Category Archives for "French Language"

9 fabulous reasons why France is the number one travel destination in the world

9 Spectacular Reasons Why France Is The Worlds Most Popular Tourist Destination In The world

9 fabulous reasons why France is the number one travel destination in the world

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization, France has been the worlds most popular tourist destination for over 25 years. Let’s explore some of the things that make France so popular with tourists.

The reasons for France’s popularity are varied. Many people visit France simply because they consider it to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Other people visit France for the numerous tourist attractions, cities of cultural interest such as Paris and Strasbourg, the spectacular beaches, the French Alps, the language, the food and so much more. It’s no wonder France has held the number one position for 25 years. Let’s take a closer look at 9 absolutely wonderful things in France that attract part of the 86 million visitors each year.

1. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is the number one attraction in France and EuropeSince 1992, Disneyland Paris, originally called Euro Disney resort has been drawing crowds from all over the world. Currently it is the number one tourist attraction in all of France and Europe, even beating out the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. It is also the 16th most popular tourist attraction in the world.  14.8 million people visited Disney Paris in 2015 according to their annual report.

2.The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel tower was build in 1889to be the entrance to the worlds fairOriginally constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, today it is what people think of first when they think of France. Measuring 321 metres tall, the equivalent to 81 stories, the Eiffel tower serves not only as a national monument and major tourist attraction but also as an observation and radio broadcast tower.

It is the second most visited attraction in France after Disneyland Paris but as far as monuments go, it is the most visited-paid monument in the world. In 2015, almost 7 million people ascended this French treasure. Some by elevator others climbed the 1664 steps by foot from bottom to top. (source)

3. The Louvre and art

Louvre in Paris

The Louvre has a long and sorted history. The Louvre which we know today is not only one of the largest museums in the world, housing over 460,000 pieces of art and artifacts, it’s also one of the most visited galleries on the planet. in 2014 alone it received over 9.3 million visitors.

Initially built as a fortress in the late 12th century, it was converted to the the main residence for French kings in the 16th century. Then in 1682, Louis XIV relocated the imperial home to Versailles, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection. 100 years later during the French revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation’s masterpieces to the masses.

Some of the more notable treasures housed at the Louvre include La Jaconde known in English as The Mona Lisa. Winged Victory of Samothrace, Vénus de Milo, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People,  Great Sphinx of Tanis , Aphrodite of Milos and the list goes on.

4. Palace Versailles The kings palace

palace of versailles in France draws hoards of tourists every yearTransformed from a humble hunting lodge by Louis XIV into the now familiar Versailles Palace which epitomizes royal elegance. Every year over 3 million people travel to Versailles to see how former French royalty lived. Everywhere you look is an amazing delight. It’s embellished by generations of lavish gardes, landscape, architecture, sculptures, decorations, art and more! Some of the more popular things to see at the palace include the State Apartments, the incredible Hall of Mirrors, the Versailles Gardens and The Trianons.

5. The Tour De France

tour de France vintage poster

For over 100 years since 1903, the tour de France has been attracting spectators from around the world. Not only is the Tour de France the globe’s biggest bike race, it’s also the largest sporting even on the planet. For three weeks during part of June and July, people from all over the globe flock to France to watch bicyclists race some 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) mostly around France in a collection of phases. In a typical years race, the Tour de France can attract roughly 12 million spectators along the route of the race.

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

6.French cheese

illustrated map of French cheeses

photoicon.50xpng.pngPhoto source: Vinepair

You’ve heard of Brie, Camembert and Blue cheese? In terms of types of French cheeses, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As master cheese maker, Pierre Androuët once said “Un fromage pour chaque jour“, which simply means “there exists a different cheese for each day.  Officially, France produces roughly 350 to 450 different varieties of cheese. Some say the number is closer to 1,000. Whatever the number, cheese-making in France is an old art: goat cheese goes back to at the very least 500 AD, the blue-veined Roquefort was discussed in documents of an old abbey as very early as 1070, and tough ranch cheeses like Emmental began to show up in the 13th century.

7.The French Alps

French alps tram on Mont Blanc

Europe’s greatest mountain range system is without a doubt the Alps, stretching 1,200 km across eight Alpine countries including France’s French Alps. There is a wide range of winter and summer activities available to visitors in the French Alps which attract roughly 60-80 million visitors each year. Some activities include skiing, snowboarding, mountaineering, biking and rock climbing to name a few.

Every year, approximately 30,000 mountain climbers from all over planet set their sites on making the treacherous 2 day, 4,810 metres (15,780 feet) climb up the highest point of the French Alps -Mont Blanc. Climbing Mont Blanc although beautiful is also dangerous claiming the lives of almost 100 people each year making it Europe’s’ deadliest mountain.

For those visitors who would rather not risk their lives, and climber Europe’s most dangerous mountain, there is always the cable car which will take you up to Aiguille du midi where you”ll have a dazzling 360° view over Mont Blanc-the French, Swiss and Italian Alps. Every summer an astounding 5,000 people a day take the cable cars.

8. French food and the French mealtime tradition

French gastronomy granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2010 In addition to all the attractions, French food is also a major draw for tourists. The French mealtime tradition, (Gastronomic meal of the French) with all its wine pairing, social rituals, the setting of a beautiful table and associated skills and crafts that the French are renowned for was even granted UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2010 when it was added to the representative list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

9. The French train transportation

French railway considered to be the best in the world makes it easy for tourists

The Gare du Nord railway station in the heart of Paris France handles approximately 190 million passenger per year and is considered to be the busiest station in Europe and the third largest and busiest in the world. With over 29,000 km of railway, visitors to France can easily travel from one end of France to the other quickly without the need for a car making it even more appealing and easy for tourists to visit every corner of France.

