On the other hand, why learn French

when the French language seems more and more determined to meet English in the middle?

Of course I’m kidding. If you live in France you’ll need and want to speak the language, and even at our low level of proficiency, we have had very enjoyable conversations with French people during our visits. With some effort on their part, of course!

But often I’m struck by the amount of English creeping into everyday life in France.

Just yesterday I read about a new app to help reduce waste: Too Good to Go. It’s a great idea and a catchy name, but you’d think there’d be an equally catchy name in French.

Sometimes I’m half listening to TV while we‘re in France and realize I understood some of it. I’m pretty impressed with myself till I realize I’d been hearing English, albeit with a French accent. “Business” pronounced the French way is pretty common on the Pub (my favorite part of French TV).

On every trip to France I photograph signs with words in English. They amuse me and actually I feel kind of flattered that English is so popular.

Act beautiful days
Bag in box (wine)
Prodigious care (on a tee shirt)
I fil good (a yarn and sewing goods shop)
Slow life
Slowly days (not all of this is English as we know it)
Made in Perche (slogan of a restaurant in the Perche region)
Oui Nid Iou (on a poster recruiting rugby players)
CashKid (kids’ clothing store)
Push-up Your Style (jeans that give you a boost in the back and probably prevent you from sitting down while wearing them)
Double shiny bacon (guess what hamburger chain)
l’Afterwork (a bar)

I’m sure all of you can add to this list.

Most of it won’t be English as you know it but will be words which have become familiar via multinational marketing and popular music.
A lot of English-looking words aren’t actual English and even when they are they don’t necessarily mean what you might think.
Cash doesn’t mean money, parking is a place not an action, jogging is clothing, etc etc etc.

Fil good is a good bilingual pun, I like it.
We use a lot of these words/expressions as a joke and do the same with other languages.
Young people refer to ‘mes chouze’ when referring to footwear.

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I can’t quite figure how le jogging is regarded as an anglicism while le footing claims to be the real McCoy French word for it! On the same theme, I can live with “le bodybuilding” but I do draw the line at the adjective “bodybuildé”.

Another one that has started to get on my nerves is “faire le buzz”. The number of times I’ve been asked why I translated it as “go viral” and not “make the buzz” - they won’t believe me when I say we don’t make the buzz in English.

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Yes, I thought that one excellent as well.

OK, new French word for me, always good to get those - but WordReference suggests that the French do use it in the sense of both “argent liquide” and “règlement immédiat en liquide” and lists these senses above “straightforward/direct/blunt”.

Just thought of “relook” and “relooké.”

That could be said for other languages too, especially in everyday conversation :wink:

afterwork is also one of our local 100% French chain-gain “afterwork” (once the bike shop closes) club rides!

Ben après le meeting rdv sur le parking pour faire un footing, tu mets ton jogging :wink: Et n’oublie pas le shampooing avant le brushing et ton relooking. Et jette ton chewing gum.


À l’eau, c’est l’heure is my favorite.

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The motto, so it is said, of the French Navy.

The old ones are the best as they say (it took my son a few goes to “get” that one :slight_smile: )


Del Boy manages to get by, so there is hope for us all… :joy::joy:

I also don’t get it. Please explain.

I wanted to reply OK, but that is not allowed.
Sort of lost the point.

Say it out loud a few times. :slight_smile:

Oh dear, Beverley, use your imagination :smile:

How did the French girl at the bar in Le Havre greet the young English tar who had just come ashore after three months on the ocean waves?

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With open arms and an eye on his wallet?

(nationalities removed, it is a universal transaction).

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It’s more cryptic if you just say “to the water, it’s the hour” or 'allo sailor :smile:

I’m at a serious disadvantage here because my first language is Canadian not British. You guys have way too much “british humour” for me. I do admire the subtleties when they don’t go straight over my head. though. :wink:

Ha ha… I spent a holiday with Canadian cousins - who had no idea what I was talking about a lot of the time… :wink::relaxed:

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Yes, exactly. Try having a corporate meeting & not speaking like that…
Speaking in French & not franglais “It’s not corporate! It’s has been”! Personally it does my head in. The corporate french of today I could have done 30 years ago with school boy french give or take a few phases. But in the UK at the time we were integrating more & more German words & phases. Hey ho, maybe we’ll have a common European language one day?
Maybe we are going, Uber la haute???

I do know what you mean, however, I make a point of eschewing such expressions and stick to the usage approved by the likes of mme de Lafayette or Madeleine de Scudery :grin:

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