Easy French Lesson 3: English Words in French

Easy French Lesson 3 English in French:

ENGLISH WORDS IN FRENCH

English words in French are the very easiest French words, because these are words you already know well from English.

These words still retain their English spelling and pronunciation in French (to a greater or lesser degree).

On a visit to France, you will see these English words in French -- or maybe even hear a few amid the otherwise incomprehensible flow of spoken French words.

For example, French advertising sometimes uses English words.

These words from English are so common in France that just about everyone knows and uses them, regardless of their English skills.

On a visit to France, you will see or hear these words jump out at you like old friends from home.

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The French article that usually precedes each noun (e.g. le bar) is included here with each of these English words in French that is spelled exactly like its English version to make it clear that these are indeed French words as well as English words.

Many English words in French are modern terms for new technological developments, when there are no existing words in French for these new developments.

In adopted English words, French often uses a hyphen between joined words, where English does not (as in cowboy -- un cow-boy).

In the following pronunciation guide, French words pronounced like English are enclosed in single quotation marks, e.g. bar -- ‘bar’.

To keep French pronunciation easiest, French words are shown to have a similar pronunciation to English if the stress is on the same syllable, and the letters are pronounced enough alike that French people will probably understand what you mean if you pronounce those words as you do in English. You may merely sound like you have an ‘English accent’ in French.

Later you can listen to how French people pronounce them, and try to mimic any small differences in pronunciation to make them sound more authentically French. For example, the letter –i- in French is always pronounced ‘-ee-’ [whereas in English it is often pronounced ‘-ih-’]

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ENGLISH -- FRENCH -- [SAY]

bar (for alcohol) -- le bar -- [‘bar’]

bikini -- le bikini -- [‘bikini’]

blog -- le blog -- [‘blog’]

blues (music) -- le blues -- [‘blues’]

blush (makeup) -- le blush -- [‘blush’]

bowling -- le bowling -- [‘bowling’]

box (cubicle) -- le box -- [‘box’]

boxer (dog) -- le boxer -- [‘boxer’]

break (pause) -- le break -- [‘break’]

breakfast -- le breakfast -- [‘breakfast’]

bug -- le bug -- [‘bug’]

building -- le building -- [‘building’]

bulldozer -- le bulldozer -- [‘bulldozer’]

bus -- le bus -- [bews]

caddie -- le caddie -- [‘caddie’]

cafeteria -- la cafétéria -- [‘cafeteria’]

cardigan -- le cardigan -- [‘cardigan’]

chat (internet) -- le chat -- [‘chat’]

chatroom (internet) -- chatroom -- [‘chatroom’]

chips (potato) -- chips -- [‘chips’]

clip (video) -- le clip -- [‘clip’]

club -- le club -- [‘club’]

coach -- le coach -- [‘coach’]

cocktail -- le cocktail -- [‘cocktail’]

cool (excellent) -- cool -- [‘cool’]

cowboy -- un cow-boy -- ['cowboy']

dollar -- le dollar -- [‘dollar’]

drive (n - sports) -- le drive -- [‘drive’]

drugstore -- le drugstore -- [‘drugstore’]

fax -- le fax -- [‘fax’]

ferry -- le ferry -- [fay-REE]

flop (failure) -- le flop -- [‘flop’]

gay -- le gay -- [‘gay’]

gel (cosmetics) -- le gel -- [zhehl]

gin -- le gin -- [‘gin’]

girl -- la girl -- [‘girl’]

golf -- le golf -- [‘golf’]

goodbye -- bye -- [‘bye’]

green -- green -- [‘green’]

groggy -- groggy -- [‘groggy’]

hamburger -- un hamburger -- [am-behr-gehr]

Hello! -- Hello! -- [HEHL-loh]

hobby -- le hobby -- [oh-bee]

holdup -- un hold-up -- [ohl-dup]

iceberg -- un iceberg -- [‘iceberg’]

in (style) -- in -- [‘in’]

info (internet) -- info -- [‘info’]

internet -- l’internet -- [ehng-tehr-NEHT]

jackpot -- le jackpot -- [‘jackpot’]

Jacuzzi® -- Jacuzzi® -- [‘Jacuzzi’]

jazz -- le jazz -- [‘jazz’]

jeans -- les jeans -- [‘jeen’]

