Return to site

Let's yogurt in French!

Week 6, Episode 11

Since French was an official language of England for 300 years, no wonder you already use or hear some French words in English speech from time to time. Words like "genre", "fiancé", "resume", "café", "sabotage", "cliché" are the simpliest examples. But there are a bunch of words in French that are not so famous but funny and rather weird.

The weirdness actually only helps to remember them. For example, the funny word "poisson" (pwa-song) doesn't really mean "poison", but an innocent and tasty "fish". The word "pamplemousse" (pahm-pler-moos) sounds bouncy and "moussie" and represents "grapefruit". Finally "hotel" is deciphered: "hôte" (ot) means "owner" and also a "guest" of a hotel.

If a French man tells you "Jolie", it doesn't mean he confuses you with a Hollywood star Angelina, but flirting with you by letting you know that he thinks you're "beautiful". An old version of this word—"joliette"—makes it clear why Romeo chose the girl he chose. But the word "romanichel" (roh-mah-nee-shel) doesn't mean anything romantic as it might seem—the translation is "gypsy".

In French "dodo" isn't any bird, it is actually a way to say "go to sleep" or "bed": "Á dodo!" means "Go to sleep!" or "Go to bed!" Also, "toy-boy" is not what you think. Word that is pronounced the same way—"tohu-bohu"—reffers to commotion, bustle, chaos. This one comes from Hebrew describing the formless state of the universe before God created light, water, animals, people, etc.

A funny thing happens in French when you repeat the same syllable twice: like "shoo-shoo" ("chouchou") becomes "darling" ("chou"—shoo—"cabbage"), "kif-kif" (written SAME way in French)—"the same", "futé-futé" (fee-teh-fee-teh)—"clever". For this last one, if you take into account the translation of "fut" (fyu)—"pants"—than you may remember "fute-fute" better as "smart pants". 

Don't be lazy and find a pronunciation of the word "raplapla". In French these "pla"s are so soft, and when you add their specific "r", the whole word is dancing, but the meaning of it is the way you feel after you danced a lot—"tired".

And then we have "flying deers" ("cerf-volant"—sir-voh-la—"kite") and "bold mice" ("chauve-souris"—shov-swo-ree—"bat") in French. Isn't it just amusing to learn this language?

If there is another great word to learn, it is "balles" (bah-lee)—"bullets"—, but they are not for any weapon, they are for your wallet—"euros". Same way you may here Russian people talking about rubles: "патроны" (paht-roh-ni). There is something similar to French culture in Russian, I guess! I discovered that for some French words there is a word in Russian, but to English-speaking people you have to explain it in several words.

"To yougurt"—"yaourter" (ya-oort)can also be applied when you try to speak another language, which you don't know or know bad, imitating it by mimicking the accent and vocal mannerisms without using real words. Ah, so that is what Joey was doing! Now, thanks to Langventure, you can not only "travel in the mayonnaise", but also "yogurt". Who knows, maybe one day you'll be able to courageously... sour-cream :)

Salut! (Sah-lyuBye!

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly