French Friday: Freestyling on the Road

Away from my American home, even when still in the USA, I pay attention to little French things unnoticeable otherwise.

Like these clothes.





Often popular in the U.S., I kept spotting them everywhere this last week.

Nothing beats hands-on experiences to acquire a foreign language. Trust me.

Of course, these explorations come with mistakes. We can always correct them later on. Otherwise, there is little chance to progress.

Do you spot the tiny French mistakes on these T-shirts and sweatshirts?


On the other side of the Atlantic, things are pretty funny too. I discovered a young Belgian singer who sings in French but incorporates some English lyrics in her songs. In her really cool song La Loi de Murphy she complains about her ruined brushing, which is a blow dry and orders a coffee to take away. She got the hips and is shaken to the top. I love Angèle Van Laeken, simply called Angèle for obvious reasons. Really awesome.

And the winning team Orelsan/Stromae is really great in the song La Pluie (The Rain). The French rapper Orelsan sings mostly in French, but occasionally adds some English words.

How can I blame them?

I sometimes go freestyle too. Sentences form and grow in my head, some words in French, some in American English. They would sound strange to anyone these sentences built from two languages, but somehow they create a song that belongs to me and accompanies me when I am away from my American home, even when still in the USA.







  1. Behind the Story says:

    When we lived in the Philippines, we heard frequent mixing of English and Tagalog. In Manila many people speak both languages fluently or not so fluently. Sometimes a word from English says exactly what they want to say, even in the middle of a Tagalog sentence. Or vice versa. I suppose that’s one way we add new words to our language.

    • It makes sense in the countries where English is also spoken or in provinces like Quebec. In France it really started when the Internet became part of people’s lives. There had always been some English vocabulary mixed to the French language (parking, steak, camping…and many others). Now, in a strange way, when it would be much easier to use the English noun there is an awkward French one and when there is a perfect French equivalent English is favored.
      It’s funny to observe and provide countless blog topics 🙂

  2. I think we look for signs of home and previous homes whenever we travel. It’s a good feeling to spot a connection.

    • I so agree with you, Dan. I find myself attracted to American familar connections when I’m abroad and naturally anything French, whether someone speaking my native tongue or clothes displaying French words will capture my attention and heart too. You’re so right about this.

  3. I do see an error, but only because you made me look. I’m guessing there are more, but I’m American, after all 😉 Accent marks do not come naturally to me.
    Whenever I wear a shirt from a place I’ve visited, inevitably I will encounter a person from there, or who went to school there, or who has family there. People are definitely looking to connect.

    • You’re right about the human need for connection, Joey. Absolutely.
      Since Claire right below says she doesn’t see the errors and she’s a good friend of mine I’ll write them down for her. You can have a look 🙂

  4. I didn’t see the errors and would love to wear any of the tops you’ve pictured.

    • Here there are, Claire:
      La Académie should be L’Académie. (contraction because of the two vowels A and A)
      Hôtel De Rêves should be Hôtel Des Rêves (plural)
      And even though Place Saint-Pierre is in the 18th arrondissement it is in Montmartre and not Montmatre.
      To be honest the T-shirt Parisienne Très Bien was cute 🙂

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