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Untranslatable – Crapoter

1 December 2019

“Crapoter” is a very interesting little word, meaning “to fake smoke”. It is when someone doesn’t inhale the smoke while smoking a cigarette but puffs… Read More

Language Tip of the Month

5 November 2019

Asking if there's any more of something in French might seem like a fairly simple task, but can often confuse the anglophones amongst us because… Read More

Baby Blague #17

3 February 2019

Dans la phrase "le voleur a volé une télévision", où est le sujet ?  (In the phrase "the thief stole a television, where is the… Read More

Untranslatable – pied-à-terre

1 February 2019

LES INTRADUISIBLES : pied-à-terre Ready for this month’s Intraduisible? A “pied-à-terre” is a second residence that’s far away from your original one. It… Read More

Baby Blague #16

4 January 2019

Qu'est-ce qui tombe sans faire de bruit ? (What falls without making a sound?) Baby blagues are a collection of jokes chosen by Babylangues. The jokes… Read More

Untranslatable – Tartiner

2 January 2019

“Tartiner” means to spread a substance on a piece of bread or toast. You could “tartine” just about anything onto your slice: cheese, honey, butter...the… Read More

French Borrowing

29 November 2018

As much as the Academie Française wants to protect the purity of the French language, language borrowing is a process as old as languages itself… Read More

Baby Blague #15

29 November 2018

Quel est le jeu préféré des philosophes ? (What is a philosopher's favourite game?) Baby blagues are a collection of jokes chosen by Babylangues. The jokes are… Read More

Baby Blague #14

26 October 2018

Quel est le sport le plus fruité ? (What is the fruitiest sport?) Baby blagues are a collection of jokes chosen by Babylangues. Although they are childish… Read More

Middle French

25 October 2018

Middle French is a period of the French language from about the 14th to the 17th century. It was preceded by the Old French period… Read More

Baby Blague #13

1 October 2018

Qu'est ce qui n'est pas un steak ? (What isn't a steak?) Baby blagues are a collection of jokes chosen by Babylangues. Although they are… Read More

Unstranslatable – Spleen

18 July 2018

Given the etymology of "spleen", it is likely that many of you will never have encountered this term! The word was coined in the 19th… Read More

Intraduisible #24 Coup de

26 June 2018

'Coup de [qqc]' is a useful French phrase to describe those sudden, out-of-the-blue moments that trigger a certain feeling, such as love or tiredness. Read More

Baby Blague #4

27 April 2018

Baby blagues are a collection of jokes chosen by Babylangues. Although they are childish jokes, they still make the French laugh!… Read More

Baby Blague #1 – French Joke

3 April 2018

Baby blagues are a collection of jokes aimed at French children, chosen by Babylangues. Although they are childish jokes, they still make the French laugh!… Read More

Blagues Carambar #18

26 March 2018

The Carambar is a quintessentially French sweet. This chewy caramel candy has almost become a national image of France. In 1961 Carambar began to include… Read More

Intraduisible #22 Dizaine

22 March 2018

The French noun une dizaine is modified by the suffix ‘-aine’, which is used to convey the idea of an approximation in quantity. Read More

Blagues Carambar #9

22 March 2018

The Carambar is a quintessentially French sweet. This chewy caramel candy has almost become a national image of France. The Carambar is a quintessentially French… Read More

Intraduisible #21

26 February 2018

The verb mitonner, which means ‘to cook up slowly’, can also be used in an informal context to talk about someone who is preparing or… Read More

French Joke #15

15 February 2018

The Carambar is a quintessentially French sweet. This chewy caramel candy has almost become a national image of France. In 1961 Carambar began to include… Read More

Intraduisible #20

23 January 2018

Derived from the noun nombril, meaning ‘navel’ or ‘belly button’, and the adjectival suffix -iste, the term nombriliste refers to someone who thinks only of… Read More

French Joke #12

22 January 2018

Comment se nomme l’ami que l’on ne supporte pas? The Carambar is a quintessentially French sweet. This chewy caramel candy has almost become a national… Read More

French Joke #11

22 January 2018

Quel est le sport le plus silencieux ? The Carambar is a quintessentially French sweet. This chewy caramel candy has almost become a national image… Read More

Intraduisible #19

18 December 2017

Don’t you think that the adjective frileux, with its harsh ‘f’ and tremulous ‘r’, evokes the exact feeling of a shiver, and then captures it… Read More

Intraduisible #18

22 November 2017

Mise-en-abyme is one of those expressions that seems to crop up all the time, especially in academic writing, but whose meaning is a bit of… Read More

Intraduisible #17

9 November 2017

The adjective décomplexé is taken from the infinitive form décomplexer, whose meaning is formed from the prefix dé-, connoting removal or separation, and the noun… Read More

Chauds les marrons

31 October 2017

Idioms are a vital part of every language for they add colour and imagery to your speech, therefore making it more expressive. Learning idioms in… Read More

Tomber dans les pommes

27 October 2017

IDIOMS Idioms are a vital part of every language for they add colour and imagery to your speech, therefore making it more expressive. Learning idioms… Read More

Être une vraie girouette

27 October 2017

Idioms Idioms are a vital part of every language for they add colour and imagery to your speech, therefore making it more expressive. Learning idioms… Read More

Verlan

28 July 2017

Verlan is a form of slang or ‘argot’ using the inversion of syllables of a word to say the same thing. If you thought the… Read More

Les Blagues Carambar

7 March 2017

The French have even created the expression 'les blagues Carambar' to refer to a bad or childish joke! However these jokes still make the French… Read More

INTRADUISIBLE #16

4 July 2016

The French noun piston, often found in the expression (se faire) pistonner, is an informal way of describing the preferential treatment received by an individual… Read More

Intraduisible #15

31 May 2016

LES « INTRADUISIBLES » Too French for translation… #15 GOURMANDISE The French have a specific term to capture this love of good food: gourmandise. Read More

Intraduisible #14

2 May 2016

#14 CARTONNER The French verb cartonner and faire un carton have several meanings, but in the last few decades they have evolved to encompass a… Read More

Intraduisible #13

30 April 2016

LES « INTRADUISIBLES » Too French for translation… #13 L'ESPRIT D'ESCALIER English is yet to create any counterpart for this useful French term. Read More

Intraduisible #12

18 April 2016

INTRADUISIBLE #12 "Sortable" Too French for translation... "Sortable" is an adjective used exclusively in its negative form "pas sortable" to illustrate numerous different shortfalls in… Read More

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