This article was co-authored with Linda Evans from Skywefly.com and Annie from AnnieAndre.com

The weird ways Movie titles are changed for the French market

31 Movie Titles With Weird Or Inappropriate French Translations

The weird ways Movie titles are changed for the French market

Instead of translating all Hollywood movie titles to a French movie title, sometimes they are swapped for another “English movie title”. The results can be weird, funny or inappropriate to English speakers. Here are 31 for you to giggle over. Note the excessive use of the word “SEX” in some titles.

Who’s on first? I’m so confused.

Hey Annie.  Have you seen the American film with Ashton Kutcher called “SEX FRIENDS”?  My friend says this whole phrase in French except for the movie title “Sex Friends” which she says in English.

Sex Friends?

I thought the movie sounded like some third rate porno movie but with Ashton in it, how could it be? In any case, I had not seen the movie nor had I heard of it.

Turns out, I had seen it only it was realeased under a diferent, less “sexual” name in the US.  This happens a lot in France.

How are movie titles changed when they are released in France?

When a movie titles get translated into another language, they can sometimes get lost in translation.

Like the 1990 movie “Home Alone” starring Macaulay Culkin whose title was translated into French as “Mommy I Missed My Plane” ( Maman J’ai Raté L’Avion).

What I find even weirder is when a movie title is translated not into a French title for French speaking people but changed into a different English movie title. You would think all titles would be translated into the local Language wouldn’t you? Well they’re not.

Granted, the re-titled English movie title for the French audience is usually short, simple and tend to repeat the same words. For instance the word SEX, CRAZY, TRIP, VERY, and BAD tend to get used quite often in re-titled movies.

The results can be interesting, weird and sometimes inappropriate for English speakers. But hey you be the judge.

Here are just 31 examples of perfectly good movie titles changed into strange, sometimes inappropriate English movie titles for the French movie market.

You won’t believe how many times the word SEX is used to make a new movie title in France.

Yeah sure there is a lot of sex in some movies but there seems to be a lack of ingenuity in coming up with new “English titles” . The word sex gets used just a little too much in my opinion. Why not just re-title the film to a translated version of the English title?

Below are a few examples of the over use of the word sex in Hollywood movie titles for the French audience.

1- No strings attached = Sex Friends

No strings attached = sex friends movie title for French audience
Here is an example of a title where I think adding the word sex to the new title is warranted. The term “no strings attached” is hard to translate to French so it makes sense to change the English title for French speakers to “Sex Friends”. The French understand the word friends and the word sex.

2- What’s your number = Sex list

What's your number = sex list movie title for French audience
Really? Sex list?  It changes the meaning of the entire movie don’t you think?

3- Cruel Intentions= Sexe Intentions

Cruel Intentions = sex intentions movie title for French audience
All I have to say is sex sells.  But I’m pretty sure they didn’t just have sex in this movie.

4-Fired Up = Sea Sex and Fun

Fired Up = Sea Sex and Fun movie title for French audience

I haven’t watched this movie, but really?  Sea, Sex and Fun?  They couldn’t come up with something better than this?

5- Step Up 2 = Sexy Dance 2

Step Up 2 = Sexy Dance 2 movie title for French audience
Here’s another example where the original title is completely understandable to the French audience. It’s like they just want to add the word “SEX” to every title they can.

6-If these walls could talk 2 = Sex revelations

If these walls could talk 2 = Sex revelations movie title for French audience

Really? Sex revelations?  How did we go from “If these walls could talk 2” to “sex revelations”. It’s as if the person who watched this movie and named it only thought about sex. SHEESH!

7- Made In Dagenham = We Want Sex Equality

Made in dagenham = we want sex equality movie title for French audience

This is not an American Hollywood movie, it’s actually a British comedy about car strikes in East London. There was one reference in the movie where the women hold up a sign that say’s “we want sex equality” but the major gist of the movie is about equal pay.

What’s even funnier is in Germany and Italy it was re-titled to “We Want Sex”. They dropped of the “equality” part.

8- The In Crowd = Sex & Manipulations

The In Crowd= Sex manipulations movie title for French audience

Is “The in crowd” the same movie as “Sex manipulations”?  Yup, you bet it is.

9- Wild Things = Sex Crimes

Wild Things = Sex Crimes movie title for French audience

More sex titles. I already know there is going to be sex in the movie. The title “Wild things” gives me a glimpse into what the film might be about. Whereas the French version of the English title makes me think they are having crimes of sex. Meaning is totally lost.

10- Shortcut to Happiness = Sexy Devil

Shortcut to happiness = sexy devil movie title for French audience

This one isn’t so bad but the original title does give the movie more depth. Sexy devil just makes me think of a sex crazed woman.

11-Not Another Teen Movie =  Sex Academy

Not another teen movie = sex academy movie title for French audience

one of the rare occasions where I think the French version of the title is actually better than the American title.

12- Judicial Indiscretion = Sex Conpiration

Judicial indiscretion = sex conspiration movie title for French audience

Two words? Stupid Title- sex conspiration?

13-Bad Biology = Sex Addict

Bad biology = sex addict movie title for French audience

I’ve never seen this movie either but bad biology vs sex addict can’t be the same movie can they? Yes they are.

14- Love, Honour & Obey = Gangsters, Sex & Karaoke

love, honour & obey = gangsers sex & karaoke movie title for French audience

LOL? gangsters sex and karaoke?

15- Euro Trip = Sex Trip

Euro Trip = Sex Trip movie title for French audience
What pops into your mind when you hear the the word “Sex trip”?  I think of a porn movie but that’s me. What’s strange here is the word “Trip” which is used in the original title is not used even though it is very often used in other cases. (see the next example). As if, they just wanted to change it for the sake of changing it to include the word sex.

