15 FRENCH WORDS that SOUND ENGLISH (but they aren't 🤯)

Image illustration Elisabeth newsletter

🎁 30% discount on my courses

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive 30% discount on my courses. 

Leave your first name and email address below ⬇️

15 FRENCH WORDS that SOUND ENGLISH (but they aren't 🤯)

Transcript of the video

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well.

I'm back today for a new French video.

Today, we're going to take a look at some fake Anglicisms together. But what can they be?

A few weeks ago, I posted a video with English words that we use every day in France. But there are words that look like English words. But they are 100% French words.

These are words that do not exist in English. We'll look at 15 of them today.

Before I begin, I would like to tell you about a book Kill The French. I am often contacted by companies who propose me to talk to you about their solutions or their products. Until now, I have always refused these partnerships because I thought they were not necessarily interesting for you.

But when I was contacted by the author of this book, I thought it was really interesting and that it could be interesting for you to discover it. I think it is really different from other French learning books.

This book, it can really help you to progress in French, to learn more vocabulary, but above all, and this is what I find really interesting with this book, it can really give you confidence in yourself.

To give you confidence in your ability to progress in French.

In this book, you will discover 100 stories written in French. The particularity of these stories is that there are a lot of words that are transparent with English. This means that they are either similar words between French and English, or words that are very, very close.

When you read them, you understand what they mean. Either if you are an English speaker or if you speak a little English. I don't know about you, but when I read a book or an article in English or Italian, if there are too many words that I don't understand, I quickly feel lost and I'll give up.

This is not the case here. If you speak a little English, you will be able to rely on those words that are easier to understand to understand words that you don't know.

So, with these words, it will create a context that will help you understand and integrate new vocabulary. So, you see, for example, in this story, I'm making chocolate cookies. It's almost the same thing in English. For example here, story 49, it's about music.

In this story, we will find words like piano, violin, opera, classical music, musician. You see, these are words close to English, so it will help you understand the rest of the story.

The 34, we're talking about a political speech, so we'll have words like politician, nation, election, president. Below each story, we'll have some essential vocabulary words that potentially you don't know yet that will be translated.

So you can both understand them through the context and you have an English translation here. The further you go in the book, the more complex the stories are going to be. They get more and more complicated.

You will be able to progress. What's also interesting is that the vocabulary words you learn in the first stories come back.

That way, you review those words. There is a phenomenon of repetition that is essential to learn and retain new vocabulary. This book Kill The French, you can find it on Amazon, I'm going to put a link that leads to the book on Amazon in the description of the video. If you are interested in it and want to buy it.

Let's get to the heart of the matter in this video, where we're not going to talk about identical words between French and English at all. We're going to talk about words that are 100% French, but that look like English.

So be careful not to get confused. We're going to look at 15 of them together today and I'll explain what they mean.

If you know them, be careful not to use them in English, either because they don't exist in English at all or because they mean something else.

The first word we'll look at is basketball.

Sneakers is a word we use every day in French. Sneakers are simply shoes that we will wear for sports or comfortable shoes that we will wear every day.

Basket in English is a basket. So it has nothing to do with it. However, if you ask people in France, they will be convinced that in English, we say baskets to talk about shoes.

The word relooking. It's a word that we hear more and more, there are a lot of shows on television where people are given a makeover. We will make them come, we will say to them "ah this type of clothing would suit you better, we must change your hair...". We're going to change their physical appearance to make them better. In general, when we make you a relooking, it is to have a more beautiful appearance.

This word again could in France, be persuaded that it is an English word, but not at all. Again, it's a word invented in French. In English, I think we'd rather say "make over".

The next word, it's a word that we use all the time in everyday life, when we go to furniture stores, it's a dressing room. A dressing room in French, it's either a wardrobe, or the room where you store your clothes.

When people have a room to store their clothes, it means that they have very large houses or that they are quite rich. In general, it is rather a wardrobe, a closet, a cupboard to store his clothes, we say a dressing room.

Be careful not to confuse it because in English, dressing is more like the sauce that you're going to put, for example, on a salad. So if I say in English "my new skirt is in my dressing", it doesn't make any sense.

It could totally happen that I would say that or a French person would say that because you really get the impression that this word dressing is a word that comes straight from English and that you use as it is, but not at all in reality.

A parking lot. So a parking lot, it still looks like the English word.

It's pretty close. A parking lot in France is a parking lot, so it can be either outside or inside a building.

I finally found a parking space after 20 minutes of searching or I can say, I parked my car in the parking lot in front of your house.

It's the place where you park your car. As I said, we can also say parking in French, but parking is really the word that is most frequently, most often used.

So the next word is kind of funny because we just inverted the English word. It's a walkie talkie, whereas in English, it's a walkie talkie.

