5 french idioms that foreigners love!
You want to know what are the best french idioms for foreigners? Well, this article is for you!
C’EST LA VIE!
It means « it is the life. »
can also be translated into english as:
– « that’s life »
– « oh well, shit happens »
a : On a encore perdu!
b : C’est la vie! On fera mieux la prochaine fois!
C’EST QUOI CE BORDEL!
What the fuck is going on!
Very familiar expression, avoid it at work or in polite company.
A bordel (borthel) was a place where people may come to meet a prostitute.
Parents rentrant de soirée, et voyant le bazar laissé par leurs enfants :
« C’est quoi ce bordel! »
LA VIE EN ROSE
La vie en rose literally translates to Life in pink.
However, it would be better translated to life through rosy (pink) glasses. The idea is to depict a state where everything appears rosy and cheerful to you. It’s about a state of bliss when everything around you is a source of joy. This is the kind of state you are usually in when you are deeply in love.
This also matches with what Edith Piaf sings in the song of the same name.
To listen this song : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr33XO5lWAI
Marie voit toujours la vie en rose.
OH LÀ LÀ!
The French phrase « oh là là » isn’t so much an expression as an interjection.
It can indicate surprise, disappointment, commiseration, distress, annoyance… any moderately strong reaction to something that was just said or done.
Note that there is no connotation of sexiness or impropriety in French.*
Exemple : Oh là là ! J’ai oublié mon portefeuille !
VOULEZ-VOUS COUCHER AVEC MOI, CE SOIR?
This sentence means : do you want to sleep with me tonight?
Despite the fact that this is a grammatically correct French expression, it’s really only English speakers who use it.
Because it’s a very direct approach (too direct for french).
But « voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir) » really came into English vernacular with music, as the chorus hit « Lady Marmelade » by Patti LaBelle (1974).
That song has since since been covered by many other artists, notably All Saints (1998) and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa, and Pink (2001). The expression is also referenced in many other songs as well as movies and TV shows from the last few decades.
And you, what best french idioms do you prefer?