You Won’t Find These Words in Your Textbook

Listen up everyone–it’s time for a quick vocabulary lesson!  And make sure you take good notes, because you won’t be going over these words in French class anytime soon.

Here’s a bit of slang that I picked up while I was studying in Grenoble.  Some of these words and expressions were introduced to me by my host family, but most of it I picked up during the course of daily conversations.  Learning new words by memorizing long lists may not always be the most enjoyable part of a language class, but in the real world it can be a lot of fun.  It’s almost like solving a puzzle: when you hear a new word, you’ll have to think about it a bit, and use context clues. You’ll figure it out eventually (and if you can’t, just ask whoever you’re speaking to)!  Then you can use the slang in your daily conversations, which helps you a) remember your new vocab, and b) sound really cool at the same time. 🙂

Study Abroad Gap Year Programs in Grenoble, France - Host Family

My host brothers and me... two of the best teachers I had in France! 🙂

So, without further ado (and in no particular order), here’s my list:

Ça roule? What’s up?  (similar to ça va, but cooler)
J’ai la flemme I’m feeling lazy
Mais c’est dingue! That is absolutely crazy!
Marrant, ça! That’s funny!
Je crève de faim/ Je crève de soif… I’m dying of hunger/I’m dying of thirst
Au boulot! Let’s get to work!
Coucou! Hi!/Hey!
Ouais Yeah






Les potes/les gars/les gosses Buddies/guys/kids
Bosser To work, to labor
Bouffer To stuff one’s face
Kiffer To love
Comme d’hab As usual (short for comme d’habitude)
Uber-/Hyper-/Super- Very
un mec/une nana A dude/a chick
C’est nickel! It’s perfect!













[Note: these expressions are all pretty informal.  You can use them around friends and your host family, but you’ll probably want to use the formal expressions for anything school or homework-related.]


Do you have any words or expressions that you would add to the list?  Let us know in the comments below!

Enter your name and email to get new posts by email!

“Best of the Blogs” -
“Top Study Abroad Blogs” -
“Blog of the Week” -
“Top 10 Study Abroad Blogs You Should Be Reading” - The Study Abroad Blog
"The Best Meaningful Travel Articles of 2016"
  • We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you have provided. Please check out our privacy policy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Speak Your Mind



[fts_pinterest pinterest_name=apiabroad type=boards_list]


More and more students in STEM, business, or other fields are finding great coursework abroad! Check out our ClassFinder tool to find courses abroad within your major!

#apiabroad #ispyapi #studyabroad @apiabroad
APIabroad photo
Most API programs include credit-bearing coursework, even our internships count towards your degree. Need an internship to graduate? Think about taking one abroad for credit!

#apiabroad #ispyapi #studyabrad @apiabroad
APIabroad photo
Sept 15 to Oct 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., we would like to not only celebrate the culture but also reflect on Hispanic and Latino identity, belonging, and stereotypes and how we can better support Latinx students in their experiential learning programs. APIabroad photo
It's fair season! Come say hi to API at one of the study abroad fairs listed below, and grab some free swag. You can also enter to win a $1,000 flight voucher!

Check out a full list of fairs:
APIabroad photo
With research and planning, you can find a study abroad program that fits your budget. We believe in being up-front with what’s included and avoiding hidden fees.

#apiabroad #ispyapi @apiabroad @shsustudyabroad
APIabroad photo
The API Abroad Blog