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French idioms


letrangere

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Like slang, I find I have to be so careful.  Know I can safely say I'm "aux anges" when I'm really happy and no one at the office ever comments on my "ce n'est par la mer a boire" when it's no big deal.  But I have in the past received odd looks when explaining that I "parle comme une vache espagnole", which I don't anymore thank goodness.  I'm sure we all have "des idees noires" from time to time but what exactly are we doing when we "tomber dans les pommes", is it really fainting?  And what's that one to do with prunes and costing only a pittance?

Margaret

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When our French friends try to be clever with English idiomatic sayings, if they do not get them exactly right and in the right context they do sound so strange, so it goes without saying that the same goes with brits using French idioms.

But I have in the past received odd looks when explaining that I "parle comme une vache espagnole", which I don't anymore thank goodness."

The above sentence would be better understood and read if you said "je parle francais comme une vache espagnol" . (It always goes down well when I use it anyway  The simple ommitance of the word francais changes it completely.

I have very good illustrated booklet on various idioms French/English, If I can find it I will post the ISBN number.

Paul

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

...Or a couple of really good books if you are prepared to still do a bit of the "working out" for yourself are:

"Sky my husband!" and "Name of a pipe" both by Jean-Loup Chiflet (or John-Wolf Whistle). These are very funny and particularly the second one has fabulous cartoon illustrations (Blake & Mortimer) to show the literal and actual translations of French and English idioms.

ISBN's are :

"Ciel Mon Mari!" ISBN 2-02-051976-3

"Name of a Pipe!" ISBN 2-913588-58-1

Jane

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