You feel bad because you make mistakes when you speak French? Or you feel afraid to communicate in French because you are sure to make mistakes? Don’t! Everybody makes mistakes, so what? It’s part of learning. Besides, we like it when you make mistakes because… it’s adorable. Don’t believe me? Let’s reverse the situation for one episode and explore the mistakes that French people pretty much always make when they speak English. It will make you feel better and you’ll improve your French at the same time.
Erreur numéro 1: I AM AGREE WITH YOU
Oh I remember this one during my school days. It was really hard at first not to say I am agree with you, which I said for, well, too long. Why? Because in French we say Je SUIS d’accord avec toi.
Erreur numéro 2: EMAIL vs MAIL
This mistake I experience on a regular basis from my University. My company French Truly and I live in Seattle but I also study from a French University online, because it’s much easier in French and because it’s free. But back to our mistake. The French will use either email or mail and somehow because both are English words they think both mean emails. They wanted me to send all my homework by “mail” so I “emailed” a few people and ask them if I could “email” my homework instead since I live so far away, to which I received a “Oui, oui madame, vous pouvez envoyer vos devoirs par “mail”.” Aha.
Erreur numéro 3: H ALL OVER THE PLACE
You know, the French can’t do the sound H so they say appy instead of happy. Except it’s not true. They might tell you you (h)ave a pretty (h)ouse yet they will also talk to you about helectricity, heducation, or the Paris hairport. Why? Sounds more English? My mom will often tell me Oh I’m so angry let’s go have food! But she will complain that the poor organization of the community center where she volunteers makes her very hungry.
Erreur numéro 4: MAKING UP PLURAL
Can you give me some informations? They are getting long but I still want them longer.
Why? These are plural in French! J’ai besoin que vous me donniez des informations et oui je sais mes cheveux sont longs mais je les veux encore plus longs!
Erreur numéro 5: TO PASS AN EXAM
Imagine yourself telling a French person: “I’ve passed my exam!” and instead of congratulating you they answer “Oh ok, when will you get the result?” you’d be rather confused, wouldn’t you? Don’t be. Passer un examen means to take an exam. Réussir un examen means to pass an exam.
Erreur numéro 6: BE QUIET !
First, let’s all agree that Be quiet is the imperative form, it’s a command, you’re telling someone what to do. Now the imperative for le verbe être is sois (casual) or soyez (formal). And quiet, aaah it’s so quiet, that in French is tranquille. From this we can confidently deduct that be quiet = sois tranquille. Non.
Sois tranquille means be at peace, don’t worry.
So when my mom wants to help you relax by begging you not to worry, she tels you “Be quiet!”
PS pour maman: Pardon je sais que tu vas regarder la vidéo c’est pas pour me moquer c’est juste pour aider les gens ha ha!