For members


French word of the Day: Mytho

Do you know someone with a penchant for tall stories? You might need this word.

French word of the Day: Mytho
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know mytho?

It's a nice casual word to have in your vocabulary and it's also the name of a rather good French comedy series.

What does it mean?

It means liar, but in the sense of a compulsive liar or someone who just never stops telling tall stories. 

It's short for mythomanemythomaniac – but is more commonly used in its shortened form.

So if your friend is boasting that they got all their French paperwork sorted in under a fortnight, you could call them out with T'es une mytho! – You're a liar!

Or to describe someone Il est avocat, donc naturellement c'est une mytho – He's a lawyer, so naturally he's a liar.

Or like this Twitter user who seems not to be a fan of French president Emmanuel Macron, describing him as 'the biggest liar in the world'.


What else?

The more formal word for a liar is un menteur and the verb to lie is mentir, while the word for lies is les mensonges.

And on a slightly different note, if you're looking for a good French TV series, the comedy series Mytho is now on Netflix. It tells the story of under-pressure suburban wife and mother Elvira who tells one massive lie and then gets caught in an increasingly desperate web of deceit.


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


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.