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. 🙂
Bonjour I’m Géraldine, your French teacher. Welcome to Comme une Française.
Today, like every Tuesday, I’ll help you get better at speaking and understanding everyday French.
C’est parti !
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.
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1) Je te baise – Je t’embrasse
This is a very classic mistake!
For “to do the cheek kisses (in French greetings)” we use the phrasal verb Faire la bise. Do NOT use Baiser – even if Google Translate suggests it!
Learn more about this French greeting in my lesson: La Bise
You have to use the whole phrase Faire la bise because baiser by itself means: “to f*ck.” Either literally (explicit) or figuratively, as in:
Ah merde, je suis baisée. = Ah sh*t, I’m f*cked.
So be careful with that one!
You can also use S’embrasser (= to kiss each other) for Faire la bise… But it can be ambiguous! For example:
“Allez, on s’embrasse !” = “Come on, let’s do (the greeting) la bise.” (“On” is more chaste.)
“J’ai envie de t’embrasser.” = “I want to kiss you.” (“Je” is more personal, intimate.)
Keep track of the context! 🙂
Finally, “Kisses” at the end of a letter (or an email) would be simple: Bises, or Je t’embrasse, or (familiar) Bisous.
2) Je suis excitée – J’ai hâte
To say “I’m excited,” do NOT say Je suis excité(e) !
Instead, you can use:
- J’ai hâte ! (= I can’t wait.)
- Je suis impatiente à l’idée de… (= I’m excited about…)
Indeed, for an adult, excité(e) means aroused. As also in: Ça m’excite. (= It’s arousing.) That can be embarrassing!
However, we sometimes use excité innocently… when applied to children, mostly.
Les enfants sont tout excités. (= The children are agitated, over-excited.)
Or the expression: excité comme une puce (= “agitated like a flea” (literally) = so excited you can’t sit still.)
3) 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 more directly means « to insert / to penetrate». So I’ll leave the meaning to your imagination.
To say “A friend introduced me to [something],” you can use:
– Une amie m’a parlé de [quelque chose] (= A friend talked to me about [something])
– Une amie m’a fait découvrir [quelque chose] (= A friend helped me discover [something])
And to say “Let me introduce you to John,” you can say: “Je te présente John.“
4) Préservatifs – Conservateurs
I had no idea about this, but it seems that confusing “préservatifs” for “conservateurs” is a VERY popular mistake 🙂
Preservatives (in food) are des conservateurs (it also means conservatives.)
Meanwhile, un préservatif is… a condom!
5) J’ai chaud – Je suis chaude
J’ai chaud = I’m hot (as in I think the temperature is too high.) It’s the same in the masculine and feminine.
Je suis chaud (masculine) / Je suis chaude (feminine) = I’m horny (especially in the feminine)
Don’t make the mistake!
However, we also use Je suis chaud casually to mean “I’m motivated / I’m in.” For example:
Je suis chaud pour faire cette randonnée. = I’m motivated for that hike.
Ça te dit une rando samedi ?
– Oui, je suis chaud.
= Would you like to go hiking on saturday? / Yeah, I’m in.
Other expressions with chaud :
Je suis chaud comme la braise. = I’m hot as embers (literally) = I’m horny.
Je suis chaud patate. = I’m hot potato (literally) = “I’m VERY motivated.”
C’est chaud ! = It’s hot (as in temperature) OR (colloquially) it’s difficult or it’s tragic / very concerning.
6) Bonus – Vaseline
In France, la vaseline is basically only known as a sexual lubricant. It has a very strong sexual connotation!
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 “de la 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.
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Et toi ?
Have you made any of these mistakes in France?
Do you have any different awkward moments to share?
Share your answers in the comments below!
→ If you enjoyed this lesson (and/or learned something new) – why not share this lesson with a francophile friend? You can talk about it afterwards! You’ll learn much more if you have social support from your friends 🙂
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Allez, salut 🙂