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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French phrase of the Day: Se faire des films

These films won’t be shown in the cinema, but they can still keep you up at night. 

French phrase of the Day: Se faire des films
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Why do I need to know se faire des films?

Because we all do it, and sometimes we need an outside push to get some perspective. 

What does it mean?

Se faire des films literally translates to ‘making yourself movies’, but it has more to do with psychology than videography.

This handy, though maybe slightly harsh, French metaphor means that someone is deluding themselves or imagining the worst. Someone who se fait des films envisages improbable and often paranoia-inducing scenarios – much like those seen in movies – without any real or meaningful evidence. 

The phrase can apply to anything from romantic drama to medical mysteries: interpreting a blunt text message as a sign of imminent divorce, or deciding a light headache must signify a brain tumour. 

Se faire des films is something we all do, though it’s usually to our own detriment.  

It’s a useful phrase to know if you’re trying to counsel a friend out of irrational over-thinking, or vice versa. Sometimes, we really need someone else to point out our own self-delusions.

Use it like this

Ça ne sert à rien de se faire des films – There’s no point assuming the worst

Il se fait des films dans sa tête, il a besoin de savoir ce qui s’est vraiment passé – He’s imagining the worst, he needs to know what really happened. 

En amour, pourquoi on a tendance à se faire des films ? – Why do we so often delude ourselves when it comes to love? 

Synonyms

Se faire des idées – imagining things

Se mettre le doigt dans l’œil – deluding yourself (literally translated as ‘putting a finger in your eye)

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FRENCH WORD OF THE DAY

French Expression of the Day: La clim’

You'll definitely want to know about this during the summer.

French Expression of the Day: La clim'

Why do I need to know la clim’?

Because the lack of green spaces in cities might find you looking desperately for fresh air.

What does it mean?

La clim’, pronounced la-cleem, means air conditioning, it is a shortened version of la climatisation.

Climatisation comes from the word climatiseur, which itself comes from Klima in Greek and means the inclination of planet Earth from the equator to the poles. This inclination of the planet on its axis is responsible for the seasons and if you find yourself in a French city in August your inclination will definitely be towards climatisation.

Air-conditioning in private homes is not common France, some hotels have it but not all and in the summer months restaurants will often advertise air-con if they have it, as a way of luring in hot-and-bothered tourists.

If you find yourself desperate for cool air, head to a supermarket – almost all French supermarkets are air-conditioned in the summer. Or for a more fun option just head to the nearest city fountain or water feature and join the locals who are splashing around to cool off.

Use it like this

Il fait très chaud, avez-vous la clim’ dans votre hotel ? – It’s really hot, do you have air-con in the hotel?

Je n’aime pas mettre la clim’ en route car cela est mauvais pour la santé et l’environnement – I don’t like turning on the AC, it’s bad for my health and for the environment

Il fait froid, peut-on s’il vous plait éteindre la clim’ ? – It’s cold, could  we turn off the air-con?

La clim’ fait beaucoup de bruit, pouvons-nous la mettre en sourdine ? – This AC is really noisy, could we turn it down?

Synonyms

Un climatiseur – the formal name for an air-conditioner (in French the air conditioning is feminine by the air conditioner is masculine)

Un ventilateur – a ventilator

Un Brumisateur – a ‘fogger’ – these machines which pump out cool water vapour are often seen on the streets and in parks during the summer

Un Rafraichisseur d’air – an air freshener

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