Quiz: Do You Know the Meaning of These Simple French Words?: HowStuffWorks
Do You Know the Meaning of These Simple French Words?
By: Kennita Leon
6 Min Quiz
Image: LeoPatrizi/E+/Getty Images
About This Quiz
French is a Romance language that is historically spoken in Belgium and of course, France. And because of France's conquests, variations of the language (Creole) is spoken in countries like Haiti, St. Lucia and Dominica. It is the official language of more than 25 countries and is considered difficult to learn because of its pronunciation. But you don't necessarily need to know how to correctly pronounce it to know what the written words mean. And that's what we're trying to test today. Just how many of these French words do you know the meanings of?
We're going to give you hints as to what these words could be and it'll be your job to guess their meanings in English. Do you know what the French words jaune, voiture, frere and soleil mean? If you don't, then we're not sure how well you'll do on this quiz. So do your best and if you get 11 correct, we'll be really proud.
It's time to test your knowledge of these French words. Will you be ready to visit Paris by the end, or will you need to be sent back to French 101? Let's find out.
A word that speaks of a particular amount of time, what does "semaine" mean?
Semaine is a French word which means "week" in English. It is about the days of the week and is derived from the Latin word septimāna which also means "week."
What does the French adjective "petit" mean?
Petit is a masculine word which means "small" in English and can be used to describe something that is considered to be small or minor. "Petite" is feminine and is used to describe someone who is small in size.
It closely resembles its English meaning. What does "difficile" mean?
Difficile- pronounced as ‘difisil" means "difficult." This adjective is used to describe someone who is hard to please or something that is strenuous, causes problems or requires much effort.
Which negative adjective does "mauvais" represent?
Mauvais means "bad" in English. It can be used in several ways, such as about an unpleasant experience, something of poor quality or someone with ill intentions.
"Boeuf" is a kind of meat, but which kind?
Boeuf is the French translation of the English word- beef. It is used to discuss the meat itself and the various dishes that it is incorporated into.
Which day of the week is "Mardi"?
Mardi is a masculine French noun which "means" Tuesday- the second day of the week. When used in a sentence, it follows the French rule and is not capitalized.
A body part one uses to walk, what does "jambe" mean?
Jambe refers to a part of the body- the leg. In a sentence, reflexive verbs are used to talk about parts of the body, for example, "Je me suis cassé la jambe" means "I broke my leg."
Which of these occupations is a "cuisinier"?
Cuisiner translates to "to cook," and is used informally to mean "to grill." This verb is conjugated with avoir and used accordingly in a sentence.
A way of showing affection, what does "bisou" mean?
Bisou pronounced "bizu" means kiss in French. It is most often used by lovers or persons in a romantic relationship, whereas bise is used to describe a platonic kiss used as a greeting- to say hello or goodbye.
A leafy vegetable, what's a "chouchou"?
Chouchou means favorite and is a term of endearment given to a loved one or someone dear to you. It can be used to discuss a romantic partner or, in a school setting, a teacher's pet.
What's the meaning of the adjective "doux"?
Doux, pronounced as ‘du,' means soft in English. It is used to describe something that is soft, gentle or sweet for example, une peau douce- soft skin.
You can find it in the sky. What is "etoile"?
Etoile is the French translation for ‘star,' the astronomical object. It can also be used when speaking about the depiction or the shape of the star.
A "papillon" is which animal?
Papillon originates from papilionem, which is a Latin word. It means ‘butterfly' in English and can be used to talk about the insect or something in the shape of a butterfly.
Which meat is represented by the word "poulet'?
Poulet or le poulet is the French word for chicken. It can either be used to describe the animal or to talk about it as a food. An example of this is ‘Je mange du poulet'-I am eating chicken.
"Soleil" represents a celestial body. Which one is it?
Soleil means ‘sun'- the huge star which is at the center of the solar system. This word has a different spelling from the Latin word 'soliculus,' which it is derived from.
This food is put in cereal. What is "lait"?
Lait is the French noun for milk. Adjectives can be added to the end of this noun in order to further describe it- e.g., lait écrémé which means skimmed milk.
A mode of transportation, what do you think a "voiture" is?
Voiture means ‘car' in French. It is a noun used to speak about different types of cars and automobiles. Voiture is pronounced as ‘vwatyʀ.'
Which writing tool is a "stylo"?
Stylo, pronounced as stilo, means ‘pen' in English. This masculine noun can be used to speak about different types of pens, e.g. stylo plume which means ‘fountain pen.'
Which body part is the "tete"
Tete means refers to one's head and it is pronounced as ‘tet.' It is used in many expressions such as courber