7 ways to say “what” in French

A blue plastic question mark against a light pink background

“What” in French is quoi…or que, or quel(le)(s), or qu’est-ce que/qu’est-ce qui, or ce que/ce qui/ce dont. But these can’t be used interchangeably. What’s going on here is that there is no single word for “what” in French – rather, you could think of it as if the French language has divided up the many …


All about the Phryges, Paris’s 2024 Olympic mascots

The Olympic rings hung on a stucco wall.

The mascots of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France are the Phryges (les Phryges). Based on the Phrygian cap (le bonnet phrygien), an iconic symbol of freedom and the French Republic, these mascots are revolutionary in a few ways, and have already caused some (funny) controversy. Let’s take a closer look at the Phryges. Who …


9 unique, untranslatable French words

Seen from the back, a woman with shoulder-length brown hair and wearing a black leather jacket pauses while strolling in one of Paris's covered passages, taking in the sights and sounds around her.

What are the most unique French words? French has many beautiful, funny, and otherwise memorable words, and some of them have no exact, single-word equivalent in other languages. Let’s discover nine of these unique, untranslatable French words. 9 unique and untranslatable French words Here are 9 unique and untranslatable words that you’ll often come across …


7 common French greetings (and the faux-pas to avoid)

French greeting

There are a number of ways to greet people in French, including saying Bonjour and exchanging la bise (cheek kisses). Let’s look at the ones you’ll come across most often, and how use these greetings like a native French person! 7 common French greetings The typical French greeting: Bonjour As you probably know, Bonjour means “Hello” …


The essential guide to French reflexive verbs

A woman with red painted fingernails and wearing a long-sleeved black shirt holds a large mirror at the level of her head, reflecting the very bright blue sky with scattered clouds that we also see all around her.

A reflexive verb is a verb that’s preceded by a reflexive pronoun. These verbs show that someone or something is doing something to/by themself. For instance, Je me réveille means “I wake up.” As you can see, in English we don’t usually use reflexive verbs, although you could say “I wake myself up” for clarification or …