well (no pun intended) .  Don’t get too excited though. This is not some loophole for you to gain French citizenship by marrying some dead French person because there are certain conditions that need to be met.

  1. The dead person had to have had the intention of marrying the alive person before his or her death and you need to prove it. I have no idea how you would do this.
  2. There needs to be serious grounds for the marriage.
  3. The president of France must approve the marriage.

If you meet all the criteria then the marriage would be back dated to the day before the bride or groom died.

The practice of marrying a dead person is also allowed in China and Sudan under certain circumstances.  Good luck with that!

3-All French citizens must have a haystack, in case the king passes by with his horse

This is one of those old French laws that probably made sense way back when kings rode on horses and in carriages but today it just seems silly. There is no official king and if there were, he would drive and have no need for a hay bail.

4- All women who wish to dress like a man must ask for authorization at the nearest police station

Around 1800, a law was put in place to prevent women from dressing like men?  Not only did women need to get authorization from the nearest police precinct, but they needed a medical certificate as well.

Don’t worry, you will never get arrested for wearing trousers ladies but seriously, the fact that this law is still in existence is just plain weird!

5-French law says that it’s illegal to take photos of police officers or police vehicles, even if they are in the background.

A weirdly funny French Laws in France: You can't take photos of police. enot even in th background

I took this photo in Marseille of two police officers on these stand-up bikes. Should I be worried because not only did I take a photo of the French police officers but I took a picture of their vehicle in the foreground?

6- Unless a woman is holding the reigns of a horse or riding a bike, she is not allowed to wear pants!

women not allowed to wear pants in France unless riding a bike

A very very antiquated law that is still in existence today in France despite several attempts to get it off the legislative books. What is weird is that many French and European women actually wear a skirt on a bike. Even I have done it a few times.

On the other end of the spectrum in America, there was a Dutch woman who was approached by a New York police officer who threatened to ticket her for wearing a skirt while riding a bike.  He claimed the amount of skin she was showing was too distracting. See picture above. Oh la la. He had better stop a lot of people because that is not revealing in my books.

Weird!

7- Between the hours of 8am and 8pm, 70% of music played on French radio stations MUST be by French artists.

A stupid funny French Law, French radio stations must play 80 French music artits only between 8 am and 8pm; LIke Black M

This explains so much. When I first arrived in France, It used to annoy me how I would hear the same music over and over throughout the day. Mystery solved. They do it because it is the law.

This law was adopted to promote and preserve French musical culture and the French language. The French language police claim that the younger generation tends to listen to too much American and British culture.

8-It is illegal to kiss on or at the train stations in France

This law prohibiting love birds from kissing at the train station was put in place by the Société du Chemin de fer (train companies) to avoid delays?  I suppose they thought that people kissing at train stations would be so distracted that they might totally miss the huge, loud trains.

I kiss my hubby at the train station and I have seen French people kissing at the train station also so I doubt this one is really enforced. But can you imagine? Getting arrested for kissing at the train station?

9-No alcohol whatsoever is allowed in a place of work, except for Beer, Wine, Cidre and Poiré. 

Stupid funny French law; officially no alcohol can be on work premises except for beer, wine, cidre and poiré? LOL

Wow, how can the French stand this law? It is so strict! NOT!

This is the official rule of course. I don’t think the French really mind because most French people drink wine anyways.

10- Since 2011, a funny French law bans primary school cafeterias in France from serving Ketchup to students.

strange funny French law no ketchup

Apparently this bizarre rule was put into place thanks to Christopher Hebert, the president of the national association of municipal catering managers.  The weird thing about this rule is that it was not put into place for health reasons – otherwise mayo might have been taken off the menu as well. But because Monsieur Hebert thinks that every spoonful of ketchup is like eating the ” incarnation of Americanism . ”

11- You cannot wear swim trunks or board shorts in public pools

stupid funny French laws: You can't wear swimming trunks or board shoarts in public pools or water parks in France

I am not sure if this is an actual law or just an enforced rule. If it is a law than it is a dumb law.

In the four years I have lived in France, NOT one single public French pool I have been to allows allows board shorts or loose swim trunks. Instead, men MUST wear what my husband Blake likes to call “nut-huggers” and what many north Americans like to call Speedos.  I think this explains why so many French people wear Speedos at the beach instead of board shorts.

Women are also victim to this rule and must not wear anything loose in the pool like a t-shirt which i suppose I can understand but sometimes the pool authorities as I like to call them take this rule too far.

I once wore a rash guard, you know, one of those tight fitting synthetic swimming shirts that surfers wear and was told it was not allowed for safety reasons. You can read about this in an article I wrote about 20 things you might hate if you lived in France. Just click here to start reading it.

