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pintrest pin about 8 Mistakes In French That Make You Sound Horny!
If you’re keen on improving your French or learning more French words and phrases but want to avoid the embarrassment of accidentally sounding like a sex craved foreigner than read on. Here are 8 French expressions many English speakers use incorrectly and quick tips to help you say what you REALLY want to say in French.

How To Not Sound Like A Horny Sex Addict When You Speak French

You know what you want to say in English and you think you know how to translate it into French but it’s challenging to find the right French word  or that perfect French phrase that matches the meaning and nuance of what you want to say because exact word for word translations don’t always match up in French with their English counterparts.

One small slip up and you could accidentally tell your French Friends they are “good lovers” rather than “good cooks”.

To help you avoid some embarrassing situations, I’ve put together a list of common English phrases English speakers incorrectly translate word for word into French that end up making you sound less than respectable. Or put another way, here are 8 sex phrases… I mean French love phrases you didn’t know you were accidentally saying.

Related: Worlds Best Lovers By Country: Are French Men The Hottest Lovers?

1-You Accidentally Say in a very vulgar way: Someone has a good body or nice curves instead of good at something else…

Elle est bonne (DOES NOT ALWAYS=) She is good

When someone is good at something, whether it’s dancing, art or cooking, it’s not uncommon for an English speaker to say “wow, she is good” which when translated word for word to French would be “elle est bonne” for a woman.  The problem is,unless you specify “she is good at something”, you are inadvertently saying a woman is a good shag or a good lay. It is not very flattering and you might actually get punched.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To correctly say “she is good at something” in French: You should always specify in what he or she is good at. “Elle est bonne cuisinière = she is a good cook. vs. “elle est bonne” which means she is a good lover. Another common way to say someone is good at something is to say “elle/il est doué(e)” which literally means he/she is talented.

You can also say “elle est doué[/thrive_icon_box]

2- You Accidentally Say: You are horny instead of saying you feel hot or warm

Je suis chaud(é) (DOES NOT ALWAY=) I am hot
Il est trop chaud (DOES NOT =) He is too hot ( as in temperature)

The phrase “Je suis chaud”, literally translates to English as “I am hot” but has another sexual innuendo for women. If you say “Je suis chaud(e)”, you are actually saying “I am horny”. For men if you say “il est trop chaud”, which translates literally to he is too hot, you are actually saying he is a good lover.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To correctly say I feel hot in French:  You should say “J’ai chaud”.  [/thrive_icon_box]

To make matters a little more confusing for you, Quebec French has a slightly different usage of the word hot “Chaud”. “Je suis chaud” can mean I am drunk (for men) and “Elle est chaude” means “she is hot” (in a sexual way). Keep in mind, a woman cannot be drunk using “chaude”and a man cannot be sexy-hot.

3-You Accidentally Say: There are too many condoms instead of too many preservatives.

Preservatif (DOES NOT =) Preservative

Trying to explain to someone in French why you don’t eat certain foods that contain too many preservatives is tricky because there exists in French a word that looks just like the English word “preservative”- it”s “préservatif”.

Unfortunately the French word “préservatif” means condoms so a lot of English speakers actually end up saying phrases like “there are too many condoms in cereal for children” ( “Il y’a trop de préservatif dans les céréales pour enfants.”), instead of there are too many preservatives. oops.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To correctly say food preservatives in French: Use the French word “conservateur” – “il n y’a pas de conservateur” = “there are no preservatives” instead of “il n’ y a pas de préservatif” which means “there are no condoms”[/thrive_icon_box]

4- You Accidentally Ask Someone: To insert themselves inside of you instead of introducing themselves

Untroduire (DOES NOT =) Introduce

I hear English speakers make this mistake quite a lot. They mistakenly think the verb ”introduire” is the same as the English verb “to introduce”. It doesn’t take long for them to figure out their gaffe because the French verb “introduire” actually means “to insert” or “to enter”.  So unless you want to suggest everyone has a big French orgy, you should not use the verb “introduire” when asking your French Friends to introduce themselves to each other.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To correctly introduce someone in French: Use the French verb “se présenter”. For example, if you want to say “let me introduce you to David”, you could say  “je te présente David” instead of “je t’introduire David” which means “let me insert David into you”. Yikes![/thrive_icon_box]

5- You Accidentally Say: You are sexually aroused instead of excited about some upcoming event or thing.