Jeep® -- la Jeep® -- [‘Jeep’]

jersey (shirt) -- le jersey -- [zher-SEH]

jet -- le jet -- [‘jet’]

job -- le job -- [‘job’]

jockey -- le jockey -- [zhoh-kee]

jogging -- le jogging -- [zhoh-geen]

joker -- le joker -- [‘joker’]

joystick (video games) -- le joystick -- [‘joystick’]

kerosene -- le kérosène -- [keh-ro-ZEHN]

ketchup -- le ketchup -- [‘ketchup’]

kitchenette -- le kitchenette -- [kee-shee-NEHT]

Kleenex® (tissues) -- le Kleenex® -- [‘Kleenex’]

laser -- le laser -- [‘laser’]

leader -- le leader -- [‘leader’]

leadership -- le leadership -- [‘leadership’]

lift (Br.) / elevator (Am.) -- le lift -- [‘lift’]

look (style) -- le look -- [‘look’]

loser -- un loser -- [‘loser’]

Mac® (MacIntosh computer) -- Mac® -- [‘Mac’]

magazine -- le magazine -- [‘magazine’]

match (game) -- le match -- [‘match’]

meeting -- le meeting -- [‘meeting’]

modem -- le modem -- [‘modem’]

news -- le news -- [‘news’]

newsletter -- le newsletter -- [‘newsletter’]

nightclub -- le club -- [‘club’]

nylon -- le Nylon® -- [nee-LOHNG]

O.K. -- O.K. -- [‘O.K.’]

parking (area) -- le parking -- [‘parking’]

pickpocket -- le pickpocket -- [‘pickpocket’]

piercing (body) -- un piercing -- [‘piercing’]

podcasting -- le podcasting -- [‘podcasting’]

poker (cards) -- le poker -- [‘poker’]

polo -- le polo -- [‘polo’]

pop (music) -- le pop -- [‘pop’]

popcorn -- le pop-corn -- [‘popcorn’]

pub (bar) -- le pub -- [‘pub’]

rafting -- le rafting -- [‘rafting’]

Relax! -- Relax! -- [‘relax’]

rock (and roll) -- le rock -- [‘rock’]

sandwich -- le sandwich -- [‘sandwich’]

Scotch (whisky) -- le scotch -- [‘Scotch’]

sexy -- sexy -- [‘sexy’]

shopping -- le shopping -- [‘shopping’]

skateboard -- le skateboard -- [‘skateboard’]

skipper (captain) -- le skipper -- [‘skipper’]

slogan -- le slogan -- [‘slogan’]

soap (opera) -- le soap -- [‘soap’]

snowboard -- le snowboard -- [‘snowboard’]

soda (fizzy drink) -- le soda -- [‘soda’]

sofa -- le sofa -- [‘sofa’]

software -- le software -- [‘software’]

snob -- le/la snob -- [‘snob’]

sport -- le sport -- [spor]

squash (sport) -- le squash -- [‘squash’]

stand / stall -- le stand -- [stangd]

stop! -- stop! -- [‘stop’]

stop (sign) -- le stop -- [‘stop’]

steak -- le steak -- [stehk]

supermodel -- la supermodel -- [‘supermodel’]

sweater -- le sweater -- [‘sweater’]

sweatshirt -- le sweat-shirt -- [‘sweatshirt’]

tampons -- des tampons -- [‘tampon’]

telephone -- le téléphone -- [tay-lay-FOHN]

television -- le télévision -- [tay-lay-vee-zee-YOHNG]

thriller -- le thriller -- [‘thriller’]

video -- la vidéo -- [vee-day-OH]

videocassette -- la vidéocassette -- [‘videocassette’]

videoconference -- la vidéoconférence -- [‘videoconference’]

volleyball -- le volley-ball -- [‘volleyball’]

Walkman® -- le Walkman® -- [‘walkman’]

waterproof -- waterproof -- [‘waterproof’]

Web (internet) -- le Web -- [‘web’]

webcam -- la webcam -- [‘webcam’]

webmaster -- le webmaster / webmestre -- [‘webmaster’]

weekend -- le week-end -- [‘weekend’]

western (movie) -- le western -- [‘western’]

whisky -- le whisky -- [‘whisky’]

Web (World Wide Web) -- le Web -- [‘web’]

yes -- yes -- [‘yes’]

yoga -- le yoga -- [‘yoga’]

zapping (channel-hopping) -- le zapping -- [‘zapping’]

zoo -- le zoo -- [‘zoo’ / zoh]

zoom (lens) -- le zoom -- [‘zoom’]

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ENGLISH PHRASES IN FRENCH

ENGLISH -- FRENCH -- [SAY]

baby-sitter -- le baby-sitter -- [bah-bee-see-TUHR]

baby-sitting -- le baby-sitting -- [bah-bee-see-TEENG]

basketball -- le basket-ball -- [‘basketball’]

bed and breakfast -- le bed and breakfast -- [‘bed and’ brayk-FAHST]

blue-jeans -- les blue-jeans -- [blood-zheen]

body building -- le body-building -- [‘body building’]

Bye-Bye! -- Bye-Bye! -- [‘bye-bye’]

CD -- le CD -- [say-day]

check-list -- la check-list -- [‘check-list’]

check-point -- le check-point -- [‘check-point’]

check-up -- le check-up -- [‘check-up’]

chewing gum -- le chewing gum -- [shew-weeng ‘gum’]

coming out (gay) -- coming out -- [‘coming out’]

cover-girl -- la cover-girl -- [‘cover-girl’]

cross-country -- cross-country -- [‘cross-country’]

cyber café (internet) -- le cyber café (internet) -- [see-BEHR ‘cafe’]

Discman® -- le Discman ® -- [‘Discman’]

DVD -- le DVD(-ROM) -- [day-vay-DAY-‘rom’]

e-mail / email -- un e-mail -- [‘e-mail’]

eyeliner -- un eye-liner -- [‘eyeliner’]

fast food -- le fast-food -- [‘fast food’]

field hockey -- le hockey -- [oh-kee]

flashback -- le flash-back -- [‘flash-back’]

FM -- la FM -- [‘FM’]

Game Boy® -- la gameboy® -- [‘Game Boy’]

Game over. (video games) -- Game over. -- [‘game over’]

hot dog -- un hot dog -- [oht dohg]

hip-hop -- le hip hop -- [‘hip-hop’]

import-export -- import-export -- [‘import-export’]

iPod® -- les iPod ® -- [ee-POHD]

iTunes® -- les iTunes® -- [ee-TOON]

jet set -- le jet-set -- [‘jet set’]

jet ski -- le jet ski -- [‘jet ski’]

kiwi fruit -- le kiwi -- [‘kiwi’]

knock-out -- la knock-out -- [‘knock-out’]

K.O. (knockout) -- le K.O. -- [kah-oh]

low-cost airline -- le low-cost airline -- [‘low-cost airline’]

PlayStation® -- la playstation® -- [‘PlayStation’]

polo shirt -- le polo -- [‘polo’]

pullover (sweater) -- le pull-over -- [‘pullover’]

pullover (sweater) -- le pull -- [‘pull’]

sex shop -- le sex-shop -- [‘sex shop’]

shadow-boxing -- le shadow-boxing -- [‘shadow-boxing’]

show business -- le show-business -- [‘show business’]

sitcoms -- les sit-coms -- [‘sitcom’]

soap opera -- le soap opera -- [‘soap opera’]

talk show -- le talk-show -- [‘talk show’]

take-away (food) (Br.) / take-out (Am.) -- le take-away -- [‘take-away’]

T-shirt -- le tee-shirt -- [‘T-shirt’]

toilet -- le water closet -- [‘water closet’]

Xbox® -- la Xbox® -- [‘Xbox’]

Wi-Fi -- le Wi-Fi -- [wee-FEE]

Wonder bra -- wonderbra -- [‘Wonder bra’]

WWW (World Wide Web) -- la WWW -- [‘WWW’]

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ENGLISH WORDS USED SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY IN FRENCH

In French, some English words are used in unfamiliar ways.

These French words based on English differ in form or meaning from English.

A word may be borrowed from English, but the meaning changed in French.

Some new French nouns are created from Anglo-Saxon roots, often by adding "-ing" at the end of a popular word—e.g., "shampooing" (shampoo).

Other English-based words in French resemble English -- but are not really English words also. Some are based on mistaken ideas of English words (e.g. "footing" meaning jogging).

For those French people who do not speak English, such words may be believed to exist in English.

Other French people with little or no knowledge of English may mistakenly think they’re using English words properly -- but in some cases they’re not.

This caused someone to ask: “If the French want to borrow English words, why can’t they get them right?”

ENGLISH -- FRENCH -- [SAY]

advertisement -- le spot -- [‘spot’]

announcer (m) -- le speaker -- [‘speaker’]

announcer (f) -- la speakerine -- [speek-reen]

badge -- le pin’s -- [peenz]

basketball -- le basket -- [‘basket’]

basketball shoes -- les baskets -- [‘basket’]

beep (answering machine) -- le bip -- [‘beep’]

Big Mac® -- le Royale with cheese -- [‘Royale with cheese’]

blue-jeans -- le blue-jean -- [blood-zheen]

booked (busy) -- booké -- [boo-KAY]

boost (v) -- booster (v) -- [boos-TAY]

bowling alley -- les bowlings -- [‘bowling’]

boycott (v) -- boycotter (v) -- [boy-koh-TAY]

blow-dry -- un Brushing® -- [‘brushing’]

campsite -- le camping -- [‘camping’]

cast (actors) -- le casting -- [‘casting’]

cereal (breakfast) -- les cereals -- [seh-reh-AHL]

cereal (breakfast) -- les cornflakes -- [‘cornflake’]

check (v) -- checker -- [sheh-KAY]

choke (engine) -- le starter -- [‘starter’]

click (v internet) -- cliquer -- [klee-KAY]

clip-on earring -- le clip -- [‘clip’]

cocktail party -- le cocktail -- [‘cocktail’]

Coke® -- Coca® -- [‘Coca’]

dance hall -- le dancing -- [‘dancing’]

dance music -- la dance -- [‘dance’]

deisel (fuel) -- le gas-oil -- [‘gas-oil’]

dinner jacket (Br) / tuxedo (Am) -- un smoking -- [‘smoking’]

dribble (v) (sport) -- dribbler -- [‘dribble’]

dry cleaner’s -- le pressing -- [‘pressing’]

dry Martini -- le dry -- [‘dry’]

email / e-mail -- le mail -- [‘mail’]

face-lift -- le lifting -- [‘lifting’]

fast food restaurant -- le fast food -- [‘fast food’]

film made for television -- le téléfilm -- [‘telefilm’]

flirt (v) -- flirter (v) -- [flir-TAY]

foosball -- le babyfoot -- [‘babyfoot’]

gin and tonic -- gin tonic -- [‘gin tonic’]

go-carting -- le carting -- [‘carting’]

hash -- le shit -- [‘shit’]

Hey! -- Hé! -- ['hey']

hitchhiker -- un auto-stoppeur -- [‘auto’ stoh-puhr]

hitchhiking -- un auto-stop -- [‘auto stop’]

hitchhiking -- le stop -- [‘stop’]

jeans -- le jean -- [‘jeen’]

jigsaw puzzle -- le puzzle -- [‘puzzle’]

jogging -- le footing -- [‘footing’]

lob (v) -- lober -- [loh-BAY]

kayaking -- le kayak -- [‘kayak’]

kidnap -- kidnappper (v) -- [keed-nah-PAY]

makeover -- re-looked -- [‘re-looked’]

news -- infos -- [een-fohs]

pajamas / pyjamas (Br.) -- le pyjama -- [‘pyjama’]

penalty kick (soccer) -- penalty -- [‘penalty’]

pinball machine -- le flipper -- [‘flipper’]

polo shirt -- un polo -- [‘polo’]

pullover (sweater) -- le pull -- [‘pullover’]

rollerblading -- le roller -- [‘roller’]

sandwiches -- les sandwichs -- [‘sandwich’]

Scotch tape® -- le Scotch® -- [‘Scotch’]

screwdriver (drink) -- vodka orange -- [‘vodka’ oh-RAHNZH]

self-service cafeteria -- le self -- [‘self’]

self-service cafeteria -- le self-service -- [‘self-service’]

shampoo -- le shampooing -- [shahm-pwahng]

shorts -- le short -- [‘short’]

skateboarding -- le skate -- [‘skate’]

skating rink -- les skatings -- [‘skating’]

slow dance -- le slow -- [‘slow’]

smash (the ball) (tennis) -- smasher (v) -- [smah(t)-shay]

smiley -- smiley -- [‘smiley’]

snack bar -- le scramble -- [‘scramble’]

sneakers (shoes) -- des baskets -- [‘basket’]

snobbish -- snob (adj) -- [‘snob’]

spotlight -- le spot -- [‘spot’]

steak -- le biftec -- [beef-TEHK]

stop (v) -- stopper -- [stoh-pay]

stretch material -- le Stretch® -- [‘stretch’]

surf (internet) -- surfer -- [soor-FAY]

surfing (sport) -- le surf -- [‘surf’]

suit (man's) -- un costume -- [‘costume’]

sweatsuit -- un jogging -- [‘jogging’]

sweatsuit -- un training -- [‘training’]

television -- le télé -- [tay-lay]

tennis shoes -- des tennis -- [‘tennis’]

tick-tock -- tic-tac -- [teek-tahk]

tip-top -- tip-top -- [‘tip-top’]

tuxedo (Am) / dinner jacket (Br) -- un smoking -- [‘smoking’]

underpants (man's) -- le slip -- [‘slip’]

undies (woman's) -- le slip -- [‘slip’]

walkie-talkie -- le talkie-walkie -- [‘talkie’-‘walkie’]

thong -- un string -- [‘string’]

toilet -- les waters -- [‘waters’]

toilet -- les W-C (WC / water closet) -- [veh-seh]

tuxedo (US) / dinner jacket (Br) -- le smoking -- [‘smoking’]

webpage -- page web -- [pahzh wehb]

website -- le site -- [‘site’]

wrestling -- le catch -- [‘catch’]

zap (channel-hop) -- zapper -- [zah-pay]

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ENGLISH WORDS IN FRENCH ARE LIMITED IN NUMBER

This Easy French Lesson about English words in French is short because the official French policy is to discourage the use of English words in the French language.

After World War II, the increasing use of English words in France caused an official backlash there, calling it "corruption of the French national language".

After World War II, ever greater imports of American products led to the increasingly widespread use of English in French.

Official measures are taken to slow this trend, including government censorship of comic strips.

English words are often shorter than French, and they are usually coined first. This is partly why the English words tend to stay in use in French.

Public authorities such as the Académie française and the Conseil supérieur de la langue française generally propose alternative words for anglicisms.

The French alternatives are generally thought of only after the original English word has already been coined, and the French alternatives are then debated at length before coming into use.

The acceptance of proposed alternative words varies considerably.

For example, "ordinateur" and "logiciel" existed before the English words "computer" and "software" reached France, so they are accepted (even outside of France in the case of "ordinateur").

On the other hand, "vacancelle" failed to replace "weekend”.

Alternative words proposed by the Académie française are sometimes poorly received. The proposed terms may be ambiguous. Some alternative words are considered uncool by the French people.

Despite official policies against the spread of English in French, the public’s use of "Franglais" is increasing in both written and oral expression. English expression are very commonly used by young people.

In recent years, English expressions are increasingly present in French mass media. Most telecommunication and Internet service providers use English and Franglais expressions in their product names and advertising campaigns.

A leading national newspaper, Le Monde, publishes a weekly article selection of The New York Times entirely in English and uses anglicisms such as "newsletter", "chat", and "e-mail" instead of French substitutions ("bavardage"/"clavardage" for "chat" or "courriel" for "e-mail").

[Some of the above was adapted from a Wikipedia article on Franglais.]

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The French people call borrowed English words ‘Franglais’, pronounced “frahn-GLEH”. In French, franglais refers to the use of English words sometimes regarded as unwelcome imports or as bad slang. An example is "le week-end".

‘Franglais’ combines the French words "français" ("French") and "anglais" ("English"), made up of fra– which is the first half of ‘français’, their word for French -- combined with –glais which is the second half of ‘anglais’, their word for English). The French people use ‘Franglais’ to indicate English words being used in the French language.

Franglais should not be confused with Quebec French, which has a number of longstanding borrowings from English as the result of the historical coexistence of two linguistic communities, largely within Quebec (and especially around Montreal).

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News Article: English invasion 'threatens French language more than Nazis did'.


Link to official list of English words in French. First click on 'Mots etrangers' (fourth on list), Then click on 'Anglais - Anglais des Etats Unis' (second on new list).



NEXT EASY FRENCH -- LESSON 4 -- FRENCH WORDS IN ENGLISH



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