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Colloquial or ‘local’ expressions can be a bit bizarre (to say the least) and thus hard to explain. Il pleut des cordes! (it’s raining cords/ropes) Chaleur d’aout c’est du bien partout! (in the heat of August, everything is fine).. And yet, despite their trickiness, colloquialisms add colour and humour to any language.

Here’s a selection of French expressions to get to know;

“Occupe-toi de tes oignons”
Literally: mind your onions
English expression: mind your own business

“Avoir le cafard”
Literally: to have the cockroach
English expression: to feel blue

“Faire un froid de canard”
Literally: to make a cold duck
English expression: to be freezing cold

“Il me court sur le haricot”
Literally: he’s running on the bean
English expression: he’s getting on my nerves

“En faire tout un fromage”
Literally: to make cheese out of it
English expression: to make a fuss

“Les doigts dans le nez”
Literally: fingers in the nose
English expression: a piece of cake


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