French Mistake #349: When English is Wrong

mistakeA lot of people will tell you that one of the advantages of learning French for an English speaker is that we have a lot of similar words. It’s true that a lot of English words have French origin like fiancé and words we can’t be bothered finding a translation for (e.g. crepe, baguette, beret)

The problem is we often completely fuck up or change the original pronunciation.

So when I was in the Alsace region and was explaining in to my friend Pierre all the French words in English, I mentioned lingerie. If I try to explain how I said it phonetically I suppose it was something like ‘lawn: jerr: ray’ and he had no idea what I was talking about. Continue reading

French Mistake #3021: ‘Let’s Piss Off’

swearingWhen I first moved to France and started making friends with people my age, I realised I would have to start learning slang. I already knew a few slang terms and a lot of bad words (“putain” (fuck) is still my favourite French swear word) but there was still a lot I didn’t know in the beginning.

I found a few alternatives for saying ‘let’s go’ in French. I had previously learned ‘on y va’ in French classes, but came across ‘on se casse’ on the internet. ‘Se casser’ is a verb meaning to break and was apparently a slang way to say ‘let’s go,’ kind of like ‘let’s shoot off’ in English… or so I thought. Continue reading

French Mistake #4051: Banks Play Monopoly?

0x600I’ve made a few mistakes in my life when speaking French… When I say a ‘few’ I mean thousands… and I still make them! So I’m documenting a few here for your enjoyment 🙂

I don’t remember exactly where I was when I made this mistake, but I was chatting with my boyfriend at the time about big French companies and governments.

At some point during the day we got onto the topic of big corporations, particularly banks. I started explaining that there were four major banks in Australia, I wanted to say they had a monopoly of the market, so I said: Continue reading