French as described by France's French
While living in France I am improving on my French tremendously. While my roots in French come from Canada there is a startling difference in the vocabulary from one country to the other. More so than I initially anticipated actually. I was certain I would have a strong accent but that my words would be recognized and understood. That is not always the case. We've been here now just over a year and I have noticed some vocabulary differences I absolutely need to share with everyone, not only because some are funny but if you ever travel this way, you'll actually understand what they mean.
1- "sympa" - I've said this before - sympa is short for "sympathique" meaning in both French and English compassionate to someone or their situation. In France this means - very nice, lovely and can be referred to a couch, a home, a person but not an emotion.
2-"Boite de Nuit" - Night box for a direct translation meaning Nightclub. I've never heard of this term but found it cool.
3- "Gamin/Gaminne" - Boy or girl child.
4- "D'acc - Short for "D'accord" which mean ok.
5- "MDR" - Acronym for "Mord de Rire" which is basically our "LOL" direct translation is "dying of laughter".
6- "QUOI" - This is more of an expressional observation but just as we say "EH" the French say "QUOI" and it's hilarious, they finish the sentence saying it and since it means "what", it sounds odd at first hearing it.
7- "Gosse" - So this is a funny one. The French use the term "Gosse" for group of kids, while in Canada that French word means "testicles"!!! Yes very strange, I have told a few French people this and they were shocked but grateful to know in case they were ever in Quebec referring to a group of kids as testicles. Important info.
8- "Mec" - This means guy, more like dude. And for girls it's "Nana" meaning chick/girl.
9-"Culotte" - Tricky one, at home this means pants, here it means "underwear"!. I made the mistake of saying to the trainer at the gym "Oh j'aime tes culottes" basically just told her I loved her underwear... story of my life.
10- And my all time favorite! - "Pas de souci - which means "no problem" by referring to your eyebrows, in other words "don't raise an eyebrow".