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How French Slang Has Advanced And Technology Clashes

How French Slang Has Advanced And Technology Clashes


Contrarily to written French, spoken French evolves on a regular basis. If the French grammar and many of the vocabulary evolve fairly slowly, widespread expressions and slang change quick. 

I used to be fortunate to fulfill Charlie of StreetFrench.org in Paris final November: though Charlie is American, his French is great. At 34, Charlie speaks a “youthful” French than I do (I’m 51 as I write this text). 

We began to check the slang we use to speak about plenty of issues, and I then had the identical dialog with my daughter Leyla, who’s simply flip 18. We had fairly fun as she shared with me what individuals her age might say.

Apparently sufficient, the three of us share loads of widespread French slang expressions, typically based mostly on verlan. But, we additionally use expressions that the opposite age group wouldn’t use.

So, right here you’ve it: on this article, I’ll recap the conversations we had, checklist many examples of French expressions and let you know what every era might/ might not use, and share some uncommon recommendations on studying French.

I additionally counsel you take heed to the video Charlie and I made on this topic. It’s in French and comes with French subtitles (activate the CC choice).

So let’s dig in:

French Slang Evolution

You’re in all probability aware of the timeless French slang phrase “une meuf”.
It’s verlan: a spoken slang consisting of inverting the syllables of a phrase, on this case “une femme” (despite the fact that for “meuf” the pronunciation can be a bit twisted).
“Meuf” also can imply girlfriend when used with a possessive adjective “ma meuf”. 

Though not verlan, the male equal is “un mec” for “un homme”.

Each “mec” and “meuf” are tremendous widespread slang and could be utilized by Leyla, Charlie and I.
However not precisely in the identical manner:

I, at 51, would use “meuf” (or “mec”) to explain/ speak about somebody : “tu as vu cette meuf avec la gown verte ?” (did you see this woman/gal with the inexperienced costume?).

Charlie (34) and Leyla (18) would use like I do, but additionally it deal with somebody : “hey, meuf, tu fais quoi ?” (hey, woman, what are you doing?). 

I might by no means say that. It could sound ridiculous in my mouth.

Now, Leyla might use the brand new slang expression “une go”. I might by no means, ever use this… manner too younger for me! Really, the primary time I heard it I couldn’t even perceive it…

That is why it’s so necessary to be taught French with a way that covers timeless slang and vocabulary – or explains the context, like I do in my French audiobook technique. However I digress… I’ll discuss extra about how to decide on your studying technique under. In the intervening time, listed below are different examples of French slang expressions – and the way they’re utilized by completely different generations.

À Moi Paris Audiobook Technique

A brand new method to studying each conventional and fashionable French logically structured for English audio system.

Extra Particulars & Audio Samples

7 Examples of French slang Expressions Used By Completely different Generations

Evolution of ‘I’m Aggravated’ in French Slang

To say ‘I’m irritated’, I might use largely use a standard expression : “je suis enervé(e)”. If the context was proper, I might use a slang expression : “j’ai les nerfs”.

Leyla and Charlie would say: “je suis vénère” (verlan). And Leyla might even say “j’ai le seum”. That’s undoubtedly not my era!

‘I’m Burdened Out’

I might say : “je suis stressée” or “je suis tendue”.

Leyla would say : “ça me crispe !”

‘How Enjoyable’

We might all say: “c’est tremendous cool”, “c’est génial !”

Now the youthful generations – Charlie included – might use an expression which comes from our French Canadian associates : “c’est le enjoyable”.

‘Don’t Trouble’

Charlie and I might say : “laisse tomber !” It’s possible you’ll be aware of the verlan expression “laisse béton”… nevertheless it’s not likely used anymore.

Leyla’s era would say : “Lâche l’affaire !” – once more, a Canadian affect there.

“I’m so pleased”

We might all say : “je suis trop content material(e)”

Leyla’s era might say : “j’ai la joie”. I wouldn’t say that, it might sound bizarre in my mouth.

“You bought what you deserved”

Charlie and I might say : “bien fait pour toi !”

