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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: c’est moi

"Merci" - "C'est moi": Here's a look at why this seemingly bizarre exchange actually makes sense in French.

French Expression of the Day: c'est moi
Photo: Depositphotos

Why do I need to know c'est moi?

As one of the many ways to respond to “thank you”, it's hard to avoid this expression and while you might catch on to its general meaning, you might not really know why people say it. 

So, what does it mean?

As no doubt many of you will know, c'est moi literally means 'It's me' but this translation doesn't really get to the heart of why people use it to respond to an expression of gratitude. 

In fact it is actually short for c'est moi qui vous remercie literally 'it's me who thanks you'.

Obviously this is not something we would normally say in English so a better way to translate it would be: 'No, thank you' (stressing the 'you') or 'You're very welcome'. 

It's easy to use and once you start incorporating it into your everyday speech, it will add a native touch to your language. 

Of course, c'est moi can also be used in the literal sense. For example, if Daniel answers the phone and the person calling asks to speak to him, he might say: Oui, c'est moi!

Examples

Merci pour le café, Vitor, – C'est moi! — Thank you for the coffee, Vitor, — You're very welcome!

Nous avons eu un magnifique repas, merci. – C'est moi! — We have had a wonderful meal, thank you. — 'No, thank you!'

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Word of the Day: Soixante-huitard

About one in five people of a certain French generation can be described using this term.

French Word of the Day: Soixante-huitard

Why do I need to know soixante-huitard?

Because it references a very important part of French history and culture.

What does it mean?

Soixante-huitard – pronounced swah-sahnt wheat arr – literally means sixty-eighter. While its translation might sound a bit like a sports team (ex. Forty-niners),  this term in French has an important political and social context behind it. 

A soixante-huitard is someone who participated in the famous May 1968 protests in France. With the backdrop of the Prague Spring and the American Civil Rights Movement and anti-war protests, French students and striking workers demanded a more egalitarian world in May 1968. 

This period of civil unrest lasted seven weeks and even forced then-President Charles de Gaulle to temporarily flee to West Germany. The events of this time have had a profound effect on French culture and politics. 

Around 11 million people – 22 percent of the population at the time – was involved in some way or another, and these days, those people are referred to as un soixante-huitard or une soixante-huitarde (for a woman). 

Though the term is typically reserved to refer to those actually involved in the protest movement, it can occasionally be used as a way to describe someone who has held onto the far-left ideas or sentiments from the 1968 movement.

Use it like this

Il a gardé ses convictions d’extrême-gauche longtemps après 1968. C’est un vrai soixante-huitard. – He held onto his far-left beliefs long after 1968. He is a true sixty-eighter. 

Tu pourrais être surpris que ta tante ait une soixante-huitarde. Ses opinions ont certainement changé avec le temps. Tu ne l’aurais jamais deviné ! – You might be surprised that your aunt participated in May 68. Her opinions have really changed with time, you would never have guessed it.

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