Category Archives: Mind your French
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Learning French has never been that easy :))))
Comment vas–tu? Comment ça va? Ça va?
“Ça va?” This is how we greet someone and ask how they are.
But note the following: Comment va
“Comment vas-tu?” is rather formal: How are you?
“Comment ça va?” is more colloquial : How (are) you doing? And “Ça va” is short for Comment ça va? which makes it even more familiar.
“Ça va bien, merci.” This person is saying “I am fine, thank you“.
But this man is saying things aren’t too good. “Pas très bien!” means “not that good.”
This list shows you different ways of saying how you are, from very well to terrible:
- très bien => very well
- bien => well
- assez bien => quite well
- pas très bien => not very well
- très mal => terrible
The first thing you should know in French is how to say “Hello”.
Like in English, there are different greetings for different times of the day. Here you can find out what to say when.
In France, it is polite to address someone you don’t know as “Monsieur” (Sir), “Madame” (Mrs) or “Mademoiselle” (which is now not legally used anymore – translated Miss).
Salut => this is how to say “Hello” to your friends. It can also mean “Good Bye” Here Les potes translates “Friends” in a more familiar way than “les amis”.
Coucou => this is how to say “Hello” to your closest friends. “Toi” translates “you“.
Bonjour => this is more polite and means “Good Day“.
Bonne journée => this is how you wish per se “Good day” to someone. It translates “Have a good day“.
Bonsoir => this is how you say “Good evening” to someone.
Bonne soirée => this is how you wish “Good evening” per se to someone. It translates “Have a good evening“. Here “Tout le monde” translates “everybody“.
“Au revoir” & “À bientôt” respectively mean “Good Bye” and “See you again“.
PS: Not putting the accents on the A and O is a spelling mistake that loads of frenchy french do.
Bonne nuit => you say it last thing at night.
Adieu => it’s a farewell greeting which is rarely used now except in romantic books and movies 😉
À demain => meaning “See you tomorrow!”
À tantôt => old version of “À bientôt“.
Hope you enjoyed your first French lesson!
Well, corporate tax is impôt sur les sociétés which literally means “Tax on the companies”.
PS: one of the highest in the world. I am sure the new president will take care of it like Trump in the USA. 🙂
I heart linguistics and love words & phrases from different country especially knowing and understanding where they are coming from. For expressions, we have a whole lot in French and whilst some of them make perfect sense and others are funny, some are completely weird and I wonder/ed why they’re being said. Here is my top 13 of the weirdest French expressions:
#13: Mentir comme un arracheur de dents
Literal translation: Lie like a tooth puller/dentist
English equivalent: none ?
Meaning: have a guess….
It refers to dentists (anciently called tooth puller) who assured their patients that the operation was painless. it’s not today and it was certainly not at the time! Aie aie aie…
#12: Bruyant comme un tonneau vide
Literal translation: Loud as an empty barrel
English equivalent: none? The English aren’t as mean as the French, are they? Come one… I need to search further or HELP?!
Meaning: have a guess….
The most ignorant people speak without saying anything consistent…
#11: Mettre du beurre dans les épinards
Literal translation: Put butter in the spinach
English equivalent: put butter on your bread
“Put butter in the spinach” means that one improves their living conditions, and in general in the financial field. In fact, butter symbolizes the ease and simplicity (like in English I’m guessing) while spinach would refer to a delicate situation, even trouble. Is it the bread for the English?
#10: Con comme une valise sans poignée
Literal translation: Dumb as a suitcase without a handle
English equivalent: None? Help again?
It is the image of an object unusable in this instance the suitace can’t be carried => someone stupid
#9 : Grimper au Rideau
Literal translation: climb the curtain
English equivalent: send somebody into raptures (really???? More romantic…)
Meaning: Take a lot of sexual pleasure, orgasm.
#8: Clouer le bec à quelqu’un
Literal translation: nail someone’s beak
English equivalent: shut someone up
#7: Fumer la moquette
Literal translation: smoking carpet
English equivalent: talk nonsense
When addicts have nothing to smoke, they can get on their knees to look for small pieces of cannabis that would have been on the carpet; usually, this means smoking dirt, even the carpet itself => Do or say anything, as if under the influence of drugs.
#6: Donner de la confiture aux cochons
Literal translation: giving jam to pigs
English equivalent: Give pearls before swine
#5: Les anglais ont débarqué
Literal translation: The English have landed
English equivalent: none (?) I hope…
Meaning: have a guess….
In 1815, when Bonaparte took a final slop in Waterloo (you guys were so organised), the English landed in France and occupied it until 1820 (Noooooo! So bad!).
At that time, the English were dressed in red uniforms. The link between this flood of red English invading the country and the capital and the red flow of menstrual blood has been easy to make in 1820, it’s a Parisian phrase in (bad) memory of the occupants. Ooopss… And still in use… Ouch…
#4: Rire comme une baleine
Literal translation: laughing like a whale
English equivalent: laugh out loud; laugh one’s head off; laugh like a drain.
#3: prendre ton pied
Literal translation: take one’s foot
English equivalent: have a blast
to take pleasure from something, usually to come, have an orgasm.
This expression dates from the nineteenth century. The foot meant a ration at the time of the corsaires: it was the unit of measure to share the property of a booty. More generally, it is used when someone is happy.
#2: Ne pas être sorti de l’auberge
Literal translation: we’re not out of the hostel/inn
English equivalent: We’re not out of the wood yet…
The most employed phrase in France and the second preferred one.
In slang, the word ” hostel” meant ” prison”. This expression means that we will still have to spend a long time in a ” prison” (physically or emotionally) => Still have a lot of trouble to face.
#1 – Les chiens ne font pas des chats
Literal translation: Dogs do not make cats
English equivalent: The apple never falls far from the tree
Meaning: Children resemble their parents.
Hope you enjoyed! @ Bientôt
Tell me which one was easy for you to guess and which didn’t make sense at all.
On the same notes, this page is quite interesting: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-funniest-french-expressions-use/
A good book to read for the Francophiles…