[humor] Misheard Phrases

I find it both amusing and educational whenever I hear something wrong in French (this happens…souvent), so I thought it might be entertaining for folks to share these little gaffes (or to have a good laugh at mine!).

Yesterday while driving, I had on a French news/opinion podcast (Les Informés, franceinfo) and the speakers kept using the phrase tapis fort. Strong carpet? Huh? I tried to think of alternatives but couldn’t - they more they kept saying it, the more my brain locked on tapis fort!

A few hours later I was able to do some detective work and found they were saying… taper fort, to “hit hard”. That makes a lot more sense than strong carpet!! :joy:

9 Likes

Haha !!
Well actually if you hit someone really hard you can use the expression “mettre/envoyer au tapis” (= to defeat someone) :upside_down_face:

In a literal sense : Le boxeur a envoyé son adversaire au tapis ! 🤼 (He sent his opponent to the mat!)
In a figurative sense : Le covid nous a mis au tapis ! :boxing_glove: (Covid has put us down!)

6 Likes

Thanks so much for sharing this experience, @mgm! I can totally relate and think it’s impressive how our brain just tries really hard to give this word we just heard a meaning, connecting it to something we know. :exploding_head:

3 Likes

ha ha ha @mgm the journalist must have had a very strong accent but I wouldn’t be able to say where from though :sweat_smile:
This experience reminds me of one I had at college in an english class: we were translating sentences from english to french, and the one I got was something like “I tried for hours to give you a ring but you were not there”. Well, I said bluntly and innocently “J’ai essayé pendant des heures de te donner une bague mais tu n’étais pas là”. How can that make any sense? :grimacing: :speak_no_evil: :flushed:
The teacher’s burst of laughter just made me understand I must have said a big big blunder :zipper_mouth_face: :joy: :rofl:

4 Likes

That’s a really tricky sentence @SylvainG! “Ring” (at least in American English) is no longer a common word meaning to telephone someone - I bet a lot of Americans wouldn’t have parsed that sentence correctly!

1 Like

That’s a funny and interesting story @mgm :grinning:!

I think sometimes the same happens when speaking : your brain is locked on a word and although you know it’s not the good one, you can’t remember the right one :face_with_monocle: :brain:.

I experience that with Spanish.
I keep using casada (married) instead of casera (home-made). So very often I marry my pizza :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

When I’m tired, it’s even worse :exploding_head:! I guess my brain wants everyone and everything to feel the same and to be cansada (tired). My pizza is cansada, this lovely couple is cansada… :rofl:

6 Likes

Had another humorous misunderstood phrase today in a Live Lesson…this was in a “before and after” sentence creation exercise where various situations were listed, one of which referred to les filmes doublés.

I started prattling on about how before, I really liked les filmes doubles. But now that I faire du sport regularly, two movies are too long… I was so proud of my creative scenario.

At which point my confused and astute tutor asked, “What do you understand as the meaning of les filmes doublés?” Obviously, I said, it means a double feature – watching two movies back to back. Right? Right??

Oh, how wrong I was!! :man_facepalming: :joy:

4 Likes

Haha, so nice :sweat_smile: !
It would definitely make sense, @mgm !

1 Like