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Top 5 Very Embarrassing & Common Mistakes in French

Salut,

Today, it’s Comme une Française TV’s first birthday!

To celebrate this event, I figured you’d want something VERY honest, VERY fresh and VERY useful. :)

Just a warning: this episode contains explicit sexual expressions (in French and in English) so you might want to use earbuds or send the kids to play in their rooms.


Click to watch « 5 + 1 BIG embarrassing vocabulary mistakes in France »:

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Et toi ?

Have you made any of these mistakes in France?
Do you have any different awkward moments to share?

Remember: IT’S OK to make mistakes. Celebrate them, laugh at them and move on. We’ve ALL made mistakes abroad and it’s totally normal. Breathe and relax. Now you know!

A bientôt !

Géraldine

Bonus Material: Download the Transcript

Salut c’est Géraldine.

Welcome chez Comme une Française TV: Live in France, feel at home.

Today, it’s Comme une Française TV’s first birthday. I thought about making a celebratory episode with a yearly review but then thought: BORING! Instead, I figured you’d want something VERY honest, VERY fresh and VERY useful to mark this event.

So here is a very straight forward and refreshing topic for you: 5 + 1 BIG embarrassing vocabulary mistakes in France.

Just a warning: this episode contains explicit sexual expressions (in French and in English) so you might want to use earbuds or send the kids to play in their rooms.

Tadaaaaa…. (drum roll please) [cute expression for “get ready, here we go”]

INTRO

You’ve commented on Comme une Française.com, sent emails and shared this content with your friends all year long. And since I read every comment, email and share, I’ve seen plenty of funny mistakes you may enjoy hearing, and learning from too. I’ll give you 5 and 1 bonus.

Je te baise - je t’embrasse

SOOOOO Classic.

The verb for Faire la bise (with the sound i), to do the cheek kisses, is not « baiser » like you may find on Google Translate. You actually have to say the whole phrase « Faire la bise ».

This is because baiser by itself means « to fck ». Either in an explicit or figurative way (as in « je suis baisée » : I’m fcked). So be careful with that one :)

In an email, if you want to say « kisses » at the end, you can use « Bises » or « je t’embrasse » or the very very familiar « bisous ».

Also, « Faire la bise » will always mean « kiss on the cheek » but s’embrasser means « to kiss » in general so it can be ambiguous. If you say to someone « allez, on s’embrasse », it means « let’s faire la bise ». But if someone tells you « j’ai envie de t’embrasser » it means… more: I want to kiss you.

Je suis excitée - j’ai hâte

For children, « les enfants sont tout excités » means « the children are agitated, over-excited ». We also use « excité comme une puce » = agitated like a flea / so excited you can't sit still.

Excité for an adult has a strong sexual meaning. It means someone is aroused. That includes when you say « ça m’excite » as well.

TO translate « I’m excited about », use « j’ai hâte de » or « je suis impatiente à l’idée de… »

Une amie m’a introduit - une amie m’a parlée de

This one made me smile a lot because I’m SURE I’ve made the same kind of mistakes in English and Spanish.

« A friend introduced me » does NOT translate to « Une amie m’a introduit ». « Introduire » in French means « to insert ». So I’ll leave the meaning to your imagination.

To say « A friend introduced me to…[something] », use « une amie m’a parlé de [quelque chose]» or « une amie m’a fait découvrir [quelque chose] ». To say « Let me introduce you to John », use « Je te présente John ».

Preservatives in food are called conservateurs. A preservatif is a condom. Preserve as in jam is confiture.

This one I had no idea about but it seems to be a VERY popular mistake. :)

J’ai chaud / Je suis chaud

J’ai chaud means “I’m hot” (as in the temperature)

Je suis chaud means “I’m horny” OR “I’m VERY motivated to do something”, like : Je suis chaud pour faire cette randonnée. OR « Ça te dit une rando samedi ? Oui, je suis chaud. »)

A few more fun phrases to know are: Je suis chaud comme la braise (braise like embers from a fire) which means, “I’m horny.” Je suis chaud patate (potato) : “I’m VERY motivated.”

C’est chaud : It’s hot (as in temperature) OR it’s difficult.

And one little bonus: in France, vaseline has a VERY STRONG sexual connotation. It is only seen as a sex lubricant. Nothing else. So if you ask for it in France, people will go «hmmmm»… I know in the UK and other countries it’s used as a hand cream and the brand is “just a brand”. But in France, it’s not. So if you’re looking for a hand creme, ask for “crème pour les mains”. You might be able to find something similar to vaseline, but with another name. Vaseline, as you may know it, is definitely not available in France.

Now that I’ve made you so nervous about speaking French…

IT’S OK to make mistakes. Celebrate them, laugh at them and move on. We’ve ALL made mistakes abroad and it’s totally normal. Breathe and relax. Now you know!

At the end of January, I will release a 1 month course on French comprehension. You will be able to improve your comprehension of everyday familiar French. It will be all in French with explanation in English on the side. This course will be open to all and everyone will follow the lessons at their own pace. I know you’ve been asking for such a program so here it comes. Stay tuned!

--- Et toi?

Your French will improve ONLY if you take action by using what you learn on Comme une Française TV.

Share your experiences by leaving a comment below this video :

Have you made any of these mistakes in France? Do you have any different awkward moments to share?

The comment section is the best place to start discussions and ask questions!

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Merci for watching Comme une Française TV: Live in France, feel at home.

Allez, salut !

Bonus Material: Download the Transcript

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