23 Mar Have You Heard of ‘Franglais’?

Ever heard a native English speaks words like, ‘nonchalant’, ‘bon vivant’ or the most common ‘bon voyage’? These are French words that have come its way to the English daily expressions. They enhance the English language and make it sound more fun and romantic. This combination is commonly referred to as ‘Franglais’.

This trend of mashing up words from one language with another dates back to Shakespeare in his famous play called ‘Henry V’ where words such as ‘foutre’ and ‘gown’ were used by a French princess while trying to learn English. Nowadays, so many terms have been adopted from the French Language and are even present in the English dictionary making it globally and formally accepted.

How Does it Work?

‘Franglais’ comprises of many unique aspects that make it sound different from either English or French.

 For instance, the suffix, -ing is added to an English verb in order to make it a noun. Examples include, le parking {a car park}, le pressing {dry cleaners}. Le- the prefix is used to denote, a/an in French. Secondly, adding an -er at the end of an English word to produce French words. For example, tweeter {to tweet}, liker {to like}, googler {to google}. These are terms that have been adopted in social media.

Lastly, Franglais incorporates the use of compound words which are formed by putting two words together. For instance, un rugby man {rugby player}, un tennis man {tennis player}. Words may also be interchanged. For example, instead of saying a service station in English in Franglais you say, une station-service.

Franglais may not always be fun and exciting when some French expressions are used but have different meanings in English, this is commonly referred to as ‘false friends’. Examples include, le smoking to mean dinner jacket, or le footing to mean jogging. So be cautious about such terms and expressions!

The French language has been very generous to lend wonderful terms to the English language and vice versa.  Embrace your Franglais and enjoy practicing this fun variation of the language!

At Eton Institute, you will learn French through interactive immersion techniques taught by experienced native speakers. Find out more

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