As the French like to say, C’est la vie!

Sources 

101 Cute, Romantic & Quirky French Terms Of Endearment For Your Sweetie Pie or Honey Bunny

101 french terms of endearment to use on your sweetie pie
Hello mes chérs amis! If you really want to impress your friends, make your sweetheart melt or embarass the hell out of your kids, don't use their boring first name or the standard terms of endearment like sweetheart, shnookums or honey bunny. Instead choose one of these "French terms of endearment".

I asked my French Friends and searched the internet for the most useful, interesting and quirky French terms of endearment then rounded them all up here in organized little groups like: 10 most popular, obscure and sexual (skip to the end for these tee hee hee) and everything in between.

101 Cute, Quirky, Common and Romantic French terms of endearment

The French language has a lot of cute, romantic, quirky and raunchy terms of endearment and pet names. Some translate to English word for word like "mon ange" which means "my angel". Others don't translate very well at all like"mon chou" which translates to "MY CABBAGE" but means more or less "My Darling".

HOW TO USE this list of 101 French terms of endearment everyday: A simple way for you to use these is by simply replacing someones name with one of these 101 terms. 

    **Come here MA BELLE.......(my beautiful)
    **What are you doing MA FOI?...... (My faith)
    **I went to the movies with MON PRINCE..... (My Prince)

It may feel strange at first but will become second nature if you give it a chance..

1-10: TOP 10: Most popular French terms of endearment used in France

Classic and top terms of endearment most heard in France (In no particular order)

Say to men, women and children

Generally means honey, sweetie or darling

1  Mon chou

My cabbage but chou could be short for
a French cream puff called Chou Chantilly

 2  ChouChou

Cabbage Cabbage

3  Mon ange

My angel

4  Mon bébé

My baby

5  Mon coeur

My heart

6  Doudou

My blankie or cuddly thing

7  Mon trésor

My tresure

8  -Ma Chèrie (say to woman),
    -Mon Chèr (say to man)

My darling

9  -Ma chèr (say to woman),
    -Mon chèr (say to man)

More formal than ma chèrie

10  -Ma puce

My flea

Example: Bonjour mon trèsor. = Hello my treasure.

Example: Je t'aime mon coeur.  I love you my heart (It's like saying I love you my darling).

11-66: French terms of endearment for him or her

Less common but still used to mean honey, sweetie, darling, shnookums etc.

Say to men, women and children

11  -Mon biquet

My lamb

12  -Mon canard

My duck

13  -Mon colibri

My hummingbird

14  -Mon lapin

My rabbit

15  -Mon Lapinou

comes from lapin; rabbit

16  -Mon Minou

My kitty

17  -Mon poussin

My chic (as in baby chicken)

18  -Mon sucre d'orge

My barley sugar, candy cane

19  -Mon trognon

My apple core or fruit core

20  -Mamour

contraction of mon or ma with amour "my love"

Example: Tu est mon petit trognon = You are my little apple core

Say to MEN or BOYS

Generally means honey, sweetie, darling, shnookums etc.

21   -Mon petit chou

My little cabbage

22  -Mon beau

My handsome

23  -Mon loup

My wolf

24  -Mon nounours

My teddy bear or plushy

25  -Mon ours

My bear

26-Mon petit caneton

My little duckling

27  -Mon Poulet

My chicken

28  -Mon râleur

My grumpy or complainer

29  -Mon homme

My man

30  -Mon loulou

No translation

31  -Mon lutin

My elf

32  -Mon saucisson

My saussage

33  -Mon Bébé d'amour

My baby love

34  -Mon Bibou

Means nothing like "smoopy poop"

35  -Mon tigre

​My tiger

36  -Mon petit monstre

My little monstre

37  -Mon vilain

My naughty one

Example: Regardez mon râleur= Look at my little complainer

Say to WOMAN or GIRLS

Generally means honey, sweetie, darling, shnookums etc.

