Many French expressions and words that you definitely know from TV shows or heard in some songs are never used by French people. Here is a list of 7 French words and expressions French people never say.
Overusing Ooooh là là
Not Oh là là which can be translated to “seriously? or “come on” But the sophisticated Ooooh là là that People learning French like to use and most likely will find any occasion to exclaim it to express their joy or when they are glad. However, this expression is not used by French people. It is a common misconception. If you don’t want to embarrass yourself when you speak French, better use another French exclamation like “Oh!”.
Cursing with SacreBleu
Sacrebleu is a stereotypical and very old-fashioned French curse, which is rarely used by the French nowadays. An English equivalent would be “my Goodness!”, or you can use also Mon Dieu ! instead.
Omelette du fromage
Because of the episode “The Big Cheese” in the famous cartoon The Dexter’s Laboratory, the phrase became popular worldwide. I am sad to announce you, that the correct words are indeed omelette au fromage, what as you can guess, means omelette with cheese.
Calling a French waitress Garçon
The translation is “a boy”. It has been a long time since I heard anyone calling out garçon ! in a restaurant. Most people in France would just try to catch the waiter’s eye and say s’il vous plaît ?. Using it will be very old-fashioned (ringard in French) and quite inappropriate. You can end up being ignored.
Telling a random French girl Voulez vous coucher avec moi ?
“Do you want to sleep with me tonight?” in English. This phrase came into English vernacular with music, as the chorus in the 1975 hit “Lady Marmelade” by Labelle.
It’s hard to imagine that it can be a very effective pick-up line. Seriously, in this type of situation, why would French use the informal way to say vous, and furthermore, why you would ask it that way?
Using nous in speech
This one is a small mistake made by a big amount of people (up to 90% of French learners!). When you write in French, you can use nous, but in spoken French you should use on which still means “we”. Saying nous sounds very formal.
The Beauty of Apéritif
French people ACTUALLY use this word. Apéritif is a French noun derived from the Latin verb aperire, which means “to open”.
In France, apéritif is a pre-dinner drink served before a meal to stimulate the appetite . We use more often the shortened version apéro. By the way, having apéro is a typical habit and is very loved in France, especially by French students.
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