If you don’t pay attention, you may very well end up ordering a jerk in a restaurant while practicing your French. To avoid these mistakes, here are 7 things not to say while traveling in France. Unless you really mean them of course.
Tu es bonne
Congratulating your friends and telling them they are good at something might sound like a good idea, but you need to be careful while doing so in French. “Tu es bonne”, said to a girl will often be interpreted as “you are good…in bed”, and that’s the most polite translation. So if you ever want to congratulate a female friend, don’t forget to add something after “tu es bonne”. Or simply avoid this sentence and use the safer “tu es doué(e)” (you are gifted).
French learners often mistake “canard” and “connard”. Two words with a radically different meaning. While “canard” means “duck”, “connard” means jerk. You may want to avoid asking for a jerk in the restaurant like John did .
You certainly think that “baiser” means “to kiss”, and that using that word would be really cute. Wrong! While “un baiser” does mean “a kiss”, “baiser” used as a verb means “to f***”. Less glamorous, right? So whenever you find yourself eager to ask for a kiss, prefer “un bisous” (a kiss). To say “to kiss”, you can use the verb “embrasser”.
Je suis chaud(e)
In English, “I am hot” means that you are…well hot. In French though, it means that you are horny. To say you are hot, you should use “J’ai chaud” (I have hot).
Note that “je suis chaud” will more rarely be understood as “I am horny” than “je suis chaude” the feminine version.
In fact “je suis chaud(e) can also mean that you are ready for something, ready to win a competition for example. Therefore the meaning completely depends on the context.
You like your food without preservatives? Then you may be tempted to ask for food “sans préservatifs” thinking you are asking for food “without preservatives”, when what you are really asking for is “food without condoms”.
Cats are cute, right? “Chat” (cat) is one of the first word students usually learn in French. What your teacher didn’t tell you though is that the female version “chatte” has two meanings. It designate botth the female animal and…the female sex… To avoid the confusion, avoid using this word !
This is a magical word. As the video below demonstrates, you can use it for absolutely anything, but certainly not with everyone. Used alone, it can mean you are tired, frustrated, angry… Used to call someone though, it means “whore”. Whatever meaning you choose, remember that this word is extremely familiar and should be used sparingly.
Have you ever made funny mistakes in French? Share your stories in the comments!