How to Fake French

This video has been making the rounds of my friends in France. Probably because it’s true!

#2 cracks me up the most. The examples may seem a bit exaggerated, but I can vouch that all of these “mouth gestures/sounds” have a basis in reality. (Oh la la! Pfff!)

Funny thing is, I *do* speak French now, but I unconsciously make the mouth sounds, anyway. Guess I’m really authentic!

Enjoy!

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16 Responses to “How to Fake French”


  1. 1 Paris Karin (an alien parisienne) January 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    It’s great, isn’t it? Talk about THE viral video of Paris Peeps this week… Yeah, I catch myself doing the “Pffffffff” a lot now, even though I am not even close to fluent.

    I have an acquaintance here who says when he first got here, he used to answer every question with a mysterious-sounding “peut être” (“maybe”) mostly because he was trying to fake like he understood. The effect was that people thought he was very intellectual and a bit of an enigma (and therefore cool). He worked that angle, lol.

    • 2 paris (im)perfect January 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Oh, that’s a good strategy, too!

      This weekend I found myself at two very different gatherings where I had to speak French for several hours. I understood just about everything the first night, but there were a few moments when my mind just went blank. I employed some of the above steps and no one was the wiser.

      The next day I was just flat out tired (my French becomes increasingly worse the more sleep-deprived I am). I didn’t say much and think I was working your friend’s intellectual/enigma angle. “I’m a writer” is just about all I said and then never spoke again. Yep, I have a way with words! :)

  2. 3 Christina G. Smith (@Rvaya) January 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I hadn’t seen this video yet but it’s perfect. So completely accurate too. These girls are genius!

  3. 5 writenaked January 9, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I agree – #2 is the best! Nice to know I survived Paris by myself before this lovely advice surfaced! :) Next time should be even better. They should have one about style – or at least at footnotes to the video since the one girl is wearing polka dots.

  4. 7 Franck January 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    What a shame! They forgot the most very French stuff! (read “one year in the merde! again). Where is the so annoying shrug (haussement d’épaules) for foreigners ?! What an oblivion ! Mais j’ai bien ri. I felt closer to the blond one. I think I come to often on this blog… hum.

  5. 8 writingfeemail January 9, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I could also add pouting, smoking, and carrying around a tiny chien. Ooh la la – tsk tsk. Must go eat my brie et baguette!

  6. 13 paris (im)perfect January 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Ah, fellow wordsmith! That’s how I record my misadventures here, too :)

  7. 14 Erin January 24, 2012 at 3:06 am

    I am late to the party, but this is hilarious! I am guilty of the “pffft,” from time to time as well. Anyway, this was perfect for a rainy Monday afternoon–merci!


  1. 1 Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend | RealDelia Trackback on January 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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