(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Friday, September 19, 2008

compendium of (dubiously) useful French words and phrases.

why dubiously? because they are considered so in my estimation and maybe not yours.  Of course, I learned loads more like a bigger start on verbs, passé composée, etc.  But these are just little bits applicable to my life and also more regularly used by the French.

I just completed 4 weeks of 1:1 French classes, twice a week for 90 minutes each session.  I only missed one class (my last one, yesterday) due to sudden change of itinerary related to my doctor's appointment.

so ... here they are, in no particular order.

c'est nul.   (It's crap.)
faire les courses.  (shop for food, go grocery shopping).
un garagiste/mécanicien (mechanic).
sans le voir. (sight unseen).
il le faut, il a fallee (necessary, was necessary)  (( ban c'est necessaire from your lexicon!))
bouger (move - as with a piece of furniture about the room).
demanager (move from a country)
à tout de suite (a few minutes)
à tout a l'heure (later today)
je t'ai dit (I told you)
je me doute (I guess)
insupportable (unbearable)
je suis énervée (I'm irritated)
ça m'énerve! (on my nerves)
avoir peur de quelque chose (to fear something - like huge nasty spiders!)
avoir besoin de (a need for, I need .. with je)
un mure en pierres apparentes (exposed stone)
il y à dix ans (it's been 10 years or 10 years ago)
je te plainds (poor you, as in poor you for having to try and speak French with me ...)
comment ça s'est passé (so, how did it go?)
décontracté (casual)
qu'est-ce-que ça veut dire? (what does it mean?)
ça suffit (it's enough)
la semaine derniere (last week)
la semaine prochaine (next week)
des rideaux (curtains)
dénicher (found a special thing)
la belle famille (in-laws)
dépeche-toi! (hurry up)
je me suis excusé (I apologize)
le sable (sand)
la poussiére (dust)
allumer (switch on)
éteindre (turn off)
donner à manger (to feed...like the dogs)
des placards de cuisine (kitchen cupboards)
de temps en temps (time to time)
perdre les clés (lose the keys)
j'ai envie (I've been craving)
ni vu, ni connu (nobody could tell)
sauter de joie (jump with joy)
hier, avant-hier (yesterday, day before yesterday)
demain, aprés demain (tomorrow, day after tomorrow)
il y à des jours 'avec' et des jours 'sans' (some days are better than others)
se sentir bien/mal (feel good/bad)
ça t'a plu? (did you like it, common phrase of the French)
le décalage horaire (time difference)
c'etait pas terrible (it isn't great)
je dois (I must)

Our process during the lesson is Laurence (mon professeur) takes a colored sheet of paper and jots down all the words and phrases I haven't understood throughout the lesson. The lesson ends with me reviewing this paper and identifying the meaning in English. I have all of these various papers for reference, in addition to many exercise sheets from homework.

I do think I've made progress in the last month. Next week I begin a fall group session with 7 other people. Should be fun!

(image from images01.trafficz.com)


Randal Graves said...

Oh, je te plainds, mon amie. Les phrases idiomatiques were - and still are! - the killer. It's so natural to do some kind of direct translation, but it's just gibberish when en français.

I think I'm going to cut, paste and print these out!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

RG-well cool, there's more where those came from!

La Belette Rouge said...

Cool cheat sheet. I am printing too!! Merci mon ami!!:-)

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

lBR: geee...maybe I should add some more?!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Merci, am dazzling David with my pronunciation even as I type!

La Framéricaine said...

une allumeuse - a cock teaser; a prick teaser

Oh, sorry, wrong class!

Needless to say, I am delighted for you and wish you many more words and phrases for your list.

I love French words, bring 'em on!!!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

Nunhead~superb (pronounced zee franche way! lol) we have to keep the 'mecs' on their toes!

LaF~oh my, well I'm giving it my best, *wink, wink* ... I will continue my quest for the best parlez-ing! merci bien!

Michelle said...

That is far more interesting than the lists I'm getting in classes. I'm going to have to take notes.

Randal Graves said...

Yes, bring some vulgar stuff next time that I can use in class. I'm sure that'll get me some extra points from the prof instead of fumbling through bad verb conjugation!

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

michelle - glad to hear it!

RG-aye, aye colonel - I'm on it ...