French Language

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french argot and colloquialisms

 I have friends in France who are highly educated and write french beautifully, and yet, for all they could, they do not speak french in a 'pure' form, whether they ever do, ie at work, I have no idea.  As they use slang words like everyone else when I see them.

 I admit since we have left and the french language has moved on, sometimes I simply do not know what some odd word or expression means and have to ask. If I was there, I daresay I would have just picked it up in passing. And I suppose that was the good thing about us only having french tv for so many years, that I could not only hear some of the argot,  but I suppose see it in context.

So how good are you with french slang and do you use it???



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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

idun wrote : So how good are you with french slang and do you use it???

No, not really .. colloquialisms yes. Eg I use 'aprèm' for après-midi because everyone does and 'pas de souci' or 'pas de problème' often.
'OK' you hear everywhere and 'A+' is written all the time.
Will have to look at my French WhatsApps to check for others.

Computing - it's another world
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

In my early days working in France, back in the distant 60s, French friends discouraged me from using much slang - though they may well have been using the expressions themselves. So I have stuck with things at the level of "chouette", "mince!", "dingue", "génial", "casse-pieds" which seemed to be acceptable to them.
I must say, if you hear foreigners using really "gros mots" in English, it can sound shocking, so maybe I understand where my French friends were coming from.
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

Loiseau wrote : So I have stuck with things at the level of "chouette", "mince!", "dingue", "génial", "casse-pieds" ...

'Ras-le-bol' is one that confused my other half, along with 'chouette' .. he asked me why a passerby thought his construction in the garden was 'owly' .. so I explained.

Computing - it's another world
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

There is always a distinction between understanding such language and actively using it.
There is also the question of the appropriate register for a particular situation.

'casse-pieds' would be more acceptable than 'casse-coui**s' ...

There is also the fact that young peoples' language can sound rather sad in the mouth of older people.

I could say "je kiff"  or "Wesh" but I don"t Big Smile [:D]

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

Here en pleine campagne, you have no choice but to slip into argot and slangStick out tongue [:P]

I was teased a lot for "speaking proper" when I first arrived here in the Dordogne.  Now, the opposite is true, I need to mind my language when I am speaking to, for example, the specialists in the hospital, the pharmacien, etc.  After all, I don't want to sound like an oikWoot! [:-))]

The French do seem to swear a lot.  If anyone saw the docu on TV called "Brexit, the inside story", you might be a bit disconcerted at the amount of swearing even at the highest level of the political establishment!


Sovereignty: the right to eat cholorinated chicken.
from The Little Book of Brexit Bo ll oc ks
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

NormanH wrote : I could say "je kiff" or "Wesh" but I don"t.

Gosh, you learn smthg everyday .. I have only heard Wesh so imagined it as being spelled 'ouèche'.
Computing - it's another world
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Re: french argot and colloquialisms

I never got into the colloquialisms etc.
Except for one that I think I've mentioned before "tous les cochonneries" - from my french neighbour describing all the smelly bones etc that her dog brought home as treasures.

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