16-The Hangover = Very Bad Things

The Hangover = Very Bad Trop movie title for French audience

Despite there being an exact translation for the word “hangover” (gueule de bois”, the movie title was changed to “Very bad trip”. My guess is it was changed to this in order to associate it with a 1998 film called “Very Bad Things”. The two movies are not related however the themes are similar. They are both about a bunch of guys who go to Las Vegas before one of them gets married.

I bet the people who rename these films almost renamed this movie “The Sex Trip”. LOL.

17-Date Night = Crazy Night

Date night movie = crazy night movie title for French audience
The literal translation of date night is “rendez-vous amoureux” yet the title which the French know the film “Date Night” by is “Crazy Night”. Crazy is an English word the French understand well.. Look closely at the next movie title which uses the word crazy also.

** French Canadian movie titles for American movies are often but not always different from French titles.  For example, “date night” in Quebec is called “Méchante soirée” which can mean anything from “wicked night” to “nasty night”.

18- Train Wreck = Crazy Amy

Train Wreck =Crazy Amy movie title for French audience
The English term train wreck translated to French is “catastrophe ferroviaire” but you can’t really say someone’s life is a train wreck in French. Instead, the French movie people decided to call this movie “Crazy Amy”. Crazy is an English word the French understand well.

19-American Hustle = American Bluff

American Hustle = American Bluff movie title for French audience
The essence of the word “Hustle” is difficult to translate and convey not only in French but in most language so it only makes sense that another more understandable and meaningful word would be used for the local market. In France’s case, the movie was renamed to “American Bluff”. Bluf is understood by French people.

Here are some other titles that the movie was translated to in other countries

  • Isreal: “American Dream”
  • Argentina: “American Scandal”
  • Portugal: “American Sting”
  • Cina: “United States Cheat Bureau” LOL
  • Spain: The Great American Swindle
  • Turkey: “Trickster”

In Quebec Canada, a French speaking province, American Hustle is given a French title-Arnaque Américaine which means “American scam”.

20- The other Guys = Very Bad Cops

The other guys = Very bad cops movie title for French audience

First their was “very bad trip” now there is “Very bad cops” which was released in the US as “The other guys”.

21- Youth in Revolt = Be Bad

Youth Revolt = Be Bad movie title for French audience
Very bad trip”, “Very bad cops” and now “Be bad“.  The titles are starting to look a little similar non? ”

22- Get him to the Greek = American Trip

Get him to the Greek = American Trip movie title for French audience

Another English movie title that was changed and uses the word “Trip”, just like the movie “Very bad trip” plus it uses the word “American” like the re-titled movie “American bluff”.

23- All Good Things = Love & Secrets

All good things = love & secrets movie title for French audience

Not so bad right? NO use of the word sex or bad but there is the word Love and secrets in the title.

24- Killers = Kiss & Kill

killers = kiss & kill movie title for French audience

25- Coyote Ugly = Coyote Girls

coyote ugly = coyote girls movie title for French audience

Ok, this makes sense.

26- Pitch Perfect = The Hit Girls

Pitch perfect = hit girls movie title for French audience

Hit is a word the french understand and it usually refers to music or movies. Like that was a hit.

27- Jewish Connection = Holy Rollers

Jewish connection = Holy rollers movie title for French audience

This could have been kept as the “Jewish connection”. The French understand these terms and besides, it bears a similar resemblance to the “French connection” which despite being an American film is known in France. The word connection is the same in French also. While “Holy Rollers”, is not really a term MOST French people know. WHY?

28- Cool Runnings = Rasta Rocket

Cool runnings = Rasta Rockett movie title for French audience

No comment.

29- Knight and Day = Night and Day

Knight and Day = Night and Day movie title for French audience

Look closely, the French version of the American movie “Knight and Day” was changed to “Night and Day”. Which doesn’t really have the same meaning but I understand why it was changed. The word Knight is not really a word French people will understand. Night is.

30- Anger Management = Self Control

Anger management= Self control movie title for French audience

The new title “Self Control” actually works well in my opinion. Good job France!

31- Silver Linings = Happiness Therapy

Silver Linings t= Happiness therapy movie title for French audience

Don't be surprised in French people don't know the meaning of RSVP despite it being a French acronym

Why Don’t The French Know The Meaning of RSVP -A French Acronym?

Don't be surprised if French people don't know the meaning of RSVP despite it being a French acronym

RSVP, it’s what you write on an invitation when you want a response from the invited person. Despite being a French acronym-not an English one, French people rarely if ever use the term let alone understand what it means. Discover why and what you should write on a French invitation instead of the letters RSVP.

My confused French Friends: And the story of the invitation

Let me begin by saying that the friends I refer to in this story are French. This is important because the statements below are based on my personal experiences which may be different than other expats living in France.

‘Annie can you design an invitation for my party?’

My friend asked me to create an invitation for her going away party. Her husband’s company was transferring him to Russia and their enire family was making the move for three years. AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

I happily agreed and came up with a clever idea to make the invitation look like a post card with 5 red Russian nesting dolls-one for each family member including the cat.

Don't be surprised if French people don't know the meaning of RSVP despite it being a French acronym

I think the invitation turned out super cute!

What the hell does RSVP mean?

As I created the invitation in Photoshop, two of my girlfriends looked over my shoulder giving me feedback when needed.  When the invitation was complete, I typed RSVP at the bottom and that’s when I heard one of my friends say  “qu’est ce que c’est ça?” in a high pitched voice which could mean anything from “what is this?” all the way to  “What the hell is that?”. 

RSVP is a French acronym for “Répondez, S’il Vous Plaît” which means “please reply” or “reply if it pleases you”.

I have friends with a wacky sense of humour so at first I thought they were joking. RSVP is after-all an acronym for a French phrase.  Not to mention the fact that SVP which is one letter shy of RSVP is well known and commonly used by ALL French people in written correspondence so why the hell wouldn’t they know what RSVP means.

