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How To Learn Sign Language

12 Common French Gestures


Salut c’est Géraldine. Welcome to Comme une Française TV, live in
France, feel at home. A language is not only words but also gestures
and facial expressions. And a gesture is usually understood on its
own. People get it straight away. So if you get it wrong, it can be a big misunderstanding. For example: You ask “what do you think
of that guy” and the person answer this. It’s NOT the same meaning
in French and English The 12 most popular gestures in the French language : that’s what we’ll going to see today. on Comme une Française TV! While living in England, I discovered how gestures are important. Mainly by making mistakes. Let’s save you any misunderstandings
in France. More or less – Bof bof / plus ou moins Let’s speak soon – on s’appelle ? That’s pretty obvious. It’s mostly used when you have to discretely
pass a message to someone. On s’appelle! I’m bored – je m’ennuie : this one which means shaving and boring. And we also have this one. That’s easy. I won’t say a word – Motus et bouche cousue: [geste] bouche cousue it means I won’t say a thing. We do this. Se barrer. To leave, we do like this. To be drunk, like this. Etre bourré / saoul, to be drunk. Etre bourré / saoul, we do this. Mon oeil, we do this. It means, I don’t believe you. It seems that it in English, “it’s my foot” Mon oeil. Great! that’ obvious Zero – zéro/rien/que dalle : faire un rond
avec ses doigts (NOT great) J’ai du nez I have flair : montrer son nez C’est pas
moi / j’ai rien fait – it wasn’t me / I didn’t do it: last one
that you migtht see used by 20 somethings: cassé from the movie Brice de Nice It means
“Gotcha!” or “I win!” Et toi ? Your French will ONLY improve if
you put into practice what you’ve learnt on Comme une Française TV. Share your experiences by leaving a comment
below this video : Did you know about these gestures? Let me know in French one anecdote about French
gestures you want to share with the community. The comment section is the best place to start
discussions and ask questions! —- Would you like to receive exclusive content
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100 Replies to “12 Common French Gestures”

  • Thanks for the video! One expression I see often in French movies (and only in them) is something as follows (can't find it now): move chin forward, raise eyebrows, make a "conical" shape with lips (sorry don't know a better word). From what I can see, it can mean anything from "I don't know" to "Who cares". Could you explain please?

  • You should make a video with French expressions. like "peter plus haut que son cul (farting higher than your ass). "tu chies dans la colle"( you are shitting in the glue) or tu as le cul borde de nouilles (your ass is full or noddle).loool

  • I have to ask, a lot of Parisians i met.. when they don't know something they shrug, and stick their lips out and say 'ptt'. or blow out air like a little fart lol. hard to explain. but I noticed it happened a lot..

  • Sauf que tout le monde n'utilise pas ses gestes à la con… C'est aussi vulgaire que cette expression, en plus de prendre son interlocuteur pour un handicapé ou un enfant.

  • There was a gesture in the movie, "Father Goose" Carry Grant, (Walter Eckland) Catherine Freneaux, (Leslie Caron). Caron uses a gesture over her head in a mocking way. Could you possibly give some light on that one, S'il vous plaît Mademoiselle?

  • Le geste "cassé" n'est plus utilisé, surtout pas par les "twenty-something". il a été très utilisé pendant les quelques années qui ont suivi la sortie du film mais maintenant il est devenu extrêmement ringard… maintenant, l'expression est utilisée sans le geste.

    The "cassé" gesture is not used anymore, and even less by the twenty-somethings. it was very common during the few years following the release of the movie but now it has become incredibly tacky… we still use the expression a lot (exactly like "burn" in English) but without the gesture.

  • Le geste "cassé" n'est plus utilisé, surtout pas par les "twenty-something". il a été très utilisé pendant les quelques années qui ont suivi la sortie du film mais maintenant il est devenu extrêmement ringard… maintenant, l'expression est utilisée sans le geste.

    The "cassé" gesture is not used anymore, and even less by the twenty-somethings. it was very common during the few years following the release of the movie but now it has become incredibly tacky… we still use the expression a lot (exactly like "burn" in English) but without the gesture.

  • Le geste "cassé" n'est plus utilisé, surtout pas par les "twenty-something". il a été très utilisé pendant les quelques années qui ont suivi la sortie du film mais maintenant il est devenu extrêmement ringard… maintenant, l'expression est utilisée sans le geste.

    The "cassé" gesture is not used anymore, and even less by the twenty-somethings. it was very common during the few years following the release of the movie but now it has become incredibly tacky… we still use the expression a lot (exactly like "burn" in English) but without the gesture.

