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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même

Never let anyone stop you from doing this.

French phrase of the Day: Etre moi-même
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know être moi-même?

Because it’s a handy little phrase when discussing your feelings or identity.

What does it mean?

Moi, as most French leaners know, means me. The most common translation of même is ‘same’ as in the handy restaurant cheat of just gesturing at the person next to you and asking for la même chose if you’re not sure what to order.

However it also means ‘even’ as in quand-même – even so or nevertheless.

When paired with moi as moi-même it means ‘myself’ so être moi-même is ‘to be myself’ in the more philosophical sense of keeping your own identity and remaining true to your values and beliefs, even if others are putting pressure on you to change. 

If you’re talking about others being themselves it would be être soi-même and if you’re talking more generally about how it can be hard to be ourselves you would use être nous-même.

Use it like this 

Franchement, je n’aime pas la culture de mon lieu de travail, je ne peux pas être moi-même – I really don’t like the culture in my office, I can’t be myself

Je pense qu’il aurait plus de chance de trouver l’amour s’il apprenait à être lui-même – I think he would have a better chance of finding love if he learned to be himself

Être soi-même c’est connaître ses imperfections mais surtout assumer ses qualités et ses points forts – Being yourself means knowing your imperfections but above all recognising your qualities and strengths 

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

A brand new coinage in the French language that reflects the changing times.

French Expression of the Day: La Première ministre

Why do I need to know la Première ministre?

Because France has one now.

What does it mean?

La Première ministre – usually pronounced lah prem-ee-air mean-east-ruh– translates as “the prime minister,” but this spelling is different from what you might be used to seeing.

This title is feminised, indicating that the prime minister in question is a woman. Under former PMs such as Jean Castex, the masculine title Le Premier ministre was used.

Élisabeth Borne made headlines on May 16th not only because she was appointed as France’s second female prime minister, but also because she will be the first to use the feminisation of the work title: Madame la Première ministre. The female prime minister who held the position before her, Edith Cresson, used the masculine version of the title.

Feminising work titles has been controversial in France, and most titles like “le Premier ministre” have been automatically put in masculine form.

But in 2019, France’s infamous Academie Francaise, which polices the French language and typically resists any sweeping changes to it, changed their stance and said there was “no obstacle in principle” to the wholesale feminisation of job titles. 

Use it like this

Le Président Emmanuel Macron a fait une annonce importante. Élisabeth Borne est la Première ministre. – President Emmanuel Macron made an important announcement: Élisabeth Borne is the prime minister.

“Madame la Première ministre, qui avez-vous choisi pour diriger votre nouveau gouvernement ?” a demandé le journaliste. – “Madame Prime Minister, who have you chosen to lead your new government?” asked the journalist.

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