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Words used in English Conversation...


How many of these French words do you use in your English conversation everyday...?


RSVP (Répondez, s'il vous plaît)
à la carte
au naturel
bon appétit
cul de sac
déjà vu
en route
faux pas
foie gras
hors d'œuvre





touché *

en route *

chic * 

au natural 

á la carte *


* - words I use the most 


cuisine - yes, regularly
rendez-vous - yes, commonly
RSVP (Répondez, s'il vous plaît) - yes, when the need arises
protégé - yes, commonly
petit - no...PETITE yes, regularly
à la carte - yes, commonly
au naturel - yes, occasionally
bon appétit - yes, regularly

chic - yes, regularly
critique - yes, regularly
cul de sac - yes, regularly
déjà vu - yes, regularly
en route - yes, regularly
faux pas - yes, commonly
foie gras - yes, but only if the occasion served.... (i.e. not something I'd say every day...)
hors d'œuvre - yes, but only if the occasion served
pot-pourri - yes, but can't say it comes up in conversation too often! 
sans - yes, but VERY infrequently, maybe a couple of times in my whole life. 
souvenir -yes, regularly
touché - yes, commonly


I never knew RSVP was French. Most of the words are used in restaurants all the time.

You forgot some...


Aide memoire

Amuse bouche


Art nouveau

Au contraire

Au pair

Au revoir

Avant garde




Bon appétit

Bon mot

Bon vivant





Carte blanche

C'est la vie






Cordon bleu

Coup d'état



De rigeur



I'll stop there as I'm only at the begining of the letter D...



Thanks Jane, Michel Thomas says on his French CD that 60% of the English language are French words. In fact all English words ending in; ible, able, ent, ant, ical, ance, ence, ary... are from French, and the list continues.


You are right, I should have included 'Aperitif', we use that in restaurants all the time.


Thanks Norman Invasion.


I just wanted to 'thumbs up' the Michel Thomas reference.  For English speakers wanting to study major European languages, it is a great place to begin.


Here is a BBC program about Michel Thomas, in three parts:


Adding the occasional bon mot can add a certain je ne sais quoi to your conversation (err... French probably). Well, c'est la vie!


It reminds me of the Talkie Toaster's horrible puns (eg. "bun mot") in Red Dwarf.


Michel is a definite triple thumbs up, Thaddeus. I use those links all the time for the English speakers learning languages.


But Michel does not have an English course for German speakers. I can't find any English learning course from Michel.


After Michel Thomas passed away, the company that holds the rights to his recordings and his methodology have tried to expand their course offerings with other teachers.  I have used the Russian recordings and the Chinese recordings, but I feel that Michel's personality and teaching philosophy are intertwined.  Maybe they will try to make a course for English for speakers of other languages some day.


Thaddeus, you said 'I feel that Michel's personality and teaching philosophy are intertwined', that is so true. I listened to the Arabic course and the British teacher (who spoke Arabic), kept asking Mathumod (the native Arabic teacher) to repeat the sentences. Why not have a native Arabic teacher do the teaching alone, just like Michel did...?


I read some comments about Michel's German accent being a bit heavy for the French course. I can understand that comment and having a native French speaker would be nice, but, Michel's 'method' is the key to learning and quickly understanding the language. Why his method is not being duplicated, in schools and night classes,  I'd like to know.

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