Miriam
Bien fait vs well done - false friends between French and English (and other languages)
I just watched these two videos:

Why You Should Never Say “Mon Ami” in French: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Usemn5p6-Q" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Usemn5p6-Q</a>;
Why You Should Never Say “Bien Fait” in French: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRz_WGnbZyY" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRz_WGnbZyY</a>;

Very interesting and informative. The first mistake couldn't happen to me because I never use "my friend" when addressing other people and find it cringey when addressed like this by strangers online. But the second one (Bien fait) is something that could happen to me. Luckily I haven't had the chance to praise someone in French (apart my elder son and he would take it literally and not know the actual meaning, so no harm done.. so far ...).

Did you use any expressions in French for a while, only to find out that they are totally cliché and nobody uses them or that they actually mean the opposite?
What are common false friends between French and English or French and other languages?
Jun 27, 2020 6:27 AM
Comments · 7
@La Liseuse
That’s a good one too. It sounds like “whatever, I couldn’t care less”

@Thomas
Thanks but my level is already intermediate, so I do know the top 10 French words and I’m sure La Liseuse goes as well.

@Som
How do you pronounce the r in German? The German and French r are very similar.
June 30, 2020
"Bien fait" is a tricky one !! If you want to say "well done" better say "bien joué"
June 27, 2020
Thanks for the channel, Miriam, I subscribed. I still can't get the French R though and don't know if I ever will. There's a Devanagari letter ऋ which is supposed to be pronounced in a very similar way but hardly any Indian can pronounce it the way it's supposed to be pronounced. The rolled Spanish R and double R are super easy in comparison.
June 30, 2020
Do you know the top ten french verbs?
Click the link bellow to discover them
June 30, 2020
Sometimes it's more subtle than false friends. I've learnt to be careful with <em>n'importe quoi. </em>It does mean 'anything', but often in a negative way.

For example, when a host asks you about what you can eat or want to eat, a polite anglophone guest might say that they'll be happy to eat 'anything'. Said in a reassuring tone, this seems a good thing in English: you're showing that you're a good guest by not being picky or demanding. Translate it into French, and <em>Je mange n'importe quoi</em> comes out as more like, "Don't worry about me! I'll eat any old cr*p!"

And then you wonder why you're not invited back :)
June 30, 2020
Show More
Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)