Saturday, November 05, 2005

Handy phrases for the American in Paris

Yesterday I was trying to be witty in the comments section, and I was looking for the way to say (and spell) "excuse me" in French. Since I don't speak French, that meant Googling "handy French phrases translated", which brought me to this website.

It's a place for renting villas and apartments in France, and the phrase page has the usual instructions on how to ask for the bill and, indeed, how to say "excuse me." So I found what I was looking for--although a villa in Provence would have been nice, too.

But someone there also seems to have a sense of humor, not to mention a finger on the pulse of current French attitudes towards Americans. Under the heading "Getting out of trouble," they offer the following indispensable phrases for the traveler from the US (complete with phonetic pronunciation guides, which I've omitted here for the sake of brevity), which I now offer to you:

Sorry, I'm American.
Excusez-moi, je suis americain.

In my next life I hope I am French.
Pour le future J' espere etre francais.

France is far superior to other European countries.
France est plus superior que les autres pays europeens.

This all follows some phrases listed under a previous heading, "Getting in trouble with the French." There you can find the following distinctly unhelpful phrases:

Where is the nearest McDonalds?
Ou est le McDonalds le plus proche?

California wine is better.
Le vin de California est le meilleure.

We would like to see Euro Disney.
Nous voulons voir Euro Disney.


At 11:21 PM, November 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My French lessons suggested remembering the following:

Je t'aime aujourd'hui
Encore plus qu'hier
et bien ?? que demain

that's supposed to be

I love you today
More than yesterday
But not as much as tomorrow.

Anyone got the spelling correct? Mark

At 5:04 PM, November 06, 2005, Blogger Venichka said...

Ha! That's hilarious. Think there is heavy irony there. Anyway, "Excusez-moi, je suis americain" isn't an apology, although "Je suis désolé, je suis americain" would be.

Why on earth would you want to go into a McDo or Euro-Disney when in France anyway?!

I think your missing word may be "moins" (or "pas plus")

At 9:19 AM, November 08, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


At 7:30 PM, November 09, 2005, Blogger fly morgue said...

"pardon" is less self-abasing than "excusez-moi" and that is important to a Frenchman!

At 8:48 PM, March 28, 2006, Blogger bsboys said...

how do you come with so many ideas. i am trying to write on my quick payday loans , but can get much out of it .
hope this helps me out. thanxs


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