English Words


The French Use of English Words

For a country so proud of its language and goes through great lengths to preserve it, there are a lot of English words that manage to find their way into every day conversation. No, I'm not saying that these words are popping up in classic novels. But occasionally I will hear an English word, used in French context, and it will give me a quick silent chuckle. So here are some words that the french use.

le foot: no I'm not talking about someone's foot. Le foot is a shortened version of football. And no that is not American football they're talking about. Le foot means soccer. So it makes some sense, but it takes a minute to remember that they're not talking about feet.

les baskets: these are tennis shoes, sneakers, or any kind of exercise shoe. Also sometimes they do refer to them as les tennis, but baskets are the most popular. So don't get freaked out if the French start talking about baskets on their feet, they're talking about shoes.

le basket: its funny how they drop the word ball when it comes to sports. Instead of football its le foot and instead of basketball, its le basket. So no they're not talking about playing with baskets.

anything that ends in -ing: I think these words make me chuckle because of the French accent when it comes to pronouncing -ing. They use words like shopping and parking and many others. I guess I just though that they would have used other words since they're all about preserving their language. Even the Italians don't use the word parking.

The Seine
bus/car: this one confuses me all the time. A bus is used the same way we would use it, some sort of public transport. But a car are those private tour buses. So confusing!

drive: this is probably my favorite because it means drive thru. I hear people talking about a drive and I get so confused since drive is a verb and they're using it as a noun. But drive means drive thru. McDonalds even calls theirs a McDrive. I'm sorry France for bringing you McDonalds.

And of course the French are using words like selfie and hashtag. But I haven't heard the word bro so I think France isn't completely up to date with American terminology. But many French people are trying to protect their language from becoming too English. For example, everyone knows what email means, but many will use the word mel or courriel (even less popular) just to avoid using the English word. But as someone who hasn't quite mastered the language, it really makes me happy when I understand the words in English, even if it isn't always used in the right context.

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