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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Coup de coeur

The perfect French expression to talk about the things you love.

French Expression of the Day: Coup de coeur
Photo: Depositphotos
Why do I need to know coup de coeur?
 
This commonly used expression might become your new favourite way to talk about things you love.
 
So, what does coup de coeur mean?
 
The noun un coup translates as ‘a blow’ or ‘a hit’, but is used in many French expressions to imply a quick or sudden action. 
 
Un coeur means ‘a heart’ so, putting the two halves of the expression together, un coup de coeur literally means ‘a blow to the heart.’ 
 
Although this might sound like cause for medical concern, this phrase is actually used to describe having a sudden strong attraction to something, ‘falling for something’ or even ‘love at first sight.’  
 
This could include books, films, places, properties, food, restaurants… even people that you have a sudden passion for.
 
Un coup de coeur is often used with the verb avoir, for example Elle a vraiment eu un coup de coeur pour la robe. (She really fell in love with the dress.) 
 
Or Ouf, j’ai eu un coup de coeur pour cette appartement. (‘Wow, I really fell for that apartment.’)
 
But it can also be used as a stand-alone noun phrase, such as Coup de coeur assuré pour cette appartement de 4 pièces! (Love at first sight guaranteed for this 4-room apartment!)
 
In print it often takes on a meaning closer to ‘favourites’ or ‘crushes’, as in the headline below which says ‘Are you looking for the perfect podcast? Give us your criteria and we’ll tell you our favourites’. 
 
This website has a recording of someone saying coup de coeur so you can nail the French pronunciation. 
 
 
How can I use coup de coeur?
 
C'est l'histoire d'un coup de coeur, celle d'un homme avec une region authentique et sauvage.
 
It is a story of love at first sight, that of a man with a wild, authentic region.
 
Vous éprouvez un coup de coeur pour une maison ou pour un appartement?
 
Have you fallen in love with a house or flat?
 
(The above examples are from linguee.fr)
 
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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

This is definitely not lip synching.

French Expression of the Day: Chanter faux

Why do I need to know Chanter faux ?

Because if you were not blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then this might be a good phrase to know. 

What does it mean?

Chanter faux – pronounced shahn-tay foe – literally means to ‘fake sing.’ You might assume this expression would mean ‘lip sync’ in French, but its true meaning is to sing out of tune. (Lip synching is chanter en playback).

It joins a chorus of other French expressions about bad singing, like chanter comme une casserole (to sing like a saucepan) or chanter comme une seringue (to sing like a siren).  

Chanter faux is actually the most correct way to describe someone being off key, so it might be a better option than comparing another’s voice to a cooking utensil. 

You might have seen this expression pop up recently amid the drought, as people call for rain dances and rain singing (where there is no shame in singing badly).

Use it like this

Pendant l’audition pour la pièce, Sarah a chanté faux. Malheureusement, elle n’a pas obtenu le rôle. – During her audition for the play, Sarah sang out of tune. Sadly, she did not get a role.

Si on fait un karaoké, tu verras comme je chante mal. Je chante vraiment faux, mais je m’en fiche. Il s’agit de s’amuser. – If we do karaoke you will see how badly I sing. I am really out of tune, but I don’t care. It’s all about having fun.

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