Lessons in French Giveaway on Twitter - and Here!

Book CoverI know some of you hate the Twitter with a hot tweety passion, but I wanted to let you know that I’m giving away digital copies of Lessons in French today, courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca. So if you’re online, watch for hastag #lif and see what crazy trivia I come up with today.

This week we’ve done French idioms (Faire une carte de France? I better see that in a romance novel REAL soon), animal husbandry, bulls in fiction, and Regency insults and trivia. Oh, and Great Moments in Women’s History, with your host, Napoleon Bonaparte.

But suppose you want a digital copy, and don’t have the Twitter? Can’t use it at work? Aren’t interested? How about we give away a digital copy here? Sure, why not! Leave a comment with your favorite foreign language phrase, and it can be French or any other language, and the translation, and I’ll pick one winner at random to receive a digital copy of Lessons in French. Comments close in 24 hours. Bring on the funky foreign phrases!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Vicki says:

    Tiene algo cerveza fria?  Do you have any cold beer?  Y quiero esta libre, tambien. And, of course, I would love a copy of the book, too.

  2. 2
    Rebecca says:

    How about some Edith Piaf?

    “Non, Je ne regrette rien” (No, I regret nothing).  A great song. 

    Of course, what I usually have to say when forced to whip out that college French:
    “Je ne comprehends pas ce que vous parlez

    (I do not understand what you are saying). 

    So excited for the Laura Kinsale release!

  3. 3
    julez says:

    “?????? ??? ?????, ? ?????????? ??? ??????” (Hotelos kak lutche, a poluchilos kak vsegda) “We wanted to do better, but it turned out as always”, roughly translated quote from Victor Chernomyrdim, former Russian prime minister. He said a lot of funnies when he was in office.

  4. 4
    Abbie says:

    Shit! of course ;)
    I also love mon petit chou – my little cabbage. What a sweet term of endearment. :)b

  5. 5
    Sarah W says:

    My most favorite (and most often used) practical non-English phrase is: “Wo ist das WC, bitte?”  Which means (if it even needs to be translated) “Where is the restroom, please?”  I can say this in seven languages, though so far I’ve only needed it in two besides English (I believe in being prepared).

    But my favorite family joke non-English phrase is: “No es un misterio, Senora.  Me encanta lechuga.”  Which translates roughly to, “It is not a mystery, ma’am.  Lettuce enchants me.”  (we are huge Sheldon fans. 

    It’s amazing how many situations this phrase fits . . . almost as many as the WC one . . .

  6. 6
    Suze says:

    The only thing I can remember from German 10:  Ich bin nicht Fritz.  I’m not Fritz.

    Also:  Illegitimus non tatum carborundum.  Latin for Don’t let the bastards wear you down.

  7. 7
    Tessa K. says:

    I love the all purpose French phrase, “Je ne sais pas.” or “I don’t know”

    I also use the Latin, “Nota Bene” a lot. I apparently am a fan of the non sequitur – oops, Latin again.


  8. 8
    Laura (in PA) says:

    Yo quiero Taco Bell!  (I want Taco Bell!)

    C’est la vie! (That’s life!)

    Je t’aime.  (I love you.)

  9. 9
    Dena says:

    The most useful phrase I used in Israel (after “Where’s the washroom?” and “I don’t speak Hebrew”) was kama ha ze ole? – How much is that?.
    Yes, I shopped alot.

  10. 10
    Kalen Hughes says:

    In high school I had a shirt that said:


    *bitch bitch bitch

    I LOVED that shirt!!!

    You can leave me out of the drawing, keep it for the readers.

    WORD: says29

  11. 11
    KimberlyD says:

    Donde estas mis pantalones? (Where are my pants?)

    No, I have never had to use this phrase. But you never know!

    Un cerveza, por favor. (One beer, please.)

    Donde esta el bano? (Where is the bathroom?)

    All very useful Spanish phrases ;)

    spamword: served94. I just got served 94 cervezas :D

  12. 12
    Patsy says:

    Mainichi ni roku ji han ni biorin o renshushimasu.  I Every day, at 6:30, I practice violin


    Non sono una americana facile. I’m not an easy american

  13. 13
    Dagny says:

    Since I was a little girl my favorite has been “Quand le chat est parti, les souris dansent” because I always picture little waltzing mice.  It’s a better image than just playing when the cat’s out.

  14. 14
    Kiersten says:

    In high school, my Turkish friend taught me a few Turkish phrases including “will you sleep with me” in Turk – just in case – which I can’t remember and this jewel:

    Hoverkraft?m?n içi y?lan bal??? dolu
    My hovercraft is full of eels.

    Because you never know…

    word is: think65

  15. 15
    Jan says:

    How about this one in Hebrew – I hope the Hebrew comes through!

    ???, ?? ????? ????
    (transliteration) Achi, al teyabesh oti
    (literal translation) Brother, don’t dry me up
    (actual translation) Dude, don’t leave me hanging.

    Of course, I’ve just realised that the literal translation could be taken the wrong way (wink).  Okay so I’ve got a gutter mind!

  16. 16
    Katherine B. says:

    kawaiiiiiii!!! (In high pitched voice) = That’s SO cute!!!!

    Mondai nai, kyouhai = No problemo, bro’.

    Nani o shiteru ka? = Whatcha doin’? (slang version in Japanese)

    Ano hito wa chou hen, da ne? = That guy is totally weird, yeah?

    Gamman dekinai yo! = I can’t take your shit anymore!

    Kakkoi! – Cool! (As in, he’s so…!)

    Motamanaisu!! = Oooh! I can’t stand it!!  (as in, getting too excited in a good way!)

    Kimmochi! – That feels GOOD!

    Shinpai shinai, itakunai, da ne?  = Don’t worry, it won’t hurt, OK?

    ITTE! – Ouch!

    Obviously I’m reading the wrong romances (or right?), as this is what sprang to mind when Smart Bitches asked for foreign phrases. Bad Kat!

  17. 17
    MarieC says:

    After a year and a half of Japanese in college, this two phrases are the only thing I can remember:

    “Mo ichi do?” – One more time? (sadly, this was my most common response when asked a question in class…)

    “Tabe ma sho-ka?” – Shall we eat? (I figured, if I ever went to Japan, this would be a good phrase to know)

  18. 18
    Terri says:


  19. 19
    StacieH4 says:

    Of course, we can’t leave out one of the most famous French phrases ever:  Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)?

    (Would you like to go to bed with me tonight?)

    Now, see if you can get that song out of your head for the rest of the day!  :)

  20. 20
    Jessica D says:

    Lately, I’m pretty fond of the German term for a cell phone—“mein handy”—at least when Stephen Fry says it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WIscxut_ak

    (Of course, Stephen Fry makes all words 73% more awesome.)

  21. 21
    maddness says:

    When I was younger I was fascinated by Cherchez la femme (Look for the woman). Right now, I think my favorite is Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam (I have a catapult. Give me all your money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head) because it gives me a giggle.

    I also really like that silly ass Spanish song that Jane Lynch sings in The 40 Year Old Virgin because it makes no sense whatsoever.

  22. 22
    Terri says:

    A klog iz mir if I don’t get this book! It would give me such great naches I might plotz.*

    *Woe is me if I don’t get Lessons in French, Winning this book would give me such joy I’d burst.

  23. 23
    Grace says:

    “Tengo un gato en los pantalones.”  (I have a cat in my pants – from a kid in my high school Spanish class.)

  24. 24
    marg says:

    sea lo que sea: whatever happens ( I know, most likely screwed up the translation, sorry)  I know its a popular phrase but I’m a laid back kinda gal and it works for me.

    value36: oh yes once I hit 36 my value will increase!

  25. 25

    Lagniappe = A little something extra
    Bastard Cajun french!

    I am also partial to Laizze Les Bon Temp Rouler! (yes I love my Cajun french!) = Let the good times roll!

    spam word: back97 cause back in ‘97 I was definitely livin’ Laizze Les Bon Temps Rouler!

  26. 26
    Lori Bennett says:

    “Noblesse oblige.”

    Where, of course, the speaker has buff breeches, a cravat tied in the waterfall style, and a pair of matched greys.

  27. 27
    Beth says:

    In Italian, a fantastic curse phrase: “porca la puttana messa in croce”, which literally means “pig whore put on a cross” but generally means “crucify the dirty whore”. It is intensely gratifying to say when one is intensely pissed off.

    I already own the book, so no need to enter me into the contest. I just have a pavlovian response to the call for funky foreign phrases, and none of the comments thus far were very inspiring.

  28. 28
    Susan Laura says:

    Ou est mon chat? (French for Where is my cat?)

    “himself94” is my security word – fitting since our cat, at 17.5 years old, is probably equivalent to 94 human years.

  29. 29
    Cat Marsters says:

    Well, I did French and Italian in school, so all the phrases I learned there were boring and useful. But from my friend who took German I learned “Mein Gehirn ist zu kranken” My brain is broken (they had more fun in German) and from Butch Cassidy I learned, “Donde esta la caja, abralo,” which is terribly useful and means Where’s the safe, open it.

    But without doubt my favourite foreign phrase comes from my many sexy hours reading Firefly transcripts: “Wuh duh ma huh ta duh fung-kwong duh wai-shung doh,” which translates as the glorious, Holy mother of God and all her wacky nephews.

  30. 30
    Gail says:

    This is from Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files, I worked out the translation for a contest she held (the prize was copies of her books in French). Which led me to have my French professor proof the translation of this phrase
    “Although cocaine wasn’t my thing, the guy was sporting a leather jacket and a Kerouac novel and I have a thing for tough guys who read.”
    Or “Bien que la cocaïne n’était pas mon truc, le gars portait un blouson de cuir et un roman de Kerouac, et j’ai un faible pour les durs qui lisent.”
    That’s the corrected version BTW, my professor had me change a verb tense from what I submitted to her :)

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