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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 What are some English words that French speakers often use?
There are a lot of English words that are used in spoken French, and a lot of words of foreign origin in general. However, because they are not considered proper French, they are all treated as slang. L'Académie Française, or “The French Academy”, regularly comes up with French words to replace these foreign words, but they don’t always catch on. So let’s take a look at some examples.
This word might be the greatest contribution of English to all languages – it is the word “OK.” If you want to speak proper French, say d’accord, or its shortened form, d’acc. But you will hear French people say OK all the time. Let’s look at some more examples. You can probably guess their meanings – Un weekend, un meeting, faire du jogging, faire du shopping, stress.
Clothes are commonly referred to using English words. For example,
Un pull is “a pullover.” Un sweater, un t-shirt, les jeans. Here’s a fun fact – the English word “denim” actually comes from French. Since denim originally came from the French city Nîmes, they were de Nîmes or “from Nîmes.”
Technology-re;ated words are often from English as well. For example, le wi-fi or “Wi-Fi,” cliquer or “to click (on),” blog, podcasting. The list goes on.
And note that foreign words are always masculine.
So a lot of times, you can use an English word with a French accent and it will mean the same thing. There are other times that this is not the case. Let’s go through some examples.
Un mail is “an email,” not a letter or the mail.
Un interview is a bit tricky. If someone is being interviewed by the press, then use un interview. If you are going to “a job interview,” use the word un entretien.
Top means “best.”
Parking means “parking lot.”
Now here are some non-English loan words. The first is from Arabic – un bled is “a small town.” Le casbah means “house.” And kiffer is a verb meaning “to like or love.”
Pretty neat, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A bientôt, see you soon!