Tu m'as manqué, tu sais = I missed you, you know.
Viens ici, mon chaton. = Come here, my kitty.
Cher coloc = Dear roommate
RER = The Parisian subway has trains/lines that link the city to close areas around the metropolis. That's the RER. To go to Versailles, for example, you need to take the RER.
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Arrondissement = Paris is divided in districts. Those districts are called arrondissements.
Crème brûlée = Custard with caramelized sugar on top.
Pêche Melba = Vanilla ice cream with peaches and whipped cream.
Vas-y, entre! = Come on in!
Non, c'est bon. Merci. = No, I'm good. Thank you.
Salut, beau gosse. = Hi, handsome.
Mon amour = My love
Salut, ma belle. = Hi, beautiful.
Mon chéri = Sweetheart (masculine version)
Bof! C'est rien. = Meh. Nothing.
Oh, putain. Merde. = Oh fuck. Shit.
Joyeux anniversaire! = Happy birthday!
Connard = Asshole
Qu'est-ce qu'il m'fait chier, putain! = He's such a fucking pain in my ass, damn it.
Brioche = A light sweet yeast bread. Remember that sentence that Marie-Antoinette supposedly said: "Let them eat cake." Okay, well, she never even said that, but the sentence is actually "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche."
Salut, eh, t'es le gars d'la dernière fois. = Hi. Eh, you're the guy from last time.
Putain! = Damn it!
Malotru = How rude! or Boorish man!
Les Rivières pourpres = A French thriller featuring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell.
Apéricube cheese = Laughing Cow cheese in the shape of a cube. Used specifically for the apéritif.
Un apéritif = French people take an apéritif before a meal at the restaurant, during big celebrations, or when they invite friends over. An apéritif usually consists of some strong alcohol, such as pastis (an anise drink), whiskey, etc... It also includes little snacks such as chips, tiny sausages, etc...
Un apéritif dinatoire = French people might also invite you for an apéritif dinatoire instead of a full dinner, which is the same as an apéritif, but much larger. It might include quiche, cheeses, and a large variety of snacks. In Return, Adrien invites Noah and Hugo to an apéritif dinatoire.
Gruyère = Swiss cheese.
Charcuterie = Cold cuts such as ham and salami.
Mon cœur = Sweetheart
Oh mon Dieu! = Oh my God!
Bonsoir. = Good evening. You should say "bonjour" all day long until 6 P.M. when you start saying "bonsoir."
Le Grand Meaulnes = The only novel writen by Alain-Fournier. Alain-Fournier is well known in Lorraine because he was killed during World War 1 in Les Eparges, in Meuse, Lorraine. The Lorraine region, where Verdun is located, was deeply affected by the battles of World War 1.
Renaud = PopularFrench singer.
Yannick Noah = French tennis champion who is now a popular French singer well known for his humanitarian views and uplifting songs.
Et tutoie-moi, s'il te plaît. = Please, use the "tu" form when addressing me.
In France, people use the "vous" form for people they don't know or for their superiors. "Tu" is the casual form for friends and family. You can only use that form with children, friends, family, or people who've allowed you to use that form. Using "tu" with strangers is considered a form of disrespect.
Une minute, maman. = One minute, Mom.
Galettes de Bretagne. = Butter cookies from the region of Brittany, France.
La bûche = Yule cake in the shape of a tree log. It's a traditional French dessert for Christmas.
Escargots = Snails. French people only eat snails at the restaurant or during big meals and celebrations.
Coq au vin = Rooster cooked in a wine sauce.
Pommes dauphine = Crisp potato puffs.
Le Crazy Horse = Cabaret show located in Paris. It is aired every year onNew Year's Eve on French public television.
Arte = A Franco-German channel known for its documentaries.
