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Useful French Phrases

Useful French Phrases

Old Nov 17th 2017, 9:39 am
  #301  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Not really a useful French phrase, but I've just heard on French radio that some police activities are too "chronophages". Is this being linguistically pretentious? It's in Larousse, but OH has never heard it used. Thank goodness for Greek (and Latin) roots to understand some words nowadays!
No, Mme TP hadn't heard of it either, and didn't know the meaning.
Not a word I would use, and yes it does sound particularly pretentious. Some may love it (I know Bernard Pivot and Fabrice Luchini both would), but I much prefer 'trop exigeant en temps' or more simply 'necessite trop de temps' meaning 'too time consuming'.

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Old Apr 12th 2018, 7:30 am
  #302  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

A question that French people like to ask a lot: what do you want to eat?
Often we also hear: as you want, I do not care
At each sentence we hear the word ****ing
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Old Apr 12th 2018, 7:48 am
  #303  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by Mattsvb View Post
A question that French people like to ask a lot: what do you want to eat?
Often we also hear: as you want, I do not care
At each sentence we hear the word ****ing

Depends on the company you keep!
"Je m'en fiche" is a polite way of saying the same thing!
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Old May 28th 2018, 3:09 pm
  #304  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

A not-very-useful French expression is "ça mouline", used when a little circle goes round and round while you're waiting for something to come up on the computer screen. Presumably from the verb "mouliner", meaning to reel in (a fish), as the circle resembles a fishing reel rotating. I'm trying to find an equivalent expression in English, but maybe there isn't one at all, just "searching"? - can anyone put my mind at rest?
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Old May 28th 2018, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
A not-very-useful French expression is "ça mouline", used when a little circle goes round and round while you're waiting for something to come up on the computer screen. Presumably from the verb "mouliner", meaning to reel in (a fish), as the circle resembles a fishing reel rotating. I'm trying to find an equivalent expression in English, but maybe there isn't one at all, just "searching"? - can anyone put my mind at rest?
It's churning away. ???
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Old May 28th 2018, 4:51 pm
  #306  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
It's churning away. ???
Thanks for that! It's what an English person would murmur to another English person in front of the computer while waiting for something to happen? Family say "ça mouline" while waiting together, but since I don't have English people around to say this to, it's for my own linguistic satisfaction!
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 1:45 pm
  #307  
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
A not-very-useful French expression is "ça mouline", used when a little circle goes round and round while you're waiting for something to come up on the computer screen. Presumably from the verb "mouliner", meaning to reel in (a fish), as the circle resembles a fishing reel rotating. I'm trying to find an equivalent expression in English, but maybe there isn't one at all, just "searching"? - can anyone put my mind at rest?
In the AppleMac world, as it's multicoloured, it's often referred to as the 'Spinning Beachball of Death', or more frequently just 'Spinning Beachball'. Until recently I experienced it on a 16 year-old Apple PowerBook I still use regularly until I changed out the hard drive for a new SSD, which cured the problem.
On a Pc I believe it's known as the 'Spinning Circle'.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 2:06 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
A not-very-useful French expression is "ça mouline", used when a little circle goes round and round while you're waiting for something to come up on the computer screen. Presumably from the verb "mouliner", meaning to reel in (a fish), as the circle resembles a fishing reel rotating. I'm trying to find an equivalent expression in English, but maybe there isn't one at all, just "searching"? - can anyone put my mind at rest?
Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
It's churning away. ???
In Suisse Romande I've heard it used more as "il (ou elle) mouline", indicating bavarder, to be a gossip, so the churning away fits quite well.
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Another that I really like - and use when the occasion arises, is 'Pedaler dans la choucroute', which many of you have probably heard, meaning pedal through the sauerkraut , for something or someone who isn't progressing as it / or he/she should. The expression comes from the world of cycling/tour de France etc - which the French are very fond of. In this context it's often used when the cyclist is totally exhausted and cannot find the energy to continue the race.
As their love to eat probably overshadows their love of cycling, there are regional gastronomic variations too, and one may hear, Pedaler dans la semoule (semolina) or Pedaler dans la couscous. It's an expression much loved by political cartoonists and satirists - who especially knew of Sarkozy's personal love of cycling: Example.
Mme TPipe has heard on more than one occasion when the Sunday lunch is overdue, "Alors, tu pedales dans la choucroute!"
And still relating to the French love of cycling, one often hears, Elle (or il) perdre les pedales - he/she is loosing the pedals - meaning someone who looses assurance or makes a bad decision, often used when one has doubts about an individual's mental health, even ironically. Used frequently by the media referring to a certain president and his decisions.....
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Old Jun 1st 2018, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Can't remember how to do multi-quotes
- I'll alternate expressions when I'm talking to myself, watching the circle churn and spin! Thanks guys!
- The expression "moulin à paroles" means a chatterbox or windbag, confirming BB's Swiss French verb.
- I know "perdre les pédales", but not "pédaler dans la choucroûte" or through any other gastronomic delight! Must find an occasion to bring the expression out and confound everyone!
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Old Jul 8th 2018, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

I've never been able to get my head around the term "chiche", which sounds too much like "chouette", "chichi" or "chic", or refers to chick peas.
In fact as an adjective, it means stingy, but you declare "chiche!" if you mean "I dare you!" or "you're on!", depending on who is daring what.
Much too complicated to attempt to include it in conversation....
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Old Aug 11th 2018, 9:13 am
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Everyone says "RAS" nowadays, meaning Rien à Signaler. AFAIK it was originally a military term. "Nothing to report" is the English equivalent, but is there a corresponding military acronym in English? (If it's NTR, forget I asked!)
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Old Aug 12th 2018, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Everyone says "RAS" nowadays, meaning Rien à Signaler. AFAIK it was originally a military term. "Nothing to report" is the English equivalent, but is there a corresponding military acronym in English? (If it's NTR, forget I asked!)
NTR is indeed the US military aviation term for 'nothing to report'. It's a long time since I worked on UK military or civil aircraft, and I honestly cannot remember if NTR is a term used in aircraft technical logs there. I am much more familiar with the French 'RAS', and have scribbled this many hundreds if not thousands of times in civil aircraft tech logs & maintenance reports.
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Old Oct 3rd 2018, 9:14 am
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Here's something that may result in a much needed smile from DMU, and hopefully others.

I came across this yesterday - an interesting phrase, even if not really 'useful' as per the thread title.
C'est la chaudiere qui reproche a la marmite d'avoir le cul noir.
Although never having heard it said in conversation, as soon as I read it I associated it with our own fairly common expression, 'The pot calling the kettle black.'
The french version is a little more blunt than our current one, a translation being, 'It's the kettle accusing the pot of having a black arse.'

For myself and maybe others interested in literature, I wanted to know a little more about the origins of the expression, and read that one of the first appearances was in a 17th c Spanish translation of Don Quixote. And shortly afterwards in the same century, an English version is recorded as, 'The pot calls the pan burnt-arse.'
And with apologies to Novo , one may be interested to know that there's a related reference in the bible which states, 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?'


I think I'll now go and put the kettle on.........
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Old Oct 3rd 2018, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Useful French Phrases

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
Here's something that may result in a much needed smile from DMU, and hopefully others.

I came across this yesterday - an interesting phrase, even if not really 'useful' as per the thread title.
C'est la chaudiere qui reproche a la marmite d'avoir le cul noir.
Although never having heard it said in conversation, as soon as I read it I associated it with our own fairly common expression, 'The pot calling the kettle black.'
The french version is a little more blunt than our current one, a translation being, 'It's the kettle accusing the pot of having a black arse.'

For myself and maybe others interested in literature, I wanted to know a little more about the origins of the expression, and read that one of the first appearances was in a 17th c Spanish translation of Don Quixote. And shortly afterwards in the same century, an English version is recorded as, 'The pot calls the pan burnt-arse.'
And with apologies to Novo , one may be interested to know that there's a related reference in the bible which states, 'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?'


I think I'll now go and put the kettle on.........

Thanks!
"La paille est la poutre!" is often a peeved exclamation, at least in our family.
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