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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!


Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux
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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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