Speaking French - your advice welcome

I’m in a small group of neighbours and feel it’s perhaps time I withdrew politely so as not to convey uninterest or to be unduly disruptive.

What’s a friendly phrase to use that doesn’t sound brusque or too formal, and should it be rounded off with a round of hand-clasps?

I’m more confident about speaking and joining in now, but with that confidence has come a growing awareness of the subtleties of French discourse, and of its non-verbal components, especially some discomfort (in others and myself) caused by unintentional faux pas. Do others notice this? I think it’s probably just a stage in learning, or am I being too sensitive (again)?

I ‘hear’ some of you chuckling “@Peter_Goble being too sensitive? Pull the other one…!” :joy::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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Thanks James for re-opening this thread with all it’s helpful existing resources based on members’ experience.

Chez Survive France il n’y a rien que n’a été touché par les rayons du soleil !

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J’y vais/ il faut que je rentre/ j’y aille/ je vais filer mais pas à l’anglaise (ho ho ho)/bonne soirée et à bientot/à la prochaine/désolé de vous abandonner/de vous quitter etc etc

Yes handshakes all round with a little bonne nuit Marcel or whatever just for each person to whom you are saying farewell. Saying things à la cantonade isn’t very polite even if it is sometimes necessary :smiley:


“vous me saoulez tous, je me casse” can work in the correct context

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:laughing: deffo correct context needed

Got it! But had to look it up in Hachette. Chance would be a fine thing, but nice to know if/when the occasion arises. :+1::smiley:

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I was going to say you need @vero !

@Peter_Goble le ros beef!

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@Peter_Goble rosbif sauce au raifort bien sûr :yum: :uk:

Hi Mat,

You reminded me of this from “Death in Paradise” - Meurtres au Paradis :laughing:
Infact the image that actually came to mind was that of D.I. Richard Poole in the the boat where they had painted “Rosbif” on the side before fixing it up! But can’t find it yet…

Mes ami(e)s, quand bien même que j’adorerais poursuivre nos papotages/bavardages, je dois vous quitter, c’est l’heure du bain / de me coucher / du dîner, etc

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De mettre le jambon dans le torchon/ de faire têter les puces

(Very familier indeed verging on vulgaire) I have heard oldies (sorry Peter) saying this in the village café.

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:joy: haven’t heard those in a while, but then I no longer frequent the local cafés :wink:

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Oh @Alex_Thurgood and @vero I’m tickled pink by your suggestions, they’re just the ticket and right up my street if not exactement ce qu’il me faut !

Many of the French folk I chat to regularly are oldies (no need to be shy of describing me thus Véronique) and they come out with a genuine chuckle when I come out with one of those bits of hoary familarity, at what feels the right time.

Possibly the sort of reaction elicited by hearing a parrot say “Cor blimey guvnor!” :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Thank you both, brightened my day! :hugs:

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'Tis but a trifle @Peter_Goble, or in my best BCBG French, “mais voyons, de rien, mon cher Peter” :wink:

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What’s BCBG when it’s out? :thinking::smiley:

“Bon chic, bon genre” or, rather less politely ,“Beau cul, belle gueule”


Generally used to designate a person with airs and graces, or someone who aspires to such dizzy heights on the social class hierarchy.

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:yum::yum::yum:Merci Alex

in the same way my husband - not retired - chats and works with young 20s/30s guys. He found that pretty much any phrase from " Merde!: The Real French You Were Never Taught at School" went down really well - broke the ice, made him less formal. He’s Irish, so being able to swear at least once a sentence was expected of him… he was way too polite!