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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Candice here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I'll answer your most common French questions.
The question for this lesson is How can I sound cool in French?
This lesson will go through the phrases that are more casual, a little younger, and much more slangy. They’re not proper French, so be careful!
To be casual, the most basic thing to do is drop the ne in negative constructions. Je sais pas. “I don’t know.” J’en ai plus. “I don’t have any more.” J’ai dormi que trois heures. “I only slept for three hours.”
Now if you want to get even more slangy, don’t fully pronounce Je. Je sais pas becomes ch’ais pas. The best translation for this word is “I dunno.” And we can do it with any verb. For example, Ch’crois meaning “I think so.” You’ll also hear this contraction with tu. For example, t’es sorti ce week-end? means “Did you go out this weekend?” Tu es becomes t’es. Use this with people you know well and only in spoken language. If you use it in writing, it will be une grande faute, a big mistake!
Next is C’est n’importe quoi! This is just one of the ways to say something is crazy in French. N’importe quoi means “whatever” in French, but in this sentence it’s closer to “anything goes.” Other ways to say crazy are C’est dingue. C’est ouf. This is slang for fou, meaning “crazy.” Maybe you want to emphasize how crazy something is. One option is to add quoi at the end of your sentence. This can come after any sentence and it emphasizes your point. For example, C’est ridicule, quoi means “This is so ridiculous.”
Next is Un truc de ouf. Le truc means “the thing, the stuff.” It replaces la chose. Un truc de ouf is “the stuff of crazy people.” Le truc, c’est que… means “The thing is…” C’est où, le truc? “Where’s the thing?”
Now we’re going to go over some slang words. Bosser means “to work.” Bouffer means “to eat,” or “to chow down.” Picoler means “to drink,” or “to knock back.” Se casser means “to leave,” or “to split.” Un boulot is “a job.” Un pote is “a friend.” Grosse means “big, huge.” And c’est marrant means “That’s funny.” And if you really want to sound slangy, replace très with trop. An example is C’est trop marrant meaning “It’s too funny.” And C’est trop bon means “It tastes too good.”
Here’s a sample conversation of slangy French. See if you can understand it –
T'es sorti hier? Moi j'ai bossé puis bouffé et picolé un peu avec mes potes. Le truc c'est que c'était une grosse soirée, j'ai dormi que trois heures c'te nuit, ch'uis mort de fatigue.
It means: “Did you go out yesterday? I worked then ate and drank a little with my pals. The thing is that is was a big night, I slept only for three hours, I am dead tired.”
Pretty cool, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!