English to French freelance translator
How French are you? See how many of these expressions you already knew, or at least understand...

(Keep checking for new ones)



"C'est l'hôpital qui se fout de la charité...."
Comparing an hospice to a charity, this is basically the story of a kettle and a pot, they're both black... Got it?


"C'est pas demain la veille...."
Tomorrow isn't yet the day before this happens. In other words, it's unlikely to happen anytime soon, if at all...


"Il n'y en a pas pour 107 ans"
It won't take 107 years actually means that it won't take very long at all. Go figure....


"Se disputer pour des queues de cerises"
Have a fight over nothing (such as cherry stalks).


"Faire une crise de calgon"
It started off with "faire une crise de nerfs", which is essentially a temper tantrum. It then became known as a "crise de calcaire" (a limescale tantrum...?), and then.... Anyway, you're not going to throw a Calgon tantrum now, are you? It just means throwing one's toys out of one's pram.


"Tous les 36 du mois"
If something happens everytime there is a 36th in the month, that will make it a rather rare occurence. The Brits talk of blue moons....


"Se ressembler comme deux gouttes d'eau"
To be as similar as two rain drops, another way of saying that two things are like peas in a pod.


"En avoir plein le dos"
Just like its British counterpart the "pain in the back", other (ruder) ways of saying this also exist in French. But this is a decent website and I'll let you figure them out by yourselves.


"Un chat dans la gorge"
It seems the French are made differently, since it is normally a cat rather than a frog that gets stuck in their throat. Probably best this way to avoid a conflict of interest...


"Jus de chaussette"
Sock juice is to coffee the opposite of what builder's tea is to tea. Not. Good.


"En moins de temps qu'il n'en faut pour le dire"
The French consider that a good benchmark for something happening quickly is the time it takes to say it. So, she'd left the room in less time than it takes to say it, or put in a more english way, before I knew it.

"Il pleut comme vache qui pisse"
Bar the vulgarity of the expression, it is actually slightly more likely to be raining cow's piss than cats and dogs, right?


"Avoir la gueule de bois", "Avoir la tête dans le seau"
Rather than just a boring headache, French people who've had too much to drink the night before describe their symptoms with an array of expressions, starting with the most popular ones: "to have a wooden head", "To have one's head in a bucket"