25 French Expressions and Slang You DON'T Learn in French Class

25 Colloquial French Words
Want to learn some useful French expressions, words and slang that you probably don't cover in French class? Here's a list of 25 colloquial terms you'll hear in France. You can sprinkle them into your conversations to sound more fluent or smile to yourself when you hear your French friends use the words.

Here we go, 25 French expressions and slang words you don't learn in French class (unless your French teacher is awesome).

Trop Stylé
This French expression is used a lot by teenagers and younger people, this is how they say something is cool, similar to « trop bien ». You can also use « stylé » (pronounced: stee-lay) as a standalone compliment for things such as clothing, tattoos, a drawing, etc...

« Hé mattes-moi ça, c'est trop stylé ! »

Faire Gaffe
Recently I was surprised when my cousin kept saying this term and I had no clue what it meant. Ever since he explained this term, I heard it used by my relatives, my friends in the South and even the teachers I worked with. Faire gaffe is just another way to say  « faire attention » or pay attention, watch out, be careful. Make sure you conjugate the verb faire when necessary.

« Fais gaffe à la marche. »

En fait / Franchement
These two words are extremely useful. En fait (pronounced: ohn-fet) can either connect two phrases, or be used as an interjection. Franchement accentuates speech and bring attention to an opinion.

« Ah si franchement il est génial ! »

Ça y est !
Ça y est (pronounced: sigh-ay) is a little French expression that has two main meanings. It's usually a replacement of the word "finally" in French, « c'est fait / enfin ». However it's also an expression that can be used when you find something you were looking for.

Pompette & Déchiré
Oh man, two of my favorites words right here (not sure what that says about me). These words describe one thing: different states of being drunk. Pompette is the equivalent of being tipsy in English, when you've drank enough to feel it but not enough to regret anything. Déchiré is on the other end of the spectrum and it mean's you're WASTED, you're hammered. Game over, déchiré. Get ready for that walk of shame tomorrow morning.

« Oh putain, hire soir j'étais déchiré(e). »

Worldwide Importance of the French Language

How important in the French language on a global scale?

The French Language in the Francophone World from the OIF's 2014 report.

According to the L’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) there are 274 million French speakers in the world. French is the 5th most spoken language in the world and the 2nd most learned foreign one. These facts come from a 2014 report which discussed the progression of the French language since 2010.

Because "the lack of linguistic diversity encourages uniformity in the way we perceive and think the world," the OIF is trying to keep French and multilingualism alive within international organizations.

The OIF claims that the number of French speakers has increased by 7%, or 13 million since 2010. There has also been a 6% increase in people who study French as a second language (however the European continent experienced an 8% decline).

The growth of the French language is primarily coming from Africa, which uses French or English as the lingua franca. However to continue to progress, many more French teachers will be needed in Africa, else the feasibility of 650 million francophones by 2050 seems unlikely.

The French language internationally and politically:
French is one of the five official languages of the United Nations. It is claimed to be the 3rd most important global business language, after English and Chinese (Bloomberg), and the 2nd business language of the European Area after English (but still ahead of German, Russian, Italian and Spanish).

Meet Up and Speak French With Natives: Franglish!

How can I meet up and speak with native French speakers in my area?

Franglish, a French-English Language Exchange
Many people complain that they can read or write French, but have a hard time speaking it. If you're one of those types of people who struggle with holding a conversation then Franglish is for you, because practice makes perfect.

Franglish is an organized event where native English, French, and Spanish speakers meet at a local venue for the sole purpose of exchanging languages (English & French). All levels are welcome, and you won't be judged. When you arrive at a Franglish event you have half an hour to mingle and meet people before the 2-hour event officially begins. Since the events are at bars and pubs a drink is included in the ticket price.

Each English participant goes to a table with a French partner of their choice.
– 7 minutes of the conversation in French. Only French.
– 7 minutes of the conversation in English. Only English.
– You then have 1 minute to switch tables and meet a new partner!
About every 15 minutes you'll receive a new person to speak with, this goes on for two hours.

Franglish has language exchange events all around France (Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Nice, Lille, etc) the United Kingdom (London, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester), and soon the United States (New York City, November 2014). There are also Spanish/French exchanges in Paris.

