Parlez-Vous Français?

The English language is known to be the most commonly used language amongst people all around the world. However, what we haven’t entirely realised is its ability to imbibe words and phrases from the French origin. We tend to use various catch phrases in our day-to-day lives that have been derived from the French, without paying any heed to their significance. I will be decoding a few of these French expressions that are commonly used in English (maybe you’ll find your signature quote in this list). Alors, on commence?

 

Déjà vu
Vedika: Hmmm…
Mom: What?
Vedika: I swear we’ve been here before. But I can’t quite…
Mom: Nope. Déjà vu?
Vedika: Totally. It’s bizarre!

Déjà vu in French means “already seen”, however it is actually an expression to describe a strange sensation you get when you are in a certain situation, wherein you feel like you’ve been there, done that but you (secretly) really haven’t.

 

Cliché
Lets all break out into a choreographed dance routine, wait for it… in the mustard fields of Punjab, India or even better, an exotic looking location in Europe. A classic Bollywood Cliché.

The word cliché is drawn from the French language. It stems from the past participle of clicher (to stereotype). Hence, cliché refers to an expression that has been overused to the extent that it loses its original meaning or novelty.

 

Tête-à-Tête
A tête-à-tête with your boss may result in a promotion. Okay, who are we kidding? It’s more likely that you’ll be demoted.

The French translation is literally, “head to head”. In English we use the phrase to initiate a private conversation between two people.

 

Bon appétit
Waiter: This is our signature molten chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of dense chocolate sauce. Bon appétit!
Me: Drools (very lady like).

Bon appétit simply put means, “enjoy your meal”. The term is often used in English to wish people a worthy appetite.

 

Voila
Just add a dash of red and voila! The masterpiece is ready.

Voila originated from a French phrase, “Voi la” precisely meaning “Look there!” It is generally used to create suspense just before revealing a final result.

And last but not the least, Je t’aime.

 

Je t’aime
Je t’aime Adele (fan girl moment).

Je t’aime is French for “I love you”. Pretty self explanatory, the hardest three words to say in the English language! Used as a way to express your feelings to the people you love.\

 

À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible. -Jacques Cœur
“For a valiant heart nothing is impossible.”

These are just a few definitive French phrases you can use during any conversation. Tell us what are some of your favourite French expressions in the comments below.

Leave a Reply