Tomorrow is the (unofficial) start to the French summer vacances…meaning if you hang around Paris for another week or so, everything will be closed down. (Well, not everything, but a lot of things.) The French are extremely good at holiday-making and turning off their phones and professional life for the last weeks of July and all of August. Many will head to their vacation homes, some to Corsica and the overseas departments, like Martinique. A lot will head down South.
We will be joining that madness in the late morning. Fingers, toes, and eyes crossed that the circulation will be circulating. I am looking forward to a break from my sweet, but overworked Korean students, and my final obligations to my daughters’ alma mater.
It is time to chill, Will. Or as the French say, “Tranquille, Emile” or how about “à l’aise, Blaise”. Let’s be cool, Raoul!
1-2-3, c’est parti!
For more great French sayings with names, take a look at the always lovely Geraldine from Comme une Française.
As in any language, French has a large and rich slang vocabulary which only makes things harder for us French learners. Mais it is what you hear in every day conversations en France, so sometimes you have to head to the Urban Dictionary and try to figure things out.
Here are five slang phrases I’ve heard a lot lately and finally sat down to decipher:
À la côte: On the rocks. (living on the edge, not a drink served on ice!)
J’ai envie de bouffer. I’m ready to eat.
C’est trop relou! That sucks!
Je kiffe ton frère. I like your brother. (romantically)
Oh mince! Oh, my gosh!
The lovely Geraldine of Comme une Française has also been thinking about French slang and foreigners lately. Here is her petite vidéo with five of her favorite slang phrases.
The ever perky Géraldine Lepère from Comme une Française TV lays out some important wine vocabulary, debunks a few myths about the French and wine, tells us how expats are easily identified at a café by the locals (Hint: Drinking wine without a meal? You clearly aren’t French, but possibly an alcoholic!), and gives us THE prickly wine phrase to use at a French dinner party to start an argument. Take a listen and consider subscribing to her weekly updates. She is adorable and spot on.
I can take no credit for this post, but I just had to share it.
For all you expats out there wondering what you can do to fit in a little more easily with your French hosts, co-workers, neighbors and new found “friends” (who might actually only be acquaintances), please watch the comic, but always insightful, Géraldine from Comme une Française TV…my new favorite virtual Frenchie, as she tells us: How to Scare the HELL out of a French Person.
In case you need a reminder, here are the top five ways to to frighten the French, remember to:
hug them tightly and often. (The French don’t even have a word for hugging.)
start an email with a first name. (It’s threatening.)
be over enthusiastic. (You can’t be trusted and may be selling a scam.)
rush along a friendship. (There are at least seven levels of friendship in France. Go slowly.)
filer à l’anglaise or don’t say goodbye. (Neglected bises and au revoirs will land you in the dog house.)
Merci bien, Géraldine…thanks for helping me “live in France, (and) feel at home”…please visit her site here. She is a language learning and cultural decoding gem.