The French and their funny sayings

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Friday, May 18th, 2012 In Fun stuff By Stephanie
Marianne and transaltion services
On this last day of the week, we’ve thought about something a little more light-hearted. And since we’ve already talked about funny Swedish expressions, Japanese versus Middle-Eastern work ethics and painlessly kebab in Istanbul, well today why not explore French? I am amazed at the richness of this language. While French is more abstract, English is more concrete. Below are a few examples of some everyday expressions.
  • “Oh la vache!” – Literally translates as: “Oh the cow!” but means “Oh my goodness!”
  • “Apporter des oranges” (bringing oranges) – Signifies visiting someone in prison or in hospital
  • “Le chien qui se mord la queue” (the dog biting its tail) – Used to describe a vicious cycle or a never ending situation
  • “Parler français comme une vache espagnole” (Speaking French like a Spanish cow) – we love our cows in France – basically means that someone’s French is awful
  • “Fort comme un turc” (as strong as a Turk) – Somebody very strong, vigorous, sturdy and hearty
  • “Fendre la bise” (to slit the breeze) – Somebody or something very, very fast – hence invention of the TGV, the French high speed train?
  • “C’est pas du flan” (this is no custard) – To face someone/something really tough –  something similar was heard during the recent French elections
  • “Avoir la gueule de bois” (to have a face of wood) – To be hungover
  • “Avoir un ticket” (to have a ticket) – Somebody likes you
  • “Ça ne mange pas de pain” (it doesn’t eat bread) – It’s not worth it,  often used when talking about a mediocre film
  • “Filer à l’anglaise” (escape the English way) – To leave like a traitor or coward
To elaborate, the French love their cows and poodles, indulge in food for any reason, appreciate Turkish bravery, have quite low regard for their Spanish neighbours and are still at war (if only a war of words) with the English. If you encounter any difficulties with French translation, send it to us! We’d be happy to help – contact us for more details.   A happy weekend to you all! Are you counting your sheep before the end of the day?

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