Biscotte = Rusk. French people sometimes eat those for breakfast with butter on top. French children sometimes eat it for their "goûter" as well—a snack they take at four P.M. after school. Because French people eat rather late—between seven and eight P.M.—children need a snack long before dinner. They are usually not allowed to snack all day long. The four P.M. goûter is their snack of the day.
Commissaire Moulin = French police drama that first aired in the 70s. French people watch a lot of police shows on TV—usually shows from France, the UK, Germany, or the US.
Oui, mère = Yes, Mother. This expression can be used sarcastically when addressing one's mother or anyone else acting like an overbearing mom.
Un VTT = Vélo tout terrain = A mountain bike.
Qu'est-ce qui s'passe, putain? = What's going on? Damn it!
Euh oui, oui. = Huh, yes, yes. Despite the stereotypical representation of French people, they don't repeat the "oui" all the time. They sometimes do it when they're not really paying attention to what you're saying. It can also be a sign of annoyance. They can also use it to confirm they agree with you. It's all based on context.
A bientôt. = See you soon.
Et pas de roses! = And no roses.
Tu m'as tellement manqué. = I missed you so much.
Un vernissage = The grand opening of an art gallery.
Charlotte aux framboises = Raspberry creamy cake.
Mmm, miam. = Mmm, yum.
The air-conditioning in France:
French houses and apartments usually don't have an air-conditioning system. Even in hospitals and some hotels, it is rare to have an air conditioner.
Le Baron Haussmann:
Le Baron Haussmann was a prefect of the Seine Department, commissioned by Napoleon III to remodel Paris with grand boulevards and parks in the 19th Century.
It is very common for French people to go to the café to meet with friends, to chat with people, or simply to relax. They go there to have a coffee, some tea, or some fruit juice. Le café also serves alcohol. It is common to see people at the counter drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages at all hours of the day. Children are allowed in the cafés, but they're not allowed to consume alcohol. The cafés usually have terraces outside, where you can see French people chatting and drinking coffee while smoking.
Coffee in France:
For breakfast, French people drink coffee in a large bowl.
When they invite you over for a coffee in the afternoon, they will serve it in a regular cup, usually with some biscuits (French shortcakes) or some brioche.
Coffee at the cafés, though, is only a few espresso shots served in a tiny cup, or a cappuccino. Don't expect a large coffee from a French café.
Depression in France:
French people are not only the most pessimistic people in the world, but they are also more prone to depression than people in other nations. And yet, depression carries a stigma. It is more common to get mood-altering drugs from a generalist doctor than going to the shrink. Many French people are reluctant to go see a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The gym in France:
French people don't go to the gym often. They usually lose weight by walking a lot or exercising at home. Going to the gym is an American trend that is becoming more popular in France, though.
Protesting in France:
Protesting is common in France. French workers protest when they want more rights or when they disagree with the people in power. In the case of Adrien's dilemma, French parents would be more likely to protest and call the news than sue the school.
Food in France:
Most of my characters spend a lot of time eating or talking about food. French people live to eat. It is a real cultural thing. Eating takes a lot of time in every French person's daily schedule.
Porn and nudity in France:
Nudity is no big deal in France. It is present in publicity, the movies, and on public television. There is nothing sexual about nudity in France. It just is.
It is also possible to watch soft-core porn on public television late in the night. Sexuality is not a taboo, but never assume French people are open to discussing sexuality overtly.
Relationships in France:
It is often assumed people are a couple from the moment they go on their first date and share a kiss on the lips for the first time. After that, seeing other people on the side is considered cheating even if no sex has occurred yet. From the moment the date went well, the couple status is taken for granted, unless the people involved agreed it was simply a sex thing.
Education in France:
Going to the university in France is a lot cheaper than in some other countries. Raphael's entire year at ENSA (Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture) is unlikely to have cost him more than 700 euros.
French people rarely take the plane to travel in France. They take the train, preferably the TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), a fast train taking them places within hours.
Very expensive porcelain plates from Limoges, France.
To access more cultural aspects of France, go to: