The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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I've noticed a trend becoming more and more popular over the last few years in French music, songs in a mix of French and English.  Some are duets, some are solo artists or groups, most are from France or other Francophone countries like Belgium and Canada but they are also from a handful of other countries too.  For some artists it's a one-off and for others most or all of their music is in this Franco-English mix.  It's kind of the perfect mix for an Anglo-French family like mine.

French English songs to listen to

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I just picked up my car from being serviced this morning and found the radio station had been re-tuned from my regular station of choice to Radio FG.

**WARNING STRONG LANGUAGE! Don't read if you don't like the F-word!**

F word

So what?  Radio FG plays some good music.  I usually quite like their playlist and sometimes choose to listen to it in the car.  I used to listen to it a lot more when it was edgier, and less mainstream.  It claims to be the radio station for electro deep house, techno, dance and R’n’B although to my ignorant ears it sounds like pure Top 40 hits.  (I think it's changed...)  It started life in 1981 as a community radio station for the gay scene in Paris.  FG stood for fréquence gaie (gay frequency).

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Every now and then the Académie Française gets upset about the amount of English words creeping into every day usage in French and this was once again at the forefront of the news recently when a couple of French universities proposed to start teaching some courses in English.    Language purists get all worked up and debate the decline of their beautiful language and what can be done about it.  But it is estimated that up to 60% of English vocabulary is of French origin so a few Englishisms in the language of Molière is only fair really.

Using "ing" on the end of an English word to create a noun is very popular.  Here are a few of my favourites:

   le smoking

un smoking - a dinner jacket/tuxedo (as modelled by Bill Murray above in GQ magazine)

un lifting - cosmetic surgery (as in face lift)

le re-looking - make-over

un brushing - a blow dry and style (for hair)

le shampooing - shampoo

un dressing - a walk-in closet for clothes

le footing - jogging

un parking - a carpark

Another couple of common words are le weekend and le shopping are both self explanatory and completely part of current usage.  Nobody says "bon fin de semaine" for "have a good weekend" which is what the Académiciens would have us say.

One of my favourites, and particularly poignant in my household at the moment, with a teenage son who loves his video games, is the verb "se geeker" meaning to participate in geekish activity.


Another great example of language sharing can be found with the Walkie-Talkie which becomes le talkie-walkie, with the "L" very much pronounced, as in "tall-key" "wall-key".  Isn't that brilliant?

Finally, in a complete reversal of languages, something that has become de rigeur is now described as "le must"!




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