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French Slang - Informal, Familiar, and Vulgar French - Argot français

Recommended books, dictionaries, useful websites, and other information about French slang.

Introduction to French Register
Register refers to the level of formality of a given word, expression, grammatical structure, gesture, or means of pronunciation. In French, there are six registers.

Informal French Negation
In informal French, "pas" is usually used without "ne."

Informal French Pronouns
If you've ever listened to native French speakers talk to friends or family, you've almost certainly noticed that they don't sound like your French teacher or audio tapes. In this lesson you will learn about how pronouns are used informally.

Informal French Questions
Learn the various ways to ask questions informally in French.

Texting - Les Textos français
Learning French is one thing, but French on the internet - in chatrooms and forums - or via text messaging or email can seem like a completely different language. Fortunately, help is at hand. Here are some common French abbreviations, acronyms, and symbols to help you communicate via text.

Informal Synonyms for Bon
If you want to make your French sound more, well, French, one place to start is with your vocabulary. In French classes, you tend to learn the most common, basic terms. Bon is one such example, but there are numerous synonyms to choose between. Take a look at this lesson to learn some different ways to say "good."

Informal Synonyms for Très
The adverb très is one example of a very common word that can be replaced by any of a number of synonyms, in both normal and informal registers. Take a look at this lesson to learn some different ways to say "very," and be sure to note the differences in intensity.

French Gestures
In France or French movies, you'll see some familiar and unfamiliar gestures. It is as essential to understand this French "sign language" as it is any vocabulary. Here are definitions and instructions for 35 gestures, including register and photos.

Largonji / Loucherbem / Louchébème
Largonji, also called loucherbem or louchébème, is a form of French slang that consists of playing around with syllables, along the same lines as pig Latin. It is a secret language that was invented by the butchers of la Villette in Paris.

Verlan is a form of French slang that consists of playing around with syllables, kind of along the same lines as pig Latin. Unlike pig Latin, however, verlan is actively spoken in France - many verlan words have become so commonplace that they are used in everyday French.

Slang and Colloquial French Books
The French you learn in class is not what you'll hear on the street or in the news. It is important to master correct French and also to understand and use slang and colloquial French. These books teach real French, as spoken by friends and enemies.

The Alternative French Dictionary
Small list of slang expressions, in English and French.

The Alternative Quebecois Dictionary
Slang straight from the heart of French-speaking Canada.

Le Cyberdico ou l'argot tel qu'on l'jacte...
French to slang and slang to French.

Défense et illustration de la langue xyloglotte
Interesting site: the deliberate complicating of language.

The self-proclaimed largest list of joual terms on the internet, plus a pronunciation and grammar guide.

Lexique Dauphinois
Dictionary of slang from Dauphiné in southeast France. French only.

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