Friday, March 29, 2013

Lost In Translation (Sort of. . .)

We can meet at the resto for an apero. . . How does that sound?
          Today My-Reason-For-Living-In-France and I were out and about and stopped in a café for a cup of coffee. Sitting at a table next to us were two pretty teenage girls in the throes of an animated conversation. As is often the case with those under 30 in France (and no doubt in most every other country in the world) their back-and-forth was punctuated by words from the secret language of the young.

         Apparently something dramatic happened to one of the girls because she told her friend she was confronted with an absolute "cata" -- translation, "catastrophe." Then they both laughed.

        A few months ago we were walking through IKEA and a group of teens was talking about going to "the apart of Vero for an apero."  In other words, they were planning to go to Veronique's apartment for an apéritif.

         I find this to be so much fun. I have been trying to think of other words like these and can only come up with "ado, resto" and Caro or "adolescent, restaurant" and "Caroline." I know there are many, many more.

         Please tell me the ones you know.

         Off to Paris. A demain. . .

12 comments:

Villette said...

Dublin street slang has for generations added an 'o' to make a nickname. For example, Declan can become Deco to his friends, John becomes Johno. To bring it back to Paris, Samuel Beckett, the Irish playwright who lived in Montparnasse for most of his adult life, wrote his most famous play, Waiting for Godot, in French. As the philosophers and lit crits wondered just who Godot was, Beckett's fellow Irish knew immediately: French pronunciation, Waiting for God-o.

julie KIKOU said...

c'est trop beau, c'est trop bon.
It's too beautiful meaning it is so beautiful, it's too good meaning it is so good. Directly from Paris.
I am not anymore a young teenage but you'll just have to listen ...
à bientôt, Julie

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

If I did not work in a high school, I would not understand the new language of the young at all. I never would have known that it is good to be SICK. They keep me young in many ways!

Anonymous said...

Might as well give it up now. Old people (over about 25, at the max) can't make up new words or abbreviations. They will not be accepted by young people. They will look at you funny, even if they know what you are saying. (Kind of like a French waiter.)
Sheila

Kate said...

I like the fact that in the English speaking world we see "gastro pubs", while here in French-speaking Belgium "gastro" isn't short for gastronomic, but rather gastroenteritis. Which makes a gastro pub sound like something to be avoided!

Charlene said...

I had a textbook that called those "guillotined" words. The only ones that come to mind now are "dico" for dictionary, "ordi" for ordinateur (computer), and "tele" (that should have a couple of acute accents) for television. There are probably dozens of those and they are fun. They make much better sense to me than the verlan slang--do French young people still do that?

Lorrie said...

McDo's is the only one that comes to my mind.

Anonymous said...

Well, there's
sympa but that's not just teen speak


Anonymous said...

Well, there's
sympa but that's not just teen speak


Anonymous said...

My girls say "totes" for totally and "obvi" for obviously.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

It must be universal...my teenage daughter Caroline is also called Caro by her friends here in the States.

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