  • Super! J'aime ces gestes. Ils ont l'air très clairs et simples. Je n'ai jamais pensé aux gestes avant de voir Inglourious Basterds (2009) où un des soldats a fait un erreur de geste à la main qui s'avère être fatal! Bien sûr je ne pense pas qu'un erreur termine comme cela ces jours mais, si c'est possible, je voudrais éviter des situations gênantes quand même :'D
    Merci pour la vidéo!

  • Thanks Geraldine! I'm planning my first visit in 20 years and benefitted from this tutorial. Next time please tell us about the "shrug" and slow everything by a couple of seconds so as to better absorb the pronunciation😄😀

  • Do you know a good book of "slang" for French speakers? I imagine that the slang might be regional, say, different slang in Paris than in Lyon or Marseille? I know that also in Quebec (I am in Canada) the slang is VERY different than the slang in France. Drunk, in Quebec, is "Noir comme un pavé" (black as pavement), "gonflé" (literally inflated) and a dozen others.

  • I love the Gallic shrug: – shoulders raised, palms raised and facing outwards, bottom lip pouting out and saying "bof".

  • I was surprised at how many of these I know and use in the US. The one for 'zero' can mean 'zero' here or 'okay' depending on context, and facial expression usually gives clues. The only ones I don't see here that oven are the one for 'drunk', touching the nose (sometimes in older movies or used by older people), and casse. All of the others I knew.

  • One anecdote that I heard was the time someone encountered a palm held up in their face. In French it means, 'I'll be right with you', in American it means 'talk to the hand' or 'I have no time for you, get outa my face', (very rude in American, not at all in French)

  • Most of these are the same in English-speaking countries, such as zipping one's lips. And everyone knows that balancing your hand back and forth means "more or less" both in French and in English. Like I said, most of these are the same in both languages/cultures.

  • Some people say "My foot," but "My eye" certainly means the same thing ^_^ And Bart Simspon is famous for saying "My butt" for the same connotation

  • are your teaching us or you are talking to yourself.speak louder and open your mouth, be slow on pronunciation. come again I'm waiting for you.your beautiful Lady

  • omg thank you, i 've seen this a lot in France but never had the time to google it. that's so helpful ^^

  • You forgot the biggest common gesture : middle finger

    1:54 I don't buy it (middle finger)
    2:25 It wasn't me… Psych (middle finger)
    2:35 When someone is burned/lawyered (middle finger)

  • Très bonne idée cette video. En fait, cela nous renvoie à nous. Mais bien sûr qu,on a tous ces gestuels….. on ne se voie pas, on ne se rend compte de rien…… Marie……

  • Dear foreigners, please don't do the "cassé" gesture in France. It's very outdated and definitely not hip among adults. :'D

  • Bonjour Géraldine! Je suis du Canada et je suis déjà allé en Europe plus d'une fois. C'est un détail mais j'ai remarqué souvent que les gens pour indiquer au Mc Do ou dans un bar qu'ils veulent DEUX items ils sortent deux doigts soit le pouces et l'index. Je ne suis pas sûr que tous les européens font ça mais je l'ai remarqué très souvent. Mais ici, c'est très rare. On va prendre l'index et le majeur pour dire deux. Ce n'est pas si drôle que ça comme ça mais ce qui est drôle, je l'ai déjà vu deux fois et c'est pour ça que c'est une anecdote, c'est le Canadien en visite à Barcelone ou Paris qui va indiquer qu'il veut DEUX Big Mac et qui n'est pas top point de vue dextérité et qu'en sortant son majeur et son index lpour dire "2", bien le pouce est un peu ouvert et pas demeuré fermé. Là, la personne européenne à l'arrière du comptoir est confuse. Elle dit "bien là 2 ou 3???". 🙂 Ici il ne viendrait pas à l'idée de vouloir compter le pouce à moins qu'il soit franchement très très ouvert. Voilà. C'est ma looooooooooongue anecdote pas très rigolote. 🙂

  • Ooooh, I wouldn't do that bored shaving gesture outside of France, it might be interpreted as a kind of sexual invite… (I won't elaborate!)

  • Maybe repeat how to say it in French 3 times slowly so we viewers can practice with you. I have to keep rewinding the video to hear the pronunciation properly, it's way too fast for us beginners. Is this an advanced class maybe?

  • For older viewers some of these are just the same as in English. More or less, same gesture. They would even say, "comme çi, comme ça" though they wouldn't know how to spell it. Very popular in the seventies.Twiddling your thumbs, yeah–bored. "My eye" is much older, goes back to the 1930s and 40s, older people would say something was "all my eye and Betty Martin" or just "my eye." The gesture of "I didn't do it" is the same as in English. So there are only really 2-3 gestures here that English/Americans wouldn't know. You missed out some important ones, such as "Et toc!" which I wondered about for a long time before I found it here–on someone else's channel.

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