It quickly became clear that they weren’t joking and had no idea what RSVP meant. Perhaps it’s a regional thing and people in Paris are more knowledgeable about using RSVP but in my small town in the South of France, not one of my French friends had any clue.

How to ask people to RSVP in France

My two friends agreed that I should write “Réponse avant le 30 Septembre” which means “Respond before the 30th of Septembre” at the bottom of the invitation so that is what I did.

I learned that there are multiple ways to ask someone to RSVP in France.

Here are six different ways you can ask someone to RSVP in French. These are all ones I have personally seen on invitations.An example of how to ask for an RSVP in French on a French invitation

  1. Réponse souhaitée = Response wanted
  2. Réponse souhaitée avant le ((date)) = Response wanted before the ((date))
  3. Merci de me confirmer ta présence= Thank you for confirming our presence
  4. Merci de confirmer ta présence le plus tôt possible en contactant au ((tel)) ou ((date))= Thank you for confirming your presence by calling ((phone number)) or ((email ))
  5. Confirmez votre participation avant le ((date))=  Confirm your participation before the ((date))
  6. “Prière de Répondre” = (Somewhat more formal)  Pray do respond

If you had to choose one, I would choose “réponse souhaitée” which seems to be the most popular thing to write on most invitations.

Why isn’t RSVP commonly used in everyday French anymore?

Like all languages, French has evolved and as a result many French words and phrases are either no longer used in modern French or the meaning has changed. RSVP is one of the many old French words or acronyms in this case which has fallen out of popular use by most French people today.

You can see many examples of old French words in the French Canadian language such as:

  • Bébelle: Bébélle comes from thirteenth century old French meaning”children’s toy”. My aunty in Montreal loves to say “Remasse tes bébélles” (pick up your stuff).
  • Barrer: a word used in both France and Quebec but the meaning has changed in France. When I go home to Quebec, I use the verb “barrer” to ask if the door is locked. “Est-ce que la porte est barré?” But in France, one would say “Fermé à clé.  Barrer is normally used in France to indicate something is blocking something else. The one exception is in Vendeé Poitou France where Barrer is still used by some people in the same way it is used in Quebec to indicate a door is locked. This might be due to the fact that many French Canadians, “Quebecois” can trace their lineage back to Poitou France, including me- 7 generations back. I’m just guessing here so if you know differently than please do share.

Why do English speakers use RSVP?

As it happens, I am writing this on the 28th of September which happens to be the anniversary of William the Conqueror of Normandy’s arrival in England in 1066, and after his victory at the Battle of Hastings, the French language merged with what the British were speaking, Saxon and Old Norse.

RSVP, often written R.S.V.P., made its way onto English birthday cards and wedding invitations beginning later in the 11th century – French was considered high fashion among the elite of the English court, and speaking French showed your elite status.

This affinity for all things French continued in England for several hundred years then travelled across the Atlantic where it became fashionable among high society in the United States- using French words showed refinement.

This trend continued until around the 19th century and from this, RSVP and many other French words and phrases made their way into English and stayed.

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?

Learn French Online

 

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.

infographic French texting: 20 must know common text abbreviations

French Texting: 20 Common Text Message Abbreviations For Phone, Emails and Facebook

infographic French texting Abbreviations 20 must know and common internet and texting abbreviations for phone, Facebook and email

Let’s face it, texting or using text message abbreviations like LOL or ROLF to communicate is no longer restricted to totally cool hipster adults or tweens anymore. The same is true in France, so if you’re going to live in France or you have French friends you want to stay in touch with via Facebook, email or text messaging, I highly recommend you learn a handful of useful internet text abbreviations. Here are 20 common ones to get you started.

20 of the most common French texting abbreviations

Even if you never plan on texting in French or insist on using whole words rather than abbreviated words to communicate, it doesn’t mean other people (read other French people) will do the same.  I finally caved and learned a few of the more common French sms and internet abbreviations because I was sick and tired of logging onto Facebook or reading text messages from my friends and not understanding what they were saying .

For example, QDN is something I would see from time to time from one of my friends but had no idea what it meant until I finally asked her what it meant. I wished I had asked her sooner because she was asking me “Quoi De Neuf” or “What’s new”.

After that, I decided to learn this texting abbreviation language and I’m glad I did — French texting abbreviations really do come in handy when you are in  a rush and need to save time on your keystrokes. Plus I can understand what my friends and my kids are talking about now.

A text message in French can be called “Un texto” or “Un SMS”. An email is usually called “Un Message”. Ask your friends to text you: Envoie-moi un texto or Envoie-moi un sms . Ask your friends to email you or send you a message on Facebook- Envoie-moi un message……(by email or Facebook).

Here is a useful infographic with 20 of the most useful or common text message abbreviations. Below the infographic is a more detailed explanation for each one.

infographic French texting Abbreviations 20 must know and common internet and texting abbreviations for phone, Facebook and email

Below are the same text abbreviations in the above info-graphic just explained in more detail. 

French Text abbreviations To signify something is funny

If something is funny in English, you would probably use the text message abbreviation LOL (laughing out loud). If something is even funnier than you would most likely use ROFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing) or LMAO (laughing my ass off). In French, just like in English, there are different text abbreviations you would use to express different degrees of amusement or funniness.

 

1- MDR:

If you could only remember one French text abbreviation, it should be MDR.  Above is a screenshot of one of my French friends using MDR.  

MDR is short for mort de rire  and is used like you would use LOL.
MDR literally means <<dying of laughter>> and in my opinion is one of, scratch that. It is THE most used French text message abbreviations around. People use it everywhere, email, phone text, social media sites, T-shirts…

note* You can use LOL when texting with a French person. They will understand that is means something funny. They probably have no idea that it stands for Laugh out loud though. LOL LOL LOL.

2- PTDR:

PTDR is short for Pété de rire and means you are laughing so much that you just can’t laugh any more.
Use it like you would use LMAO; when something is even funnier or more amusing than a simple LOL.

3- EXPDR:

EXPDR is short for eplosé de rire and literally means <<exploding with laughter>>. Use like ROFL or LMAO when something is funnier than a simple LOL.

10 French pronoun text abbreviations

Here are 10 abbreviations for French pronouns that I have seen friends use and have used on occasion myself.

4- C:

C is short for c’est which means <<it is>> as in “c’est magnifique”, ( it’s magnificent).

5- C Ca:

C ça is the abbreviation for C’est ça which can mean anything from <<that’s it>> and <<there you have it>> to <<there you go>> and <<you got it>>.

6- CT:

CT is short for c’était which means <<it was>> or <<that was>> as in c’était fun ( that was fun or it was fun).

7- G:

G is short for j’ai which means <<I have>> as in J’ai beaucoup d’amis (I have a lot of friends).

8- GT:

GT is short for j’étais which means <<I was>> as in j’étais son amis ( I was his friend).

9- JC:

JC is short Je sais which means <<I know>> as in Je sais tous (I know everything).

10- TT:

TT is short for t’étais which means <<you were>> as in t’étais avec lui (you were with him).

11- Chuis:

Chuis is short for Je suis pronounced (shwee) which means <<I am>> as in je suis content (I am happy).

12- QQC:

QQC is short for quelque chose which means,<<something>> as in je veux quelque chose (I want something).

13- QQN or QQ1:

QQN or QQ1 is short for quelqu’un which means <<someone>> as in quelqu’un t’aime (someone loves you).

Other descriptive and useful French texting abbreviations

14- BIZ:

BIZ is short for bises or bisous which means <<kisses>>. You use this much like you would use xoxo or hugs at the end of a message. Possibly the second most used text abbreviation in French?

15- STP or SVP:

STP is short for s’il te plait which is the informal way to say <<please>>. If you want to text using the more formal way to say please than you would use SVP (s’il vous plait).

16- PK:

PK is short for the very useful question pourquoi which means <<why.>> as in pourquoi est ce que tu ne m’aime plus (why don’t you love me any more?).

17- DSL

DSL is short for desolé which means<< sorry>> as in je suis desolé (I am sorry).

18- ENTK

ENTK is short for en tout cas which can mean <<in any case>> or <<anyways>> as in en tout cas, je t’aime (in any case, I love you).

19- DAC

Dac is short for d’accord which means <<ok>> or <<all right>> as in d’accord, j’y vas avec tois (all right, I’ll go there with you).

20- MPLC:

MPLC is short for merci pour le cache. MPLC is not really that common unless you do geocaching in France. My husband Blake first came across it when he took our daughter to find her first geocache. Someone left a note marked MPLC which simply means <<thank you for the cache>>.

Other French Language Guides

These were but a few of the hundreds of text message abbreviations you might see your French friends using. My son uses a whole bunch more which I can’t be bothered to learn.

See Also: 15 Funny French Expressions Involving Farm Animals And Bugs That Don’t Make Sense To English Speakers But Will Make You Sound Like A Native!

Watch: Video of my daughter showing you 20 Useful French Words and Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France.

PLEASE, share this post on Facebook and on Pinterest.

Merci beaucoup!

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. 

www.AnnieAndre.com

speak french fluently

Will I (or my child) Speak French Fluently If I Live In France For 1 year?

speak french fluently

If I live in France for 1 year…………..

  • How much French will I learn?
  • Will I be able to communicate easily in French with French people?
  • Will my child be bilingual or fluent after a year in France?
  • Can I speak French fluently by just living in France for a year?

These are some of the many questions I receive from readers who wonder if they will be able to speak French fluently after living in France for one year. If you are wondering the same thing, then stick around. I’m going to share my family’s personal experience and some tips on how you can be more fluent.

Yes you can learn to speak French fluently but……

Allow me to set your expectation; It is possible to be fluent after living in France for a year but highly unlikely unless certain conditions are met. Even then there are no guarantees.

A better question to ask instead of “will I be fluent after a year in France” would be “How fluent can I be after living in France for a year?”

Will I be a Novice? Intermediate? Advance? etc! Your level will depend on the effort and your conditions.

How do I know?

I know not because I am a linguist but because I have first hand experience. I speak several languages myself at different levels and now I am raising bilingual children whose native tongue is English.

Before we get into what conditions need to be met for you to be fluent, let’s first define exactly what fluent is.

But first, what is Fluent?

Fluency is a very subjective term for everybody. To some people, fluency is some magical point of speaking near perfect or even being at a native speaker level (which linguists define as “being bilingual”). To others, myself included, being fluent simply means

  • You can maintain a conversation, communicate with other people in everyday situations, interact and understand replies.
  • You have the ability to express yourself easily and articulately.
  • You have the ability to figure out the context of a new word by listening to a sentence.

So exactly what conditions will help you become more fluent during your year in France?

You already speak some French

The level of French you speak before you arrive in France will greatly affect the level of fluency you achieve after one year. Even just a tiny weeny bit of French knowledge will give you a stronger foundation that you can build upon and ultimately attain fluency faster at the end of that first year.

Take our family for example. Each member of our family spoke at different levels before arriving in France and it greatly effected the outcomes of our fluency.

