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Parisian Expressions

There’s a Parisian expression for every situation. Here’s a little glimpse of the dialect to use if you want to blend in with the natives. One thing you’re sure to notice if you’re an Anglophone: English words have inundated day-to-day French … it’s definitely not the same language you learned out of textbooks back home!

On the Weekend

« On va bruncher dans le Marais ? »
“Shall we get brunch in the Marais?”

« T’as déjà vu Matisse à Beaubourg ? »
“Have you seen Matisse at Beaubourg yet?”

« J’ai eu une semaine de dingue… »
“This week has been insane…”

At Work

« C’est quoi ta deadline ? »
“What’s your deadline?”

« Je suis overbookée »
“My schedule’s ridiculous.”

« On se cale un déj’ ? »
“Shall we try to fit in a lunch?”

All the Time

« Je t’entends pas, je suis dans le métro. »
“I can’t hear you… I’m in the metro.”

« Faut absolument que tu lises le dernier Machin Truc ! »
“You have to read the latest Thing!”

« J’ai lu la critique dans Télérama… »
“I read the critique in Télérama…”

The Parisian makes promises and plans that he won’t follow through on. “Shall we try to get to the pool on Sunday?” “Want to go for a run?” “I’m going to start doing Swedish gymnastics.” Learn to detect their lies… like, “Yep, I’m almost there!” even though he’s just gotten on the metro.

In the Car

(accompanied by compulsive, Tourette’s-style gestures…)
« Il admire l’architecture ou quoi ?! »
“What’s he doing?! Admiring the architecture?!”

« On devrait interdire les vélibs aux touristes ! »
“Tourists shouldn’t be allowed to use Vélibs!”

« Je suis bloqué par une manif´», « Les quais sont fermés », « Mais p*****, bouge ! »
“I’m stuck behind a demonstration,” “The quays are blocked,” “F***ing, MOVE!”

The Parisian is not at his best behind the wheel. We recommend that you chat with him at a café instead, where he’s sure to be in a better mood.

Talking about Food

« Tu connais le dernier bar à eau/ salade/ soupe/ gyosas ? »
“You know the latest water bar/salad bar/soup bar/gyoza bar?”

« C’était diiiivin, que des produits frais, des plats authentiques, pas prétentieux… ! »
“It was amaaaaazing… fresh ingredients, authentic, not at all pretentious…”

« C’est LE meilleur burger de Paris. »
“It’s the BEST burger in Paris.”

Every Parisian knows where to find best of everything in the city, so he should be your reference when you’re looking to try a certain specialty.

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