Curious? Check out the following video below and turn on English subtitles if needed.

Book Review: Upgrade Your French by Ben Houy

Upgrade Your French: The Ultimate Guide to Learning French on Your Ownhas hit the shelves on the Amazon Marketplace!


Benjamin Houy, the author, is a Frenchman who currently lives in Berlin. He learned English, Korean, and German and wrote this book to help learners tackle the hardships of learning French. Benjamin is a friend of mine, and he runs the website frenchtogether.com where you can learn about French Culture, expressions, and a myriad of other things.

Okay, so enough about Ben, what about his book?

The reason I liked "Upgrade Your French" is because it starts of by introducing common misconceptions which hold people back from learning any language. He then goes about outlining the methodology he used to attain foreign language fluency. During the second part of his book, Ben lists ways to improve the four core skills: reading, listening, writing & speaking.

For the price of a small breakfast, Ben's book will help anybody stay motivated and stay the course for learning French. At just under 20,000 words, it's not the longest read in the world, but for anyone who's floundering with their French, it may be helpful. The book is intended for beginners or intermediate learners.

Until Friday, October 24th, Ben's book is FREE on the Amazon Marketplace. After that it sells for $4.99 (USD).

You can like frenchtogether here on Facebook.
You can purchase Upgrade Your French: The Ultimate Guide to Learning French on Your Own on Amazon today.

Let Ben and I know what you guys think of his book on his Amazon page or here in the comments below (no subscription required to comment).

Papaoutai English Translation - Stromae

Papaoutai in English
Reviewed/Translated by Stromae & John Elkhoury
Comprehension Difficulty: EASY


Dites-moi d'où il vient
Tell me where he comes from
Enfin je saurais où je vais
Then I would know where I'm going
Maman dit que lorsqu'on cherche bien
Mommy says when you look hard enough
On finit toujours par trouver
You'll always end up finding it

Elle dit qu'il n'est jamais très loin
She says he's never very far away
Qu'il part très souvent travailler
He often leaves to go work
Maman dit « travailler c'est bien »
Mommy says "working is good"
Bien mieux qu'être mal accompagné, pas vrai ?
Better to be alone than in bad company, right?

Où est ton papa ?
Where is your dad?
Dis-moi où est ton papa
Tell me where is your dad?
Sans même devoir lui parler
Without even having to talk to him
Il sait ce qui ne va pas
He knows it's not going well

Ah sacré papa
Oh my dear father
Dis-moi où es-tu caché ?
Tell me where are you hiding?
Ca doit faire au moins mille fois que j'ai compté mes doigts
I must've counted my fingers at least a thousand times

Où t'es papa où t'es ?
Where are you dad, where are you?
Où t'es papa où t'es ?
Where are you dad, where are you?
Où t'es papa où t'es ?
Where are you dad, where are you?
Où t'es où t'es où papa, où t'es ?
Where are you, where are you, where are you dad, where are you?

Top Things to See and Do in Lyon

Things to do in Lyon, France
What are some top things to see and do in Lyon? Well, Lyon is the second largest metropolitan area in France and it's a must visit destination when you're in the country. I often find that people are so crazy about seeing Paris, yet this is also a topnotch destination. So when you go to La Ville Des Lumières, what should you do when you get there?

Visit La Notre Dame de Fourvière & L'Hotel de Ville
Notre Dame de Fourvière sits atop a large hill in the 5th arrondissement. Outside this beautiful church is a view of the entire Lyonnais city skyline, and during a nice afternoon you'll be able to experience a breathtaking sunset.

Meanwhile city hall sits in the middle of Presqu'île, and is a wonderful site to see at night when the building is lit up in it's entirety. It also serves as good meeting point for friends.

Eat Authentic Lyonnais Food
Lyon is often known as the gastronomical capital of France thanks to many famous chefs in town. The food is excellent and the attention to detail on traditional dishes is immense. If you go to a Bouchon (they can be overbooked), you'll get the best cooking Lyon has to offer, however you may not enjoy the close, familial seating proximities. Have no fear, most regular restaurants feature Lyonnais fare as well as more commonplace cuisine.

If you're eating kebabs in Lyon, then you're doing it wrong.