origin: french

july 22, 2017

some french notes I took a few days ago! i’m reviewing basic grammar concepts before school starts so that i don’t completely forget them, so my notes are pretty basic and sparse lmao. they looked rly bare so i added a few random doodles :)

🎵 new rules by dua lipa

supermodelindisguise  asked:

I'm looking for some good French textbooks to help me learn French. Any suggestions?


i don’t know any. i heard ‘easy french step by step’ by myrna rochester was pretty good. or look for our own textbooks (x) to get fully emerged.

but as i’ve said before i don’t think textbooks are the way to go - french became way too informal. we chew words, have a new way to build sentences, use a lot of expressions and don’t embarrass ourselves with singular vous or articulating anymore - not in every context, of course, but even ads have started to follow that trend. (it’s mostly a political thing, to protest traditionalism.)

fifty years ago : “excusez-moi, auriez-vous un deuxième parapluie?” 

fifty minutes ago : “steuplé, t’as un aut’ pépin?”

no wonder why there are so many memes all over tumblr about thinking you’re good at french and then you meet an actual french person and they open their mouth and you want death! theory vs reality, dear.

check what we did with your favourite art (google “(french) title + pdf” for books and “title + streaming + vf” and shows/movies) and jump in. even if you don’t get much, if it’s hard, if you lack vocabulary, it’ll help - more than any textbook. 

get a little notebook, copy some vocabulary at the beginning, verbs in the middle and tenses at the end and go for it (use this when needed, my fave)(oh and if it’s vocabulary i haven’t posted myself, double check. nearly every post made by a non french speaker on tumblr contains at least one typo.)

check my hashtags #read and #hear to see more. hope this helps! x 


avoir le cœur brisé - to have a broken heart
avoir mal au cœur - to be very sad/heartbroken (can also mean to feel sick/nauseated)
avoir un gros chagrin - to be grief-stricken/heartbroken
un bourreau de cœurs - heartbreaker 💔
briser un couple - to break up a couple/home/marriage
casser - to break up
un crève-cœur - something heartbreaking/heartbreaking situation
déchirant - heartbreaking
une lettre de rupture - a break-up letter
rompre avec qqn - to break up with s.o
une rupture - a break up
une séparation - a break up
se séparer de qqn - to break up with s.o
un tombeur - heartbreaker
qui fend le cœur - heartbreaking

(dw I haven’t just been broken up with)

famous sayings #2

- il ne faut pas vendre la peau de l’ours avant de l’avoir tué (”don’t sell the bear’s skin before you killed it”) : don’t make promises if you’re not sure

- il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu (”there’s no smoke without fire”) : if something bad is happening, it came from something, it was caused

- jeux de mains jeux de vilains (”hands games naughty games”) : don’t fight you’re going to hurt yourself/someone

- l’argent ne tombe pas du ciel (”money doesn’t fall from the sky”)

- la balle est dans son camp (”the ball is in their side”) : it’s up to them to do something to fix crap (mostly after an argument)

- la curiosité est un vilain défaut (curiosity is a bad flaw) : don’t be nosey

- la fin justifie les moyens (”the end justifies the ways”) : do whatever you need to get what you want (often used to justify death or betrayal)

- la fortune sourit aux audacieux (”luck smiles to the bold”) : try stuff

- la parole est d’argent mais le silence est d’or (”speech is made olf silver but silence is made of gold”) : shut up

- l’avenir appartient à ceux qui se lèvent tôt (”the future belongs to those who get up early”)

- l’habit ne fait pas le moine (the outfit doesn’t make the monk)

- le jeu n’en vaut pas la chandelle (”the game isn’t worth the candle”) : it’s not worth the risk

- le mieux est l’ennemi du bien (better is the enemy of good)

- l’enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions (hell is paved with good intentions) : you might hurt someone trying to do something good so shush

- les chiens ne font pas des chats (dogs don’t birth cats) : family resemblances

- les murs ont des oreilles (walls have ears) : someone is always listening

- mieux vaut être seul-e que mal accompagné-e (better be alone than w/ poos)

- mieux vaut prévenir que guérir (better prevent than heal) : take precautions

- on n’est jamais mieux servis que par soi-même (we are never as well served as by ourselves) : do stuff yourself so it’ll be good enough

Western Europe

France - France (fem.)

Monaco - Monaco (fem.)

Germany - Allemagne (fem.)

The Netherlands - Les Pays-Bas (masc. pl.)

Belgium - Belgique (fem.)

Luxembourg - Luxembourg (masc.)

Switzerland - Suisse (fem.)

Liechtenstein - Liechtenstein (masc.)

Austria - Autriche (fem.)

The British Isles

England - Angleterre (fem.)

Scotland -  Écosse (fem.)

