Mitigating circumstances is a flexible phrase, covering everything from vehicular breakdowns to medical emergencies to extraterrestrial invasions. Today, due to mitigating circumstances, my typewriter monkeys and I don’t have a regular blog post prepared.
However, as I was looking through some old files on my computer the other day, I stumbled upon a list of useful* French phrases. I think my mum sent them to me years ago. Where she found them, I haven’t the slightest idea.
This blog post presents each phrase in three parts. The first is the phrase in the original French. The second is a phonetic guide to pronunciation. The third is an English translation of the phrase.
Now, for the benefit of people everywhere, TMTF humbly presents thirteen French phrases for practical everyday use!
*Disclaimer: These phrases may not actually be useful. Do not use them in France.
Tu as grossi. (tu ah gro—si) “You’ve put on weight.”
La police, ne t’a pas encore trouvé? (la po—lees ne ta pa zen—cor troo—vay) “Haven’t the police found you yet?”
Voulez-vous cesser de me cracher dessus pendant que vous parlez! (voo—lay voo se—say de me cra—shay de—su pen—dan que voo parl—ay) “Would you stop spitting on me while you’re talking!”
Le réalité et toi, vous ne vous entendez pas, n’est-ce pas? (le ree—al—ee—tay eh twa voo ne voo zen—ten—day pah nes pah) “Reality and you don’t get on, do they?”
De quoi est mort votre dernier esclave? (de kwa eh mor votr der—nee—er es—klahv) “What did your last slave die of?”
Je vous aurais bien aide, mais je ne vous aime pas. (zhe voo zaw—ray bien ai—de may zhe ne voo zaim—e pah) “I’d help you, but I don’t like you.”
Vos enfants sont très beaux. Ils sont adoptes? (vo zen—fant son tray boh. Il sont a—dop—te) “Your children are very attractive. Are they adopted?”
Ça pourrait être joli si c’etait décoré avec goût. (sa poo—ray etr zho—li si se—tay de—cor—ay avec gu) “It could be quite nice if it were decorated with taste.”
Combien de vos clients sont morts? (com—byen de vo clee—ent sont moo—ree) “How many of your customers have died?”
Ces poissons, ils sont mort d’irradiation? (se pwu—son il sont mor di—ray—di—ay—shun) “Did these fish die of radiation sickness?”
Comme dessert, que me suggereriez-vous pour effacer le goût du plat de resistance de ma bouche? (com de—zert com—en ke me su—zhair—er—i—ay voo poor eff—ah—say le goo du pla de re—zi—stans de ma boosh) “For dessert, what would you suggest to get the taste of the main course out of my mouth?”
Ce restaurant n’est pas aussi bon que le McDonalds. (se re—staw—ran neh pas o—si bon ke le mac don—alds) “This restaurant isn’t as good as McDonald’s.”
Je préfére l’Espagne. (zhe pre—fer les—pan—ya) “I like Spain better.”
Je préfére l’Espagne!
Language has never been my specialty. As a voice major in college, I had no choice but sing in other languages. I knew the notes, I knew the translations, but when it came to French, no amount of phonetic spelling could save me. I even worked with a friend fluent in French. After hours of repeating after him with me not sounding like him, and him not being able to figure out what was wrong with me, he asked me a question. “DId you study Spanish?” I nodded. “That’s it! You are speaking French with a Spanish accent!” I wish I could say that revelation unlocked my understanding of French pronunciation. It didn’t.
But it did make your last useful phrase my new favorite thing to mispronounce in French!