Five colloquial expressions that will knock the socks off your French friends.
Ok, so you’ve managed to make your way through many of the basics of the French language. Now you’d like to show little flashes of fluency that will surprise your French friends and set you apart from the rest of the amateurs out there who are mangling the French language! So here are five expressions that are part of le parler d’jeunes―speech of the young―that will make your French friends sit up and take notice.
1. Ça déchire !
Déchirer means to tear or rip, but in this context―”that rips”―is a common way among young French of describing something as what English speakers would say is “awesome”.
Cette voiture, elle déchire ! That car, she rips! That's a literal translation. But a more colloquial translation into English would be, "That car is awesome!"
J'adore ta jupe ! Elle déchire ! I love your skirt! It's awesome.
Remember, déchire is a verb, conjugated in the third person singular. You can't say, "elle est déchire" , or "c'est déchire". There is no need for an "is", unlike when we use "awesome" in English.
2. T’inquiète !
This is a slang shortening of the phrase ne t’inquiète pas. Notice that the slang version simply drops the ne and pas. S'inquièter, of course, is a verb which means to worry.
Ça va aller, t’inquiète, c’est pas grave ! It’s gonna be fine, no worries, it doesn’t matter!
How’s it going? How’s life?
3. Ça roule ?
If you’re bored with using the common expression, “ca va?”, you can use this more casual way of saying, “How’s it going?” Rouler means to roll, or roll along, like a big tractor and trailer rolling along the highway. In this colloquial version, it’s like asking, “is life rolling along?”
And when a friend asks this question, you can often reply, “Comme d’hab”, which is short slang for Comme d’habitude―as usual―or “Tranquille”, which means relaxed, cool.
Ce film est nul ! This movie sucks!
4. C’est nul !
As in English, nul means null or zero, but also bad or lame.
Ce film est nul ! This movie sucks!
Another way to say that is, "C’est naze !", which is a very common synonym of C’est nul !
This guy or dude… This girl, chick, or babe…
5. Ce mec… Cette meuf…
Ce mec me tue ! This guy kills me!
Il a rencontré une meuf superbe à la soirée. He met a gorgeous woman at the party.
And if you really want to impress your French friends with your phrases au courant, try this one. It’ll make your friends’ eyes pop.
Je kiff cette meuf ! I love this girl!
Kif is an Arabic word that has infiltrated the parler d’jeunes because of the large Arabic- speaking population in France. It means happiness, or a sense of well-being. Je te kiffe has even become a new way of saying, “I love you.”
Now practice your pronunciation with Julie in this short video!
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