  • My husband Blake: –>Came to France with almost ZERO French ability and at the end of one year in France still spoke very little. More on that in a bit and why.
  • My eldest son Kieran—> was 15 when he first arrived in France.  He spoke close to Zero French and after a year he was able to carry on simple conversations but with some difficulty. He had a descent vocabulary but lacked the ability to have deep meaningful conversations or to explain complex ideas.
  • Second son Andre—>  He was 13 when we arrived in France and spoke a little more French than his older brother but not much more. After a year in France, we thought he might never progress in French. Not only did he have a very strong accent, he made very simple mistakes that Kieran was not making. It wasn’t until the end of his second year when his French took off like a rocket ship and he surpassed his brothers French abilities.  More on this in a moment.
  • 3rd child Catherine –>She was 4 years old when we arrived. From the day she was born, I spoke French to her while my husband and everyone else spoke English to her so she was already bilingual when we arrived in France. Her French definitely dominates her English but for someone who has never formerly learned English in a school setting, she speaks and reads English very well just through daily exposure at home.
  • ME: –> I was already pretty close to Fluent when I arrived in France: I spoke French on and off as a child with my French Canadian father and family and went to a French high school in Montreal. Being in France that first year really solidified my French and helped build upon my already strong vocabulary. I learned more idomatic expression and felt very comfortable conversing in French at the end of my first year.

Put yourself or your children in an environment where they NEED to speak French.

In general, people learn a language best when they NEED to speak or because it is practical.

How to create need based learning?

A simple way to create need for yourself is to enrol in a French class while in France or volunteer like I do. Really anything where you interact in some way with other French people daily or at least several times a week.

If you want your children to be as Fluent as possible than you need to put them in a situation where they also NEED to speak French. Only then will they truly begin the process of learning French. If they dont find it useful than they wont speak and they won’t progress.

How to create need based learning for your children

If for no other reason than to learn French, please enrol your children in French schools. This is by far the best, most painless, funnest and quickest way to expedite their French fluency.

I enrolled my two sons; who spoke almost no French when we arrived. At the end of that first year, they both could speak passable French but they were no where near fluent. To make matters more confounding, Kieran spoke more fluently than Andre.

Effort and Time

How much time and effort you put into learning French will also have a huge effect. If you practice everyday versus weekly, you’re French will increase exponentially.

Take for example my two sons. That first year in France, Kieran surpassed Andre’s French ability because he put more effort into studying French after school.

We stayed  a second year and Andre surpassed Kieran’s level like a rocket ship. But Andre did not study more so how did he do it?

Easy, Andre made friends and talked to his friends everyday, during and after school non stop. Kieran continued studying but did not practice as much verbally.

In my opinion, learning in a classroom is great but to make a difference you need to talk. And you need to talk a lot.

What will happen if I don’t immerse myself or take French lessons?

If you do not create a need or immerse yourself in French while in France then you will speak very little French after one full year in France. I know this for a fact.

My husband is a good example of this. After one year in France, his French was not passable. Yes, he could understand a lot because he heard Catherine and I speaking at home but he could not respond in complete sentences.

Part of the reason he didn’t progress past novice levels was because he had no need to learn. He had me. If there was a problem at the bank, I took care of it. If we needed to talk to the kids teachers, I would talk.  He also did not take any French classes. It’s been three years now and he is inching his way forward by spending time and learning by talking with our many friends in France but it is clear that not having a good base is really stunting his progress.

Blake if you are reading this, I love you but please sign up for a French class.

You’re young: Preferably under 15

Generally speaking, the current school of thought is that it is easier to learn a language the younger you are.  Studies have even shown that learning at a younger age also improves your pronunciation in the foreign language. Now don’t get too excited; just because you are young does not guarantee a child will speak French magically. Kids still have to feel like they need to learn in order to learn and they need to be able to practice speaking it almost daily if they are ever going to reach fluency within one year.

On the flip side, just because you are 30 or more does not mean you cannot become fluent in one year either. It just means you might have to work a lot  harder to become fluent and you will most likely have a stronger accent than your younger counterpart.

Are you motivated?

Lastly, motivation is a HUGE factor in learning a language. People who learn French because they are genuinely interested in communicating with others for travel, experiencing another culture or for personal reasons are much more willing to put forth the effort to actually learn the language. Whereas, those who learn French for a job or college credit or because their parents are forcing them to typically don’t do as well.

No matter how you look at it, even if you live in France, immersed in French culture and language, you still have to dedicate a lot of time and effort to reach fluency levels

Good luck to you =  Bonne Chance!

Pleuvoir comme vache qui pisse: funny french idioms

15 Funny French Expressions That Don’t Make Sense To English Speakers

Idioms are figures of speech which you usually have to learn because they don’t always make sense when translated word for word into another language. They also never mean exactly what they say. Here are 15 Funny and Bizarre French expressions that won’t make sense to English speakers (explained).

Are you a Spanish cow?

Do you speak French like a Spanish cow?  Are you like a chicken who found a knife? Unless you are a native or fluent French speaker, you probably won’t understand the true sense of these two funny French phrases or expressions because they are actually French idioms translated word for word to English.

That’s ok because I’ve collected, translated and explained 15 funny, bizarre and useful everyday French idioms and expressions which will not only give you a little insight into the cultural nuances of French life, they will also help you sound more fluent and fit in more easily in everyday situations whether it’s at a bar, standing in the rain, at a social even or out on a date.

1. It’s raining like cows who piss

Example: Johnny, make sure you put on a raincoat because it’s raining like cows who piss! 

If you have ever been to a farm with cows, chances are you need no further explanation because you understand this comparison of heavy rain to the amount that a cow pees. Yes, cows pee beaucoup. 

Make sure you use this expression with friends and not in a professional setting unless you are the kind of person who likes to use the word PISS a lot.

  • French Idiom: Pleuvoir comme vache qui pisse
  • Closest English expression: It’s raining cats and dogs. It’s pouring outside. It’s raining buckets.

2. Speak like a Spanish cow

Example: Janet is learning French but she still speaks like a Spanish cow. OUCH! So harsh!

When you say someone speaks like a Spanish cow you are basically telling them that they speak French extremely bad to the point where it’s just painful to listen to.

  • French Idiom: Parler Français comme une vache espagnole!
  • Closest English expression: To butcher or murder a language.

