french mannerism

Hugo Simberg, The Garden of Death, 1896.

how to sound more like a french native speaker 🌿

The following points are 5 classic French conversational techniques and mannerisms to help you sound just a bit more truly français:

1. The tactical use of bah

Fairly difficult to translate, the French bah is used rather regularly and can make your speech pattern sound very authentic.

In answer to an obvious question perhaps:

“Tu aimes bien la pizza?” (Do you like pizza?)

“Bah oui, bien sur!” (Well, yes, of course!)

Or something like the following:

“Tu adores le brocoli?” (Do you love broccoli?)

“Bah non! Je déteste!” (No, I hate it!)

Or as a deep, elongated syllable to fill gaps while you think:

“Qu’est-ce que tu fais le weekend?” (What are you doing on the weekend?)

“Baaaaaahh, en fait je ne sais pas encore.” (Well…actually I don’t know yet)

2. Add quoi to the ends of sentences

This one is also not easy to translate, but it would be the French equivalent of “whatever” or “innit.” So, you might imagine that it shouldn’t be used when talking formally, but it’s used often in casual conversation and can perfectly round off a sentence.

“C’est quoi, ça?” (What is that?)

“Euuh, je ne sais pas exactement mais je pense que c’est une sorte de nourriture, quoi.” (Um, I’m not really sure but I think it’s a type of food or whatever.)

3. Using eh, ah and hein like there’s no tomorrow

Whether it’s to fill space while you think or to provoke a response, these elongated vowels are very useful when speaking French. They can be heard very often in conversation.

For example, in English we add “don’t you?”/ “aren’t you?”/ “isn’t it?” to the end of statements to toss the conversational ball back into the other person’s court. The French will simply say “hein?”

“Il fait beau aujourd’hui hein?” (It’s nice weather today isn’t it?)

Try it with raised eyebrows for added French effect.

4. Sufficient use of voilà here, there and everywhere

The slangy English phrases “so, yeah” or “so, there you go” would probably be best translated into French as “voilà.”

When you can’t think of anything else to say at the end of a sentence, you can’t go wrong with a voilà. Sometimes even two. Voilà voilà.

5. Not forgetting the classic French shrug

In response to a question to which you don’t know the answer, respond the French way with an exaggerated shrug, raised eyebrows and add a “baaah, je sais pas, moi!” for good measure.


Elizabeth Monroe (1768-1830) and Eliza Monroe Hay (1787-1840)

Art by Anna Chase-Roberts (tumblr, instagram)

The daughter of a wealthy New York merchant, Elizabeth Kortright married James Madison on February 16, 1786.  She was seventeen, he was twenty seven.

Before becoming President in 1817, James Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, as a member of the US Congress, as Governor of Virginia, as United States Minister to Great Britain, and as United States Minister to France.  

Elizabeth’s time in France was among the most defining periods of her life. Elizabeth immersed herself in French culture, learning European manners and how to speak French.  The Monroes lived in France at the height of French Revolution and Elizabeth played a vital role in freeing Adrienne de Noailles, wife of Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.  In May 1794, Adrienne was imprisoned by the French Committee of Public Safety. That July, her mother and sister were guillotined.  One day, Elizabeth Monroe showed up at the Collège du Plessis prison in a sumptuous carriage and asked to see Adrienne.  The attention that came from a wealthy foreigner visiting the prison directly led to Adrienne’s release on January 22, 1795.

Although Elizabeth had been a fashionable hostess earlier in James’s career, she was not a well liked First Lady.  After spending so much time in Europe, Elizabeth preferred more formal manners. Rigid and unpopular social rules were adopted to avoid favoritism, to make foreign diplomats feel more comfortable, and to elevate the presidency of this new upstart nation.  While First Lady of Virginia, Elizabeth began experiencing seizures which led her to curtail her social life.  Although Elizabeth attended social events as First Lady, her daughter Eliza took over much of social leadership.

Eliza Kortright Monroe was born in Virginia in 1786.  As a child, she attended Jeanne Campan’s school near Paris and became friends with Hortense de Beauharnais, step-daughter of Napoleon and the future Queen of Holland.   In 1808, Eliza married Virginia attorney George Hay.  Together they had a daughter named Hortense.

As First Daughter and White House hostess, Eliza believed that politicians and diplomats should pay their respects by making the first visit to the White House.  This followed contemporary European norms, but ran counter to Dolley Madison’s policy of making the first visit.  Eliza was seen as haughty and quickly alienated Washington society.  The situation got so bad, that in 1819 the women of Washington refused to attend parties hosted by Elizabeth, Eliza and future First Lady Louisa Adams.  A cabinet meeting was held and eventually the two sides reconciled.  As controversial as these more formal rules were at the time, they greatly influenced White House etiquette.  Modern presidential protocol has more in common with the rigid standards of the Monroe administration than with the outgoing informality that made Dolley Madison such a popular First Lady.

Elizabeth Monroe died on September 23, 1830.  Brokenhearted, James died less than a year later.  After the death of her husband and parents, Eliza returned to France, converted to Catholicism, and moved into a convent. She died in 1840 and is buried in France.

Past Cool Chicks from History posts about First Ladies can be found here.

Drabbles - 103

Sharing is caring. Now give me your fries.”  Yoongi

You take your sunglasses off when you enter the burger joint and shove them into your bag. It’s the two in the afternoon on a weekday, when brats like you should be in high school learning trigonometry or the motivations behind Shakespeare’s Benvolio, but you’d been lured here on the promise of an early grave, courtesy of salty fries and cheeseburgers.

A hand lifts into the air from a boy sitting at one of the booths in front of the window, facing the opposite direction. He’s got bubblegum pink hair and seems to be wearing a black leather jacket. When he flips you the middle finger, you stalk over to the table and throw your bag into the seat across from him.

“Hey, bitch,” Yoongi greets you, munching on three french fries in a manner that can only be described as surly.

“Get into a fight with Pepto-bismol?” You snark back, reaching forward to steal a fry. He smacks your hand away.

“Weak. Come on, Y/N, I know you can do better.”

“Hey, I skipped class to deal with this crisis of yours. I could be not-learning the secrets of exponents and whatever those X equations are.” You glare at him and make a lunge for the basket of fries. “Sharing is caring. Now give me your fries.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes but doesn’t fight back this time when you grab the greasy basket and start biting down on hot, salty, potato-y goodness. “Fine. Whatever.” He runs his hand through his pink hair roughly and scowls. 

“Now, what’s your ish?”

“Stop saying that. I’m fucking serious, with that bullshit.”

You stare at him flatly. “What’s. Your. Ish. Bitch?”

“God, I hate you. Why are we friends?” Yoongi leans back against the plastic cushions, the leather of his jacket squeaking terribly as it slides against the seat. He grimaces and leans forward, bracing his arms on the table. A balled-up cheeseburger wrapper sits next to a large drink. Didn’t even save you a bite, the selfish jerk.

“Because I do shit like this for you. Know what’s going to happen if my parents find out about this? Grounded. Again. I won’t be able to go to your show on Friday night. If I can’t make it back before Kim-sshi finds out.”

A odd glint appears in his eyes. “Yeah, about my show….” He fiddles with the rings on his fingers for a couple seconds, before he smiles and meets your gaze. “I got a call this morning. A representative from BigHit Entertainment is going to becoming, to scout me. They saw clips of my videos and thought I had talent.”

You gape at him. “Are you serious right now? Oh my god, BigHit?! Isn’t that the place you were going to audition for this summer? Yoongi, that’s amazing!” You gush, smacking him on the arm excitedly. “You’re going to kill it, I know it. Of course they thought you have talent, they have eyes and ears, don’t they? Oh, I’m going to come over to your house after school on Friday. You can’t be trusted to plan a hot enough outfit for the occasion.”

He grins as you continue to chatter excitedly, a mixture of nerves and anticipation turning his stomach. Listening to you, though, helps him move past the soul-crushing anxiety that was the realization that his dreams of becoming a professional artist are within reach.

Originally posted by vjin



  - You look bad, Mr. Cromwell, - as usual in the French manner said his name woman standing near the small window.
- How? How did you get here? - A man, not hiding his astonishment, stood up from the bench and waited, not daring to make a move.
- Couldn’t let myself not to visit you - folding hands in the lock, said Anna and grinned. - What do you feel, former Chief Chancellor?
- And did the former queen came to the earth specifically for me? - quizzically looked at her, Thomas.
- I see that even in such circumstances, you have not lost your characteristic causticity. Well, I’m delighted with this, must admit, - looking on the chamber, said Boleyn and stopped her black as coal eyes on prisoner.

Vanitas No Carte : Context

Hi there ! To begin, I’m french and I’m living in Paris. In high school, I read a lot of books which the action took place in the 19th century, so I thought that I could tell you some stuff about how was the life before and blablabla because Vanitas No Carte by Jun Mochizuki takes place in that century. =)

First, if you know some things about the Victorian era in England, well it’s quite the same thing:
(I am talking about the second part of the 19th century)

Men and Women :

In the 19th century, women were forced to be married, there was no love in it. Men, husbands, could cheat on their wives but if the wife cheat on her husband, her life was done : reputation was over, she was considered like a slattern because it was a proof of impurity.
Exemple : in the french novel of manner, Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Emma has to be careful with her lover. She married with a surgeon but she realized that she was not happy, and the reality was more sad and empty compared at what she read in her romantic books. She wanted passion, she wanted love but it’s highly forbidden for a wife to have lovers when she is married. The book ends tragically by her ………

Men were working, and as I said they could cheat and have lovers and honestly, they were not truthworthy…
Exemple : in the french novel Une vie by Maupassant, the main character Jeanne fell in love with a man, Julien, they married. Except that… she realized that her marriage was a manipulation of him to obtain her money, and just before her wedding night, Julien cheated on her with a domestic and later he cheated again with her best friend. Sad story isn’t it ??

Society :

- There are two sides in that society : first, the Catholic Church had a lot of power at that time, people were expected to be moral, and they had to believe in god. It was a really strict society, and literature was censured to keep purity of people.
- However, a lot of writers wanted to describe reality in its true form, these writers, pinters, photographs are called the Realist. In books, we can find poverty, dead corpses in putrefaction, decomposition, the despair, sexe scene, rape scene etc… = all the things that the Catholic Church had fordibben, and for that a lot of writers were sued (like Flaubert).

Social classes :

There were the very poor, the poor, the petty bourgeoisie, the upper bourgeoisie, but in Paris, people were really fancy, and a lot of ball, parties, were organized. Yeah, it’s remind us the party in Pandora Hearts, where everyone were invated at that party of that weirdo guy, Isla Yura. Jun Mochizuki loved these socials conventions and that era isn’t she !?

Hope you like it, thanks

Helen Frankenthaler, Jacob’s Ladder, 1957.

Sir William Russell Flint, The Red Portfolio, c. 1920.

Mathias J. Alten, The Color Mixer, 1908.