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

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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

French Music You May Like

imagesWhen you ask a French person what music they listen to, they’ll most likely rattle off a list of English-speaking artists. “Beyonce!” “AC/DC!” “Gotye!” they’ll tell you. It’s rare to hear any of them mention a French singer or band. The music that’s in ‘fashion’ for les jeunes (the young people) is English music. And most of them have no idea what the songs are about.

This used to be a really bizarre concept to me, but I’ve begun to realise that just because you don’t understand a song, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Music is much more about the actual music than the lyrics. (NOTE: Click on the titles to hear the song) Continue reading

Q and A What Are Your Tips for Learning French?

I recently got an email from a girl I went to uni with. She contacted me after reading this blog and told me how she was really keen to start learning French and what resources she’d recommend to start learning, particularly online resources.
My first reaction when I hear someone say they want to start learning le francais my reaction tends to be something like this:

"YOU WANT TO LEARN FRENCH?! REALLY?!?!"

“YOU WANT TO LEARN FRENCH?! REALLY?!?!”

So anyone taking a remote interest in learning my favourite language already wins brownie points and I was more than willing to help them get started.

Continue reading

Need Help Learning French? Visit My Pinterest!

pinterestlogo2The internet is full of a lot of information. Some of it good, some of it bad – some of it just plain wrong. One of the good pieces of information out there for me is Pinterest, especially if you’re wanting to learn a language like French! Or any language for that matter 🙂

I’ve been wanting to build up a resource of reviews of internet resources for French learning, and while I think I’ll still get around to that there is a bunch of little useful tools I find on the internet almost every day. Since I speak French almost fluently, I think I can confidently judge the good from the bad, the genuine from the scams.

So if you’re learning French, please feel free to check out or follow my ‘French’ board. It’s a little bare at the moment, but I’ve already discovered some really good stuff (such as a website where you can watch French movies for free, with the French subtitles! YAY! I’ve already learned a new word that I missed while watching LOL. ‘Elle est canon’ , roughly the equivalent of ‘she’s a knock-out’ in English).

The material I’ll pin is mainly for intermediate-advanced speakers, and I’ll try to build a collection of authentic French audio with native speakers and natural conversations.

If nothing else, I hope it inspires you to keep learning French and realise there are a lot of great resources out there for free! 🙂

I have also started a Japanese board, since that is my new foreign language – but I haven’t managed to put anything on it yet! I hope to build this up in time, but this board will definitely have more of a beginner focus since that is my level at the moment.