Learn to Speak French
French Urban Dictionary: Guide to French Slang
Arming yourself with a handful of French slang is smart preparation for hanging out with real French people. Unlike everyday language, your French friends will find it fun to teach you new slang-show an interest in French slang early in your friendship and they'll happily help you learn more. As edgy as it is, learning dirty French phrases can be your fast-track to laughter, bonhomie and instant rapport with newfound friends and colleagues. So we present to you, our French Urban Dictionary: our guide to helping you find the best French slang dictionaries on the Web. We'll show you how to find dictionaries of French slang that help you translate the meanings of French slang words into their meanings in English. Pardon our French, but this is the best damn guide to translating slang in French that we think you'll be able to find out there.

Real French phrases
Whether you're a long-term student, a businessperson, or simply a traveler who wants a more authentic view of the French-speaking world, learning French slang is a great way to connect with the locals. Knowing current French sayings signals that you are hip and intelligent at the same time, which is why we help you learn the best French sayings for a party with the resources listed on this page. Expat students in France will rub shoulders with witty young people who want friends that are in on the joke. But it's not just college kids who need to pick up some French slang. Consider this: if you're competing with other companies for a French client's business, you're much more likely to score the contract if your customers feel they can relate to you. A few well-timed humorous phrases could mean the difference between a long-term deal and a plane ticket home.

And speaking of long-term lots of visitors touch down in France in hopes of finding romance. You're much likely to set sparks flying if you can show the fun side of your personality. French slang helps you do just that-don't settle for a bland description of that jerk on the subway, impress your date with an authentic bon mot! Of course, it will take time, practice, and plenty of exposure to the language before you're the life of the party in France the way you are here at home-but that doesn't mean there aren't steps you can take to liven up your French.

As you well know, there's no shortage of films and TV shows lampooning the foibles of foreign exchange students trying to navigate the sometimes-tricky English language. Mispronunciations, double entendres, and context can throw even the careful student for a loop until they get a good grounding in local slang. What some foreign language students fail to consider is that this avenue of misunderstanding can be a two-way street!

So break out of classroom mode and get hip quick with a French urban slang dictionary. These great titles teach the words and phrases your textbook can't-or won't-teach you. Whether you're looking to unload a few a bawdy quips or just want to avoid putting your foot wrong in polite conversation, brushing up on French slang with an urban slang dictionary is time well spent.

French urban dictionaries compared
Dirty French slang can be a lot of fun—many French are ribald folk with hearty appetites for some salty speech—but at the same time you don’t want to offend. Check out some of the better French urban slang dictionaries we’ve located (all are for sale online, making them easy to get hold of) and enjoy an accurate French slang translation.

Harrap's French to English and English to French Dictionary of Slang

By one yardstick the gold standard, this 1970s classic is available in a more recent updated edition. While we like Harrap’s for straightforward and topical dictionaries, this laboriously crafted volume straddles two different worlds—but incomplete as a guide to literary slang, and a tad stuffy for street French, this is a good general slang guide that might not be targeted enough for some readers—and with online prices of ~$30, it’s a bit rich for our blood.

Argot and Slang

Originally published in the late 1800s, this massive tome (over 500 pages!) will help you read between the lines of Balzac’s earthy but never profane characters. For the serious French student looking to impress, this French slang dictionary will dazzle your French university friends, but for the more casual student it’s definitely overkill. It prices out similarly to Harrap’s, so it’s a better deal for your inner overachiever (but don’t blame us if your erudite oaths draw some blank stares). Depending on what kind of soirees you tend to frequent, this could be your guide to the best French sayings for a party.

Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions
More familiar ground for those of us with both feet planted firmly in the 20th century, this no-nonsense French slang dictionary introduces you to phrases we’ve heard real French people use. Express your appreciation, distaste—and even melancholy—in more colorful terms.

It's really one of the more thorough and current French slang dictionaries available, and it doesn’t skip the naughty bits. But if you really want raunchy, scroll down to the next French slang dictionary:

Dirty French: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!"
If you feel like other French urban slang dictionaries you’ve looked at have been pulling their punches, this double-barreled sprint through the Parisian back alleys is for you. Clocking in well under 200 pages, this one gets right to the good stuff: including all the dirty French slang you ever wanted to know. With all the essential phrases for coming across as a “man of the world,” this book will help make you an unforgettable party guest—how you’re remembered might be another matter. This dirty little number and Dictionary of French Slang and Colloquial Expressions both retail for about the price of a movie ticket.



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