All These Little French and American Words…


Welcome to the A to Z Challenge!

Today one word for the letter G

* one French word that has a common meaning in France and in the USA, but also more meanings when used in France

Avant que ma fille ainée n’entre à l’école élémentaire, nous ne parlions que français ensemble. Rapidement, cependant, elle commença à mélanger l’anglais et le français, créant ainsi des conversations à la fois amusantes et compliquées à suivre. En CE2, elle me parla un jour de genre. Elle prononça ce mot à l’américaine (pas grand chose à voir avec la prononciation française). Basé sur la prononciation, je n’ai réalisé que plus tard que je connaissais en fait parfaitement ce mot français.

Le mot Genre aux USA décrit, comme en France, une catégorie artistique, particulièrement pour un film ou un livre.

Par contre Genre ne s’utilise pas pour parler d’une personne qui a mauvais genre, par exemple, ni pour spécifier le genre des noms ou adjectifs (ils n’en ont pas en anglais), ou encore pour traduire l’expression “Tu vois le genre.”


Before my oldest daughter started school, she and I always spoke French together. Soon, however, she started to mix and match English and French, creating funny but also tricky conversations, difficult to follow. When she was in second grade, she used the word Genre. She pronounced it the American way (quite different from the French). Based on the pronunciation, I only realized later that in fact I knew this French word very well.

In French, the word Genre depicts also the style or kind of art for a movie, a book, etc, but can also be used in other contexts. For example to describe a person or place that looks disreputable or to specify if a noun or adjective is masculine or feminine. It’s also used to say the equivalent of the American expression: “You know the type!”



Books in different genres cohabit on one of the many bookshelves my husband and I share.


Do you know of another French or English word starting with the letter G that has a different meaning, whether it’s used in France or in the USA?

Connaissez-vous un autre mot français ou anglais commençant par la lettre G qui a un sens différent, selon qu’il soit utilisé en France ou aux Etats Unis?


See you tomorrow for the letter H.

My Essay on the Children’s Writer’s Guild



I’m pleased that the Children’s Writer’s Guild published my essay Written Words Don’t Have an Accent this week.

This essay about language is right in sync with my current A to Z series about these little identical French and American words that have a different meaning, whether they are used in France or in the USA.

I’m also humbled to find myself on the Children’s Writers Guild in the company of authors and illustrators who bring their talent and passion to children’s literature.

Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, or have children in your life I encourage you to visit their website and particularly their section Review, filled with great feedback about Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels.


See you tomorrow for the letter G on my series All These Little French and American Words…







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