être excité(e) (DOES NOT ALWAYS=) to be excited about something

It’s very common for an English speaker to say they are excited about something. For example, if I say “the band U2 is playing live this week” and you love U2, you might say, “I am so excited” which translates exactly to French as “je suis excité”.  Just like in English, there can be a sexual connotation to saying “I am excited”.

To avoid sounding like you are sexually aroused, make sure there is context when you say “je suis éxcité”.  For example, you should include why you are excited. “Je pars en vacances demain, je suis très éxcité” which means, “I am so excited, I leave for vacation tomorrow”.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] Other common French phrases you can use to express your excitement about something:Use “j’ai hâte”, or if you want to say you are really excited you could say “j’ai trop hâte” which can mean anything from “I am so excited” to “I can’t wait”. You can use “excité” in a non-sexual way by using certain French expressions such as “excité comme une puce” which literally means “excited like a flea”. [/thrive_icon_box]

6- You Accidentally Say: You want to make love again instead of saying put the utensils away

Remettre le couvert (DOES NOT ALWAYS =)Put the utensils away.

Be careful about offering to put the utensils away in French because this French expression ( “Remettre le couvert”) also means to make love again as in multiple times.

7- You Accidentally Say: You want an orgasm instead of enjoying something

Je veux Jouir (DOES NOT =) I want to enjoy

There may come a point in time when you want to express how much you enjoy something. The dictionary explains that the word for enjoy in French is “jouir”. Technically, yes it does mean to enjoy but if you leave out the object in the phrase than it changes the meaning of the verb Jouir “to orgasm”.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To avoid accidentally using “Jouir” to express enjoyment a sexual way:  Make sure you use an object in the sentence – “Je veux jouir de ma vie” = I want to enjoy my life vs “je veux jouir” which means “I want to cum”.

Also take note that the verb “jouir” is a more formal way of saying you enjoyed something in French. Using “jouir” would be akin to saying “I enjoyed the play” vs the less formal way “I loved the play”. So if you want to be less formal, skip the ver “jouir” and use the verb aimer which means to love something.[/thrive_icon_box]

Enjoy, No pun intended

8- You Accidentally Say: You want to sleep with someone instead of you envy them

J’ai envie de toi  (DOES NOT =)  I envy you.

The French word “Envie” and English word “Envy” look like they might be a perfect translation match and they are for the most part depending on how you use “envie” in a sentence. If you are not careful, you could end up saying I want to sleep with you “j’ai envie de toi” rather than “I envy you”.

[thrive_icon_box color=’blue’ style=’1′ image=”] To correctly say you envy someone in French: Say “Je t’envie”.  If you want to say “I am envious of your car”, you would say “je suis envieux de ta voiture” if you are a man and “je suis envieuse de ta voiture” if you are a woman. [/thrive_icon_box]

Bonus: How to avoid asking for sex lubricant at the pharmacy when all you want is Vaseline:

I like to have Vaseline on hand for a variety of reasons from making my own lip gloss to fixing a squeaky door, (51 things you can do with Vaseline). Here’s the thing. If you walk into a store in France and ask for Vaseline, you might as well be asking for sexual lubrication like “KY Jelly” or “Astro Glide” because when the French think of Vaseline, they think of it mainly as a sex lubricant and anal sex lubricant. (my French friends swear this is true).

There is even an expression “Et il fournissent le tube de Vaseline avec?” which literally means “And they provide a tube of vaseline” . You say this when you want to say someone is trying to fuck you over.  

