Friday, March 26, 2010

french friday - part quatre

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and all of a sudden they pull out a frenchy-sounding expression that sounds a lot like jibberish, and you have no idea what they're saying? So you just respond with a sheepish "yeah..." and pretend like you know what they're talking about?

Well I say, enough of that! After reading this post, you will be so comfortable in your knowledge of all popular French sayings that you'll be spurting them out left and right. Guaranteed. And if not... well then, sue me.


I'll even be ending this post with another "professional" video of moi pronouncing the sayings so you can once again laugh at me. But more importantly so you don't sound like Joey in this favorite clip of mine:

And here, finally, are some commonly used French sayings:

"à la carte" - side order
"à la mode" - in America this means "with ice cream," but in France it means "in style"
"au contraire" - on the contrary
"carte blanche" - free to do whatever you want (literally means "white card")
"C'est la vie" - That's life.
"coup d'état" - overthrow of the government
"crème de la crème" - cream of the crop
"démodé" - out of style
"double entendre" - a word or phrase that has double meaning
"esprit de corps" - in regard to the interests of the group as a whole (literally "spirit of the body")
"faux pas" - foolish mistake (literally means "false step")
"gauche" - awkward (literally means "left"... as opposed to "right," not as in "left behind"...)
"haute couture" - high class (literally means "high sewing")
"hors d'oeuvre" - a dish served before the meal (literally means "outside of work/masterpiece")
"joie de vivre" - enjoyment of life
"laissez faire" - let it be (often used in regards to the government not to interfere)
"N'est-ce pas?" - Is it not so?
"noblesse oblige" - obligated nobility
"nouveau riche" - someone who is newly rich
"passé" - of the past, old fashioned
"pièce de résistance" - best part of something, often used in reference to a meal
"prêt-à-porter" - ready to wear clothing
"Quelle horreur" - how horrible (often used sarcastically)
"Qu'est-ce que c'est?" - What's this? (or the blog name of my awesome guest poster from last week!)
"raison d'être" - reason for being/why you exist
"risqué" - overly provocative (literally means "risked")
"Sacré bleu" - exclamation of shock (literally is "sacred blue" which is the color associated with the Virgin Mary)
"savoir faire" - social grace (literally means "to know to do")
"tête-à-tête" - head to head (usually refers to a meeting between two people)
"vis-à-vis" - face to face
"Vive la différence" - Long live the difference (commonly used describing male and female relationships)

Here is your pronunciation video. And yes, I am a dork.
video
And there you have it. Now I expect you to intensely study these words so you'll be already for next week's quiz. Oh, and please let me know if you have any French sayings you think I should add to my list!

8 comments:

Joy said...

Great list, the only one I thought of that is not on the list is "Bon Appetit"

peter marie said...

How about "les incompetents" as in, "Kevin, you're what the French call les incompetents."
--Home Alone
I love your videos!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Love that Friends clip!

Also loving your longer hair!

I'll practice, but I'll still probably sound like Joey compared to you :)

Mama Foster said...

love the Friends reference! and in ypur next video can you please pronounce how to say the name of your blog. i always attempt it in my head when im reading your blogs, but i know im totally butchering it!

Elizabeth said...

I agree with Mama - you need to sign off your clips with your blog name "une autre mere"; I bet I'm slaughtering it. I TOTALLY do not say "appetizer" (can't spell the french words) like you. I say or-durvs. I'll work on it!
Yippee for French Viernes (Friday in espanol)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Ooh la la! Beautiful long hair!
Love all those phrases...probably will save face and not try to say them around you!

This Heavenly Life said...

I love it when you speak French to me :)

That's a GREAT list! I'm amazed that I actually already knew what most of them meant...does that mean I'm cultured?! I'm gonna go have some corn dogs and chocolate milk, so feel free to get back to me later with the answer :)

H-Mama said...

how fun! loved this! yeah... i'm sure i'd never sound quite as posh as you, my friend. ;)