38  -Ma caille

My quail

39  -Ma coccinelles

My ladybug

40  -Ma colombe

My dove

41  -Ma crevette

My shrimp

42  -Ma poule

My chicken

43  -Ma truffe

My truffle

44 -Ma choupinette

Closest meaning is cute

45  -Ma cocotte

My casserole

46  -Ma douce

My sweet

47  -Ma fée

My fairy

48  -Ma lolita

My lolita

49  -Ma loulotte

No translation

50  -Ma lutine

My elf, or maybe pixie

51  -Ma pepette

My money

52  -Ma petite sirène

My little mermaid

53  -Ma poupée

My little doll

54  -Ma princesse

My princess

55  -Ma tigresse

My tigress

56  -Mon papillon

My butterfly

57  -Ma grosse

My fat one (Not very complimentary)

58  -Mon bijou

My jewel

59  -Ma belle

My pretty like the Beatles song "Michelle, ma belle"

60 -Ma bohême

My bohemian

61  Ma râleuse

My grumpy or my complainer

62  -Ma bibiche

derived from biche

63  -Ma biche

My doe, as in do a dear

64  -Ma bichette

derived from doe

65  -Ma mie

not the crust but the soft white part of bread

66  -Ma poupette

derived from poupée, my dolly

67-94: Romantic & thoughtful French terms of endearment

27 Less common but still used terms of endearment for him or her

You are my daily pleasure, you are my desire and my happiness. These dreamy French terms of endearment can be used romantically or lovingly to a child: For instance, you are my star or my strength. 

Say to MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN

67  -Mon étoile

My star

68  -Ma raison de vivre

My reason for living

69  -Mon ciel étoilé

My starry sky

70  -L'amour de ma vie

Love of my life

71  -Ma foi

My faith

72  -Ma force

My strength

73  -Ma moitié

MY half (similar to my better half)

74  -Ma passion

My passion

75  -Ma perfection

My perfection

76  -Ma raison d'être

My reason for being

77  -Mon Amour

My love (this extremely popular)

78  -Mon Amoureux

My lover ( is not sexual. Can say to children means my love

79  -Mon avenir

My future

80  -Mon bonheur

My happiness

81  -Mon désir

My desire

82  -Mon destin

My destiny

83  -Mon Essentiel

My essential

84  -Mon Exception

My exception

85  -Mon idéal

My ideal

86  -Mon indispensable

​My essential or indispensable one

87  -Mon plaisir quotidien

My daily pleasure

88  -Mon préféré

My preferred one

89  -Mon rayon de soleil

MY ray of sunshine

90  -Mon rêve

My dream

91  -Mon souffle

My breath

Say to MEN

Generally means honey, sweetie, darling, shnookums etc.

92  -Mon prince

My prince

93  -Mon roméo

My romeo

94  -Mon superman

My superman

95-101: WARNING! French terms of endearmnt you may find
STRANGE or RISQUÉ

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

​I saved the best or worst for last
depending on how you look at it. 

95  -Ma crotte

Literally means my turd. Belgians use this 
to refer to their women, like Ma chérie

96 -Ma quequette

A childish or cute name for a penis, like willy. 
My girlfriend sometimes calls me this. weird right?

97  -Me nénette

My slut ( um yeah no comment!)

98  -Ma chatte

Be careful! This means pussy cat and it has the same double 
meaning in English "pussy". Nevertheless, I do know friends that use this term.

99 -Ma couille

Literally means my testicle but
young men use it to refer to their friends, like "hey dickhead", only it would be "hey testicle". LOL

100 -Mon petit poil de cul

Literally means "my little butt hair". To be honest, no one I
know uses this. I found this on a French forum from someone
who said she uses this to address her boyfriend. 

101 -Mon dieu de sexe

My sex god. Don't use in public unless you want to perk 
up their ears and get a smile. 

LA FIN!

There are probably 100's more French terms of endearment that I did not include but these should take you a while to memorize. 

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national crepe day in france

Forget Groundhog Day! Let’s Eat Crepes All Day And Celebrate National Crepe day in France!

national-crepe-day-france

It’s true, while the US and Canada are waiting for the groundhog to poke its cute little head out of it’s hol on the 2nd of February,  the French are gorging themselves on crepes. Can you imagine?  A whole day dedicated to eating scrumptious crepes?  It just doesn’t get anymore cliché than that.But why is there a whole day dedicated to eating crepes and what do you do on this day? Here is a little introduction explaining everything you need to know about this day including a simple crepe recipe you can make at home. Bon appétit!

 What Is this crepe day called in French?

First lets get the pronunciation right. Crepe is not pronounced like the word  “CRAP”. You don’t say “Deux Crap S’il vous plait”!

The English Way: If you are saying crêpe in English, I suppose you would pronounce it like the word “crape”.

The French Way: If you want to say the word crêpe like a French person would say it then you should pronounce it like the word “beg” or “wet”. Phonetically it is pronounced like this…

“K-R-E-P”

Say it! K-R-E-P…………K-R-E-P…………….K-R-E-P…………………

Perfect. Now you sound like a real French person.

What is this crepe day?

To English speakers, this crepe eating day is called National crepe day, not to be confused with pancake day which falls on the 26th of September while crepe day is on the 2nd of February.