Tips for buying Vaseline in France: If you absolutely must have Vaseline, and you don’t mind getting a raised eyebrow or two, keep in mind the following:

  • Vaseline is actually pretty hard to find because it is not always packaged the same way you are used to seeing it back home. It usually comes in tubes.
  • You might have a better chance finding Vaseline or something similar if you ask for petroleum jelly.

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It’s confusing

I know this can all be confusing but the point of this post was to make you aware of the different nuances and meanings when trying to translate something from English to French.

  1. OK, great! :) You’re welcome!
    You may also have noticed that when someone says: ‘je suis chaud(e)’ (colloquial), that just means that the person is motivated on doing some activity; also: ‘je suis chaud pour [faire quelque chose]’
    Actually in this expression, as it’s colloquial, people say ‘chui chaud’ for ‘je suis chaud’ :)

  2. Hi!
    Funny article and very useful for English speakers!

    As a French, I would like to specify something about the use of the “elle est bonne” expression :)

    I would say that only the people below 40-45 max. are using it (or having a young/open state of mind, using it as a joke), mainly when between male friends, anyway!
    “Ouah! Comment elle est trop boooonne!!!” :) This expression is vulgar anyway, unless you are joking between friends.

    Actually, ‘elle est bonne’ doesn’t mean that a woman is good at sex, but that she is looking sexy and having nice curves :)
    If you want to say (with the same type of talking) that a woman likes sex or is good at it, you would say ‘Elle est (trop) chaude!’ or maybe in this situation:
    – …et elle est bonne au lit?
    – grave! (‘totes!’)

    In other situations, people can ‘normally’ use the ‘elle est bonne’ phrase meaning “she’s good at (any activity)”; maybe some people in the room will think about the second sense, but it would only sound a bit silly to bring up the connotation joke, like a teenager joke…

    For “il est bon”, meaning ‘he is a good lover’: I’ve never heard anybody using it with the masculine. I guess it would only be like, making the joke of the literal declension.
    To say a man is good at sex, you may say: ‘c’est un bon coup!’ and maybe for the youngest: ‘il est trop chaud!’
    A funny expression, eventhough less used by the young, but that will always make French people smile, evenmore if said by an English speaker, to say that a man like sex is ‘c’est un chaud lapin!’

    Girls would rather say about a nice-looking man: ‘il est trop beau!’, ‘beau gooooosse!!, ‘il est canon!’, and ‘Aaaaaaaah!!!’, as well :)

    1. Hello Charles,

      thanks for your input. I updated my post with some of your examples. THe use of chaud is a new one for me because in French Canadian, it also has different meanings. “je suis chaud” can mean I am drunk for a man Like the verb introduire which can be used to mean introduce which it cannot in French from France.

      I am not sure I agree that “elle est bonne” is only used by people below 45. I’ve heard people well into their 50’s and 60’s using this expression in a relaxed party atmosphere. Granted,it sounded creepy to me, they did use it and they were laughing about it. (not isolated events). I do live in a rather blue collar area in the south of France so maybe its just a matter of social class or setting or region of France?

      THanks again Charles

  3. Hahhaa, so funny, love this Annie. I had no idea about the Vaseline thing. I use it regularly on my lips instead of chapstick (have some right here actually) and actually walked into a pharmacy recently with my mother-in-law to buy some more. I’ve rarely seen the brand Vaseline and got some garbage that was too watery. Anyway, no one gave me any weird looks but now I’m a little embarrassed. Just asked my husband (who is French) and he said he wasn’t overly familiar with Vaseline until he met me (since I have it on me at all times for my lips) but it does have a connotation in France as a lubricant for sex. The brand is pretty popular in the US and there are all kinds of products made my Vaseline (lotions and other body products) so I never really thought about it. Happy I learned something today. Hope you’re enjoying summer! ;-)

  4. Very interesting and very true. You have to live in France to be perfect like that. Most likely tourists will do it wrong but we are sometimes ok with that. I used to live in Paris (30 Yrs) but now I am in Palm Spgs. I miss Paris.

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