Why the two parts of the word were reversed, I have no idea. But in French, we say un talkie walkie.

I'm sure you can see what it is, it's often used by the police, or there are some for children. It's kind of like a cell phone. You can talk into it and you can communicate with other people. For example, the policeman can communicate with his colleague.

Camping. Again, it's a word that is quite close to the word in English, but it's not exactly the same. A campsite is a piece of land that has been developed for camping.

You can have a vacation in a hotel or camping. You go there, you put your tent on it. We also say in French that we do camping. In English, I think we would say campsite or camp ground, I think in American English.

Playback. Playback, I'm sure you've been to a concert or watched a musical performance on TV where you realize that the singer is not really singing, there is music and she's just moving her lips to pretend to sing in French, it's called playback.

The singer plays back. This can also be the case for musical instruments. For example, if a musician pretends to play the guitar and the music comes out of the speakers.

He's doing a playback. Again, it sounds like a word straight out of English, but not at all, this word is only used in French. Or maybe in other languages, but in any case not in English. In any case, it doesn't have the same meaning, I think playback means to play, for example, a CD, a record or it means I think just to listen to something again, playback.

If you're a girl and you've ever been to a hairdresser in France or just looked at the list of services, you've probably seen that word brushing.

Again, this is a word that is not used in English. In English, we would say blow dry. Blow-drying is a technique for styling hair.

When the hair is wet, we will use a hair dryer and a round brush and we will style the hair like this to give it a nice shape.

A people or people. This word is also funny because it doesn't have the same meaning in French and in English. In English, people simply means people.

In French, if we say that someone is a celebrity, it means that he is famous. He is a celebrity. He is "famous".

The dry cleaner. A dry cleaner in France is the place where you can go to have your things washed, your clothes or your bed sheets, your coats.

It is an establishment where a person takes your clothes and will wash them for you. Also do dry cleaning, ironing and it is called in France a dry cleaner.

In English, I think it's called a dry cleaner, so it has nothing to do with it.

A tuxedo. A tuxedo in French, it's a garment mostly worn by men for a party or an event. It's like a suit but it's going to be worn with a bow tie. And usually there's a hemline here that's going to be satin or silk. I don't know exactly what the material is, but that's going to be shiny here and we have a bow tie.

A pinball machine. Here we are not talking about the dolphin at all, but about a game that can be found in cafes. It is a big machine where you send a ball and the small metal ball will pass through different zones.

You have to make it bounce and in fact, you win points and you must not let it fall in the hole. In French, it's called a flipper. Again, nothing to do with the word in English, I think it's called pinball machine.

The next word is cheerleader. Cheerleaders are girls who will perform choreography or acrobatics to support a sports team.

They have a uniform and they have pompons. In French, we say pom-pom girls, so we use girl for gille, while in English, we would rather say cheerleader.

For the last words, we will stay in sports. A tennis player. A tennisman in French is simply a tennis player, like Rafael Nadal or Djokovic.

And besides, for a woman, we say a tenniswoman. It seems again that this word has been borrowed from English. And yet, not at all, because in English, we say tennis player.

And finally, the last word. A jog. A jog in French can mean two things. Either, if I say I'm jogging, it means I'm going out for a run, I'm doing sports where I run, I'm running.

Jogging, it is also used to talk about sportswear. The clothes we wear to play sports but more and more, we also wear jogging suits to hang out at home when we don't do much. It's a bit like a more formal pajama.

Again, it's pretty close to English, but it's not exactly the same word.

That's it for today, I hope you liked this video. If you liked it, put a like and especially, if you know other false anglicisms, don't hesitate to put them in comments.

If you are interested in the book Kill The French, don't forget, I put the link to the Amazon page of the book in the description of the video.

I wish you all a very nice day and I say to you very soon.

🇫🇷 This course will unlock your oral comprehension of French

👉 Through dialogues, I'll teach you to understand the French, even when they talk fast.

🚀 50 everyday dialogues to boost your understanding of French

✅ Understand the French, even when they're talking fast.
✅ Talk with French speakers with confidence.
Improve your French for good with a method based on everyday dialogues.

Share this post

Free resources that might interest you


The expression "you're welcome" in French: meaning and use

The expression "you're welcome" is widely used in French. It allows you to answer politely to someone who thanks you. But be careful, there are some subtleties and things to know to use it well. Discover in this article all that you need to know to use it properly.

Videos that might interest you

Who is Valentin?

Practice and improve your French with Valentine's Day

Transcript of the video I gave you flowers yesterday. The day before yesterday! For or against Valentine's Day? Valentine's Day is the holiday for lovers. But many people also find it a cheesy commercial holiday,

Image illustration Elisabeth newsletter

🎁 30% discount on my courses

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive 30% discount on my courses. 

Leave your first name and email address below ⬇️

Scroll to Top