Top 7 English French Faux Amis or False Cognates You Need to Know

Bonjour !

French people love using words borrowed from the English language, even if it doesn’t always make sense! And if you’re an actual English speaker, you might get confused… or very confused!

Today, we’ll learn the top 7 English French faux amis or false cognates: “Catch”, “Scotch”, “Warning”, “Brushing” and few more others. This is also known as “franglicisme”, words from the English language that are used into the French language but has a completely different meaning! At the end of this episode, you’ll realize how useful this is to know!

Et toi ?

Which other word does the French language borrow incorrectly?

Bonne journée,


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  • Years ago, my family hosted a French exchange student. As a 16 year-old boy, he was quite the “know-it-all” and made more non-friends than friends. As he was packing up to go back home, he asked, “Please, I can have some Scotch?” I was taken aback, as my family did not encourage under-age drinking. “Oh, I don’t think we have Scotch. We have wine, beer, but no Scotch,” I replied. “No, no. It is flat and sticky,” he answered. Ah, THEN I understood–scotch TAPE. Well, why didn’t you say so? Fun memory.

  • Quand ma femme nage elle utiliser les palms (flippers in English). Aussi elle dit un brushing quand elle a sa cheveux coloré

  • coucou Géraldine! I loved this episode … and learnt heaps [a lot], thank you ???? I did not know the story about velcro but now that I do, I have new respect for the velvet and hooks material : it is amazing stuff ???? … salut et bonne journée!

  • Bonjour, Géraldine.
    Il y a aussi « baskets » pour les chaussures sportifs, qui donne l’image des gens qui portent des corbeilles sur les pieds.

  • Merci beaucoup for another great and interesting video Geraldine! I learnt a lot!
    Some other words are le speaker where we would say ‘newsreader’/’announcer’/’presenter’, le parking for car park (British English)/parking lot (American English), and le relooking for a makeover.
    We also call sticky tape by a brand name too – sellotape!

  • Crème Fraiche est souvent traduite comme “fresh cream” (et vice versa) mais elle ne l’est pas, elle a une “culture” ajoutée à la crème qui la fait durer beaucoup plus longtemps que la crème fraîche et lui donne un goût légèrement acidulé

  • Il y a les magasins de sport “ Athletes Foot “ En anglais c’est un maladie de pieds qui n’est pas agréable !

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