In France and to French speakers, this day is called La Chandeleur. The word Chandeleur does not mean crepe day at all. It comes from the word chandelle which means candle in French. If you are Christian than you know the day as Candlemas.

Candlemas celebrates three occasions according to the Christian belief:

  1. The presentation of Jesus Christ
  2. Jesus’ first entry into the temple
  3. The purification of the Virgin Mary’s ( in Catholic churches).

Many Christians consider Jesus as the “light of the world” and for many centuries it was tradition for clergymen to bless candles, light them in churches and distribute them to people.

This act apparently marked the milestone in the winter weather and that day was important. There were even songs dedicated to this day. More on that in a minute.

You should read about another holiday called L’épiphane where you eat a fluffy brioche like cake and can become king for a day.

The interesting link between crepe day and ground hog day

Now you know that national crepe day is actually called la chandeleur in French or Candlemas in English. But did you know that crepe day which falls on the 2nd of February, is also the same day as ground hog day?

The two don’t sound like they are related but they actually are. The groundhog tradition actually stems from and shares some of the same weather folklore or beliefs which are associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe.

Here is an English song which talks about what the weather will be like

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

The groundhog day tradition sound pretty similar doen’t it.

If on the 2nd of February (Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada) the groundhog sees its shadow, this means thirty days of winter still remain and it goes back into its hole. If the ground hog DOES NOT see it’s shadow than spring is right around the corner.

In many other areas, the groundhog is replaced a bear.

For instance, in parts of France, if the bear come out of his cave and sees that the sky is clear, it goes back to its cave to sleep for another 40 days or 6 weeks because it knows that the clear sky is only temporary. In other parts of France it is the wolf or otter while in Ireland it is the hedgehog.

If la chandeleur is a religious holiday of lights, then why eat crèpes on this day?

we made a crepe cake with alternating layers of nutella and crepes

There is conflicting information as to when and why people started eating crepes as part of la chandeleur but every source I found agrees that eating crepes as part of the original tradition of celebrating la chandeleur. Eating crepes came much much later.

Most sources say that in France, the crepes round shape and colour symbolize the sun and the return of the light which ties in with the tradition of celebrating this holiday of lights.  Now that crepes are part of the tradition, most people still call this tradition la chandeleur. Althoug I have heard of people calling it “le jour de crepe”, (crepe day).

The tradition and flipping crepes

Traditionally, you are supposed to flip a crepe in a pan with your right hand while holding a coin in your left hand. The belief is that if you successfully flip the pancake while holding the coin, you will have enough money or be prosperous until the next chandeleur.

Even my aunt in Montreal used to do this so the holiday is not limited to France but even to some older people living in Montreal who carry on the tradition.

Vocabulary

  • Jour de la marmotte =Ground hog day
  • crepe “K-R-E-P= A thin French pancake
  • La Chandeleur = Candlemas.
  • Le jour de crepe = Crepe Day

Do the French eat crepes a lot?

crepesinfrance.jpg

Yes, the French eat crepes quite a bit. Not just on la chandeleur/crepe day. In fact, most of my friends eat it a few times a month, but Sunday seems to be the most popular day to eat it. Crepes are also not like pancakes at all. They are super thin, not fluffy at all.

French people DO NOT PUT SYRUP on their crepes. I repeat, they DO NOT put syrup on their crepes. EVER.

You don’t have to wait to eat crepes on crepe day, you can usually find them throughout france on little street corners or at markets or carnivals. And they are super yummy. Here is a recipe you can use to make crepes. There is also a video below you can watch.

Recipe

Makes approximately 8 large or 12 small crèpes

2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 dash of salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
1+ 2/3 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon melted  butter AND a little  extra butter for frying

COOKING DIRECTIONS

Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.Mix the eggs, milk and water in another bowl.Slowly pour the liquid into the dry mixture while whisking; this makes the batter smoother. And finally, stir in the melted butter.The batter should be extremely runny /watery, this is how the crèpes get so thin.

Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.Heat a crèpe pan or deep, non-stick pan, greased with a little butter. Pour in enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan, tilt the pan left right and every which way to get the batter to spread out thinly across the pan. The thinner the better. Cook over medium heat until the crèpe comes away from the rim, about one minute or until the crèpe is golden brown.Use a spatula or crepe knife to flip the crèpe over. Stack the crèpes on a plate or cover with aluminium to keep warm.

Serve with Nutella, sugar and lemon, strawberry confiture or whatever else you want then fold into a delicious treat.

Here is a video (in French) showing you how to make crepes at home

It is in French but, the measurements are subtitles and the important thing is to notice the pan and the method he uses to make his crepes.

© 2017 by Annie Annie: How To Live In France
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