Leyla’s era might say : “Cheh !”. It comes from Arabic, like “je kiffe” used to say you want one thing or somebody.

“My father”

To speak about my father, I might say “mon papa” or “mon père”.

The youthful era, Leyla’s age, might say “mon daron” or “mon paternel”. Within the video, Charlie informed me he wouldn’t use it both, however hears it very often.

What’s humorous about this new French expression “daron” is a really, very previous French phrase (18th century!) that lately reappeared in youthful slang!

Which brings me to a phrase of advise.

Watch out for older slang

Normally, slang doesn’t age nicely!

To say “un chien”, I typically use “un clebs”. Leyla laughed and mentioned she’d by no means say that! It’s really fairly widespread slang, however dates again from WW1! Right here’s extra about WW1 French slang.

I’ve heard college students use “une pépé” to say “une femme”… that is one thing my grandfather might have mentioned!

It seems like saying “swell” in English…
Let me let you know a narrative about ‘swell’… I realized this phrase studying ‘The Catcher within the Rye’ and used it with my associates again after I lived in Boston…. My good friend Kane requested me: ‘how was your day?’ and I answered: ‘swell!’

He burst on laughing so laborious he spilled his drink.
I used to be so embarrassed!

That is why you need to watch out when studying slang… Or any French vocabulary for that matter. Are you studying the French you actually need to know? Is what you’re studying timeless? Age acceptable? You don’t need to sound like a teen… And in the event you’re a teen, you could not need to sound too formal both…
This brings me to my subsequent level…

Researching Your French Studying Technique

As Charlie and I talk about in a part of the video under, it’s necessary for college kids to analysis the French technique they need to examine with.

Some individuals completely have to be taught formal French, to go examination, or as a strong foundation. Figuring out formal French is at all times a good suggestion, since French individuals are likely to worth an informed manner of talking… In different phrases, it’s going to look fairly unhealthy in the event you had been to make use of slang and really casual French within the flawed context. Alternatively, in case you are formal in an off-the-cuff state of affairs… you’ll look a bit caught up… however individuals would perceive.

For youthful individuals who simply need to talk throughout a visit to France… nicely let’s say that mastering the French subjunctive might not be their precedence! Figuring out some casual manner of speaking and youthful slang might assist them slot in.

Studying from many sources in optimum, but I’d like to present you a phrase of warning there: I’ve assist 1000’s of individuals be taught French: a lot of them focused on finding out what they loved finding out, not what they wanted to review. Some individuals spent numerous hours finding out slang… once they actually wanted to extend their on a regular basis vocabulary. Surprisingly, I additionally witnessed many college students being obsessive about mastering the subjunctive… once they nonetheless struggled in selecting between passé-composé and imparfait

These days, YouTube, Instagram, even Tik-tok have exploded with enjoyable, bite-size French movies. Enjoyable for positive. Not likely dangerous. But in addition time consuming. 

And most of the people have restricted time to review… So, it’s Alright to loosen up. However you additionally want to review with a structured French studying technique which is able to information you thru your French research. It’s important that this technique suit your targets : ensure you first examine the fashion of the trainer, his/her voice, accent, and international method to French. Does the tactic cowl each formal and casual French? What in regards to the pronunciation? Is-it structured sufficient for you? Will it educate you the correct of vocabulary?

Do take the time to take heed to the audio samples, to learn the desk of content material, the shopper feedbacks…
The appropriate selection is at all times an knowledgeable selection.

Okay, now, I’ll allow you to benefit from the video: you’ll hear extra examples of French slang expressions which clashes between generations, after which Charlie and I additionally speak about why French individuals reply in English to English-speakers, when and the place to go in France to follow your French and extra…

How French Slang Has Advanced – Video

This video is usually in French – you could flip the French subtitles through the use of the YouTube gear and CC choices.

Do you utilize French slang? What’s your favourite expression?
When you’d wish to examine whether or not the slang expressions you’re keen on are nonetheless used at present, depart a remark under and ask me!