3. When chickens have teeth

Just like the English expression “when pig’s fly”, this expression implies something is impossible or very difficult to attain or do.

  • French Idiom: Quand les poules auront des dents
  • Closest English expression:When pigs fly. That’ll be the day. Over my dead body.

4. To be like a chicken who has found a knife

pouletcouteau.jpg

 

Would a chicken know what to do with a knife if it found one?  I don’t think so. So when you say ‘so and so’ is like a chicken who found a knife, you are saying that they have no clue what to do.

  • French Idiom: Être comme une poule qui a trouvé un couteau
  • Meaning: To be at a complete loss

5. One does not marry a hen with a fox

A hen would never marry a fox and a fox never a hen because they probably would not be attracted to each other. So when you say a hen does not marry a fox, it’s like saying we all have our own likes and dislikes or way of doing things.

  • French Idiom: On ne marie pas les poules avec les renards
  • Closest English expression: Different strokes for different folks.

6. You’re a wet chicken

Stop being such a wet chicken is the same as saying you are a coward. Why? because apparently when a chicken is wet, it just stands there without moving as if it were too afraid or a coward.

  • French idiom: Vous êtes une poule mouillée
  • Closest English expression: You a chicken!

The French love their dogs and cats. Maybe that’s why they have so many French expressions involving cats and dogs. Here are just 4. There are probably over 100 more I could have listed here.

http://annieandre.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Vache-pisse-feature21.jpg

7. Give your tongue to the cat

15 funny french idioms and expressions; Give your tongue to the cat. Donner sa langue au chat!This expression sounds similar to the English expression “Has the cat got your tongue?” however, it has nothing to do with it. It actually means to give up or throw in the towel.

  • French Idiom: Donnner sa langue au chat
  • Meaning: To give up.
  • Closest English expression:Throw in the towel

8. Call a cat a cat

When you tell someone to “call a cat a cat” in French, it means you want them to speak their mind or tell the truth.

  • French Idom: Appeler un chat un chat
  • Meaning: To speak truthfully.
  • Closest English expression: Call a spade a spade. Speak frankly.

9. Dogs don’t make cats

A clever way to say that children resemble their parents.

  • French Idiom: Les chiens ne font pas des chats
  • Closest English expression: The apple does not fall far from the tree. Like father like son. Like mother like daughter.

10. To have other cats to whip

( As in whisk and not beat)

Example: I can’t be bothered to do my homework, I have other cats to whip.

This expression simply means that you have more important or better things to do.

  • French idiom: Avoir d’autres chats à fouetter
  • Closest English expression: To have bigger fish to fry

Now French idioms that BUG you!

11.To have the cockroach

15 funny french idioms and expressions; To have the cockroach. Avoir le cafard!

When someone has the cockroach, it means they are very sad or depressed. I found many explanations as to how this explanation came about but the one that interested me the most was the one about the Foreign Legion.

Bored Legionnaires became depressed under their isolated conditions and would shoot cockroaches. Later this depression became known as avoir le cafard  (to have the cockroach).

  • French Idiom: Avoir le cafard
  • Closest English expression: To be down in the dumps, to be down.

12. To look for lice

Oh stop looking for lice!!! This means that you complain or find fault in the littlest of things.

  • French Idiom: Chercher des poux
  • Closest English expression: To nit pick. A nit is the small egg of a lice.

13. Which fly bit you?

Example:  You’ve yelled at me four times now. What fly bit  you?

Dating back to the 17th century, people likened the involuntary burst of action from the bite of an insect to that of someone who was angry. So when someone is angry or in a bad mood, you can ask them what fly bit you?

  • French Idiom: Quelle mouche t’a piqué
  • Closest English expression: What crawled up your ass (and died), what’s bugging you? What’s eating you?

14. Take the fly

This expression is very similar to the expression “what fly bit you?” except that this one implies that someone is very very angry for no good reason or someone is angry over a very insignificant thing. .

  • French Idiom: Prendre la mouche
  • Closest English expression: To fly off the handle.

We needed a sheep idiom so here it is

15. Lets get back to the sheep

No this isn’t some weird sexual reference involving sheep. When you say “ let’s get back to our sheep”, it means you want to get back to the task at hand.

This expression originated from a fifteenth century comedy called “La Farce de Maître Pathelin”. Guillaume brings two cases before a judge involving sheets and sheep. During the trial, Guillaume gets confused between the two different cases and ultimately confuses the judge too. The judge then tries to get back to the case about the sheep by repeatedly saying Let us get back to the sheep, “revonons à nos moutons”. Ever since, this saying has stuck and to this day people use this expression to mean, lets get back on track or lets get back on topic. [source]

  • French Idom: Revenons à nos moutons
  • Closest English expression: Let’s get back on track.

Conclusion

As I mentioned before, these expression are French expression so don’t try to use them on your English speaking Friends.  Although it would be fun to try to have your friends guess what they mean wouldn’t it.

 

captain kirk pee pee dance

Video:20 Useful French Words and Phrases To Learn Before You Travel To France

 Useful French Words and Phrases

You Know This Embarrassing Scenario!

It’s a hot summers day and you’re out sightseeing and drinking water by the gallon. Suddenly out of nowhere, you have this uncontrollable urge to go pee pee really bad.

You ask someone where the restroom is but you don’t know the word for restroom in Swahili, Japanese or whatever language they speak. Now you really have to go pee and you resort to showing them the dreaded “PEE PEE DANCE” to get your point across..

Too late! You’re about to pee your pants. How embarrassing.

Don’t be that person who didn’t bother to learn a few simple words and phrases before you left for your trip or sabbatical abroad.

Learn AT LEAST 20 words and phrases before you go.  You don’t need to be fluent. You just need to know enough to get by (in the beginning).

Watch And Learn as my daughter teaches you 20 Useful French Words and Phrases

Yes this is my daughter in the video below when she was 4 years old. In the video, she will say 20 really useful words and phrases you should learn when travelling to France and beyond.

In case you can’t watch the video or you want to print out the 20 words here they are.

If you need help pronouncing these or other words in another language on the fly then go to www.forvo.com. It claims to be the largest pronunciation guide In the world. Pretty cool if you ask me.

20 Phrases and words

French

1- Hello Bonjour
2- Please s’il vous plaît
3- Thank You Merci
4- You’re Welcome De rien
5- Excuse Me excusez-moi
6- Where is the toilet? Où sont les toilettes?
7- Do you take credit cards? Acceptez-Vous Les cartes de crédit (ou cartes bancaires)
8- How much does this cost? ça coûte Combien ?
9- Where is … Où est …?
10-Where can I find a train/metro/bus/taxi où puis-je trouver un train / métro / bus / taxi
11- I need a doctor. J’ai besoin d’un médecin/ doctueur
12- Where can I get something to eat? Où puis-je trouver quelque chose à manger?
13- Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais?
14- I don’t understand Je ne comprends pas
15- I am lost. Can you help me? Je suis perdu. Pouvez-vous m’aider?
16- I would like to go to the airport. Je voudrais aller à l’aéroport
17- May I have a beer Puis-je avoir une bière
18- I would like a glass of red wine Je voudrais un verre de vin rouge
19- Learn to Count to 10 un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix
20- I Love You Mommy Je t’aime maman

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If you want to learn more than a few phrases than try the world famous pimsleur method and  Learn a language in only 10 Days! Perfect for beginners who are auditory learners. What about you? Do you have some words you think would be good to know before you travel? Like “you are beautiful” or “stop or i’ll scream!”.

How Not To Be Miserable When You Move To France! Avoiding Culture Shock!

how not to be miserable in France: Avoiding culture shockMoving to France can be fun and exciting. You are surrounded by new foods, a new environment, a different culture not to mention the fact that you will be immersed in the most romantic language on the planet; FRENCH! However unless you do certain things to prepare for these changes, these new and dreamy things could turn into your worst nightmare! Find out what you need to do to avoid being miserable after you move to France. 

How Not To Be Miserable After You Move To France

mona-lisa-franceIf you’ve never experienced culture shock let me explain.

What is Culture Shock?

Culture shock can make you feel isolated, depressed and make you curse the day you decided to move abroad. It can turn an otherwise wonderful adventurous experience into a depressing nightmare.

Imagine arriving in a place where you can’t communicate and you can’t tell anyone what you want. The customs are so foreign that you can’t make heads or tails of any situation. Doing simple things like cashing a check stresses you out and takes more effort than you ever thought possible leaving you feeling exhausted. 

How To Avoid Culture Shock:

You can avoid or at least minimize culture shock by simply learning about your destinations people, it’s customs, even it’s history. But the single biggest thing you can do to avoid culture shock and ultimately enjoy your life in France is to learn the language; preferably you should start the learning process before you leave your home country. If that is not possible than make it one of your priorities once you get to France.

Knowing just some basic phrases and some vocabulary can help you hit the ground running as soon as you arrive in your new country.You will be able to do simple things like ask for directions, ask where the bathroom is or order a sandwich with no onions.

Kids and culture shock:

If you have kids, it’s doubly important to prepare their minds for what life might be like especially if they are older. Younger kids seem to be able to adapt more easily. This may be due to the fact that younger children are inherently more creative and more open to new experiences than older kids and adults.

As we get older, we tend to lose our creativity and close our minds to change and new experiences. It’s very important to be open to new experiences to make the most of your time abroad otherwise, it will not be fun for you AT ALL!

Did you know that there was a study conducted which showed that living abroad can actually increase your creativity?

How to learn French?

There are many ways you can learn french; take a class, find a French tutor, or buy a language software and teach yourself. There are even video games that can teach you how to speak a new language.  In  my opinion, audio and or video products are best in terms of helping your pronunciation.  At the very minimum, get yourself a dictionary. I highly suggest  you get a Visual Dictionary. I love how it organizes photos by subject and theme. For example, the herb section in a visual dictionary will have pictures of all the herbs grouped together with translations in both French and English.

Learn as much as you can about France before you go!

Learning about France or whatever country you plan to move to just makes common sense. There is no wrong or right way for you to go about learning either. I would start with the internet an go from there. Just remember that It’s impossible to know and plan for everything.

As for our family? We did lots of research and we adjusted fairly quickly but there were some things we just didn’t know we needed to know. Nothing major, little things like the fact that the grocery stores don’t sell headache medicine like they do in the United States. Or the fact that breakfast restaurants in France don’t serve omelettes for breakfast.  Or the fact that most things are closed on Sunday.

Despite these differences, the one biggest contributing factor to our overall happiness and lack of stress has been the fact that one of us spoke French.

Other articles about French culture

Here are some article I have written on the topic of French culture. I think they will help you get a better feel for what life is REALLY like in France vs what you see in the movies.

  • 20 things you might hate if you live in France: Self explanatory. All the little things you just didn’t realize about France.
  • Stupid French stereotypes: French people don’t go around wearing berets and they do take showers!
  • Tipping: No tipping. All bills, as required by law, must say service compris, which means “tip has been included”. It is not uncommon to leave small change from the bill in a restaurant or café. A few Centimes.
  • Basic Driving Rules In France: People drive on the right side of the road.
  • How to greet French Friends: French people cheek kiss to greet each others between family and friends.The number of kisses varies between 1 to 5 but typically it’s 2 or 3. Even men cheek kiss. My sons both greet their friends at school this way.( it’s very charming and civilized).
  • Don’t plan on eating any Cheddar cheese in France! There are over 300 different kinds of cheese made in France but cheddar is not one of them and it can be hard to find it. Forget about aged cheddar. I have yet to find any.

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