In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the
Outside a Paris dress shop: Dresses for street walking.
In a Bed and Breakfast in France: The genuine antics in your
room come from our family castle. Long life to it.
In a Bed and Breakfast in France: Please avoid coca watering,
cream cleaning, wet towels wrapping, and ironing drying.
Hunt-Wesson introduced its Big John products in French Canada
as Gros Jos before finding out that the phrase, in slang, means "big
breasts". In this case, however, the name problem did not have a
noticeable effect on sales.
Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name
of a notorious pornographic magazine.
We saw a menu translation in a restaurant near Calais where
"Pate de maison" was in the English version as "Our pie". [Pâté de maison may be better translated as house pâté, or even house special.]
Overheard in Pontivy, Brittany, France: Je ne care pas. - I
On the same holiday overheard: Longtemps, pas voir. - Long
time, no see.
The French father of twins is known as - Pas du tout. (Not Pas
An English beau called Charles had his first date with a French girl
called Martine. Charles decided that he would impress Martine, so he
acquired an English/French dictionary in order to swot up on the language.
Charles carefully translated and learned every word perfectly with the
correct annunciation and accent. At last they met, and our gentleman
friend greeted the young French mademoiselle with the carefully prepared
phrase .... in perfect French.
As Charles finished the greeting Martine duly slapped him around the face
and the young lady disappeared from the scene. The poor chap was left
floundering on the street corner, wondering what went wrong.
All Charles wanted to say was "When I look into your face, time stands
still." But when the phrase was translated correctly it came out as: "Your
face would stop a clock!"
In the book "Jorrock's Jaunts and Jollities" by Robert Smith
Surtees we find a marvellous piece of written "franglais":
'You shall manger cinq fois every day,' said she; 'cinq fois,' she
'Humph!' said Mr. Jorrocks to himself, 'what can that mean? - cank
four - four times five's twenty - eat twenty times a day - not
'Oui, Monsieur, cinq fois,' repeated the Countess, telling the
number off on her fingers - 'Café at nine of the matin, déjeuner à la
fourchette at onze o'clock, diner at cinq heure, café at six hour, and
souper at neuf hour.'
The 19th Century American writer Mark Twain, always the humorist,
wrote in "Innocents Abroad", the following letter to a Parisian landlord:
Paris, le 7 Juillet.
Monsieur le Landlord :
Sir: Pourquoi don't you mettez some savon in your bed-chambers? Est-ce
que vous pensez I will steal it? La nuit passee you charged me pour deux
chandelles when I only had one; hier vous avez charged me avec glace when I
had none at all; tout les jours you are coming some fresh game or other on
me, mais vous ne pouvez pas play this savon dodge on me twice. Savon is a
necessary de la vie to anybody but a Frenchman, et je l'aurai hors de cet
hotel or make trouble.
You hear me.
Frenglish - Nearly Franglais
Mercy Buckets - Merci Beaucoup
Le smoking - Dinner jacket
Le footing - Jogging
Avocado pear - Avocat d'au pair
Franglais Examples - In Other Languages?
We cannot help notice how easily English combines with other languages to
produce other families of humorous words, for example:
What we are curious to know is if the other languages combine amongst themselves to produce yet more funny words, for example is there the equivalent of Franglais if you combine French and German (Freger) or
Spanish and Italian (SpanIt)?
Footnote: Please send us your funny Franglais examples.
For example: Malcolm King sent: Quel fromage - What a pity! (Correct
phrase = quel dommage)
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See examples of international jokes, humour and funny