Wales - Les pays de Galles (masc. pl.)

Ireland - Irlande (fem.)

Northern Ireland - Irlande du Nord (fem.)

The United Kingdom - Le Royaume-Uni (masc.)

Great Britain - Grande-Bretagne (fem.)

Northern Europe

Norway - Norvège (fem.)

Sweden - Suède (fem.)

Denmark - Danemark (masc.)

Scandinavia - Scandinavie (fem.)

Iceland - Islande (fem.)

Finland - Finlande (fem.)

Estonia - Estonie (fem.)

Latvia - Lettonie (fem.)

Lithuania - Lituanie (fem.)

Eastern Europe

Russia - Russie (fem.)

Belarus - Belarus (masc.),  Biélorussie (fem.)

Ukraine - Ukraine (fem.

Poland - Pologne (fem.)

Czechia / Czech Republic - La République Tchèque (fem.)

Slovakia - Slovaquie (fem.)

Hungary - Hongrie (fem.)

Moldova - Moldavie (fem.)

Romania - Roumanie (fem.)

Bulgaria - Bulgarie (fem.)

South-Eastern Europe

Slovenia - Slovénie (fem.)

Croatia - Croatie (fem.)

Bosnia and Herzegovina - Bosnie-Herzégovine (fem.)

Montenegro - Monténégro (masc.)

Serbia - Serbie (fem.)

Kosovo - Kosovo (masc.)

Macedonia - Macédoine (fem.)

Albania - Albanie (fem.)

Greece -  Grèce (fem.)

Cyprus - Chypre (fem.)

Turkey - Turquie (fem.)

Southern Europe

Spain - Espagne (fem.)

Andorra - Andorre (fem.)

Portugal - Portugal (masc.)

Italy - Italie (fem.)

The Vatican - Le Vatican (masc.)

San Marino - Saint-Marin (masc.)

Malta - Malte (fem.)

So here you have it! All 50 countries of Europe, along with three extras. However, French isn’t my native language, so if you see a mistake, feel free to tell me and I’ll happily change it! (also someone help me with Belarus)

French Magic Terms

At the request of @lovelybluepanda here are magical terms, the next list is magical terms as in magicians, sleight of hand type magic.


  • La Sorcellerie- Witchcraft/Sorcery
  • La malédiction- the curse
  • La magie- the magic
  • L’espirit- the spirit
  • La baguette magique- the magic wand
  • Le sortilège- the spell
  • La sorcière- the witch
  • Les éléments- the elements (masculine)
  • L’eau- the water (Feminine)
  • L’air- the air (masculine)
  • Le feu- the fire
  • La terre- the earth


  • Ancien/ne- Ancient
  • Magique- Magical
  • Mystique- Mystical


  • Maudire- to curse
  • Guérir- to heal
  • Invoquer- to invoke
  • Ensorcerer- to enchant


  • Fairy- Fée
  • Unicorn- Licorne

Originally posted by pisces-history

French Vocab #7

Se débrouiller - To sort things out, to handle things

Calotte (♀) - Slap, smack on the head

Brouille (♀) - Quarrel, squabble

Entente (♀) - Understanding, harmony, agreement

Avoir bonne/mauvaise mine - To look well/unwell

Avenant - Likable, appealing, affable

Avoir les yeux cernés - To have shadows under one’s eyes

Ludique - Fun, playful

En plus de - As well as, in addition to

Hormis - Except for, apart from 

How to Say “Middle of Nowhere” in Quebec

There are many expressions used in French when talking about the middle of nowhere, aside from the common trou perdu. Each country has its own expressions, but the funniest ones (in my opinion) are the ones from Quebec. As with a lot of Quebecois place names, the use of Saint is ubiquitous (this is because Quebec used to used to be, until fairly recently, very religious). So here are a few ways of expressing that you’re in the middle of nowhere, and the literal translations of these expressions.

NOTE: The expressions marked with ** don’t have literal translations

  • Saint-Glin-glin-des-Meumeu**, Saint Clin-Clin-des-Meumeu** (this is the most common one, and is even found in ads such as this one)
  • Saint-Creux-des-Bas-Fonds - Saint-Hollow-of-the-Low-Bottoms
  • Saint-Profond-des-Creux (Saint-Deep-of-the-Hollows)
  • Saint-Loinloin de Pas-Proche - Saint-Farfar from Not-Close
  • Saint-Ben-Loin-dans-l'champ-de-Maïs -  Saint-Very-Far-in-the-Corn-Fields
  • Saint-Perdu-du-Creux-de-la-Pente - Saint-Lost-in-the-Hollow-of-the-Slope

Another common expression, this time based on a real location, is Tombouctou (Timbuktu in English, it’s a city in Mali).

How do you say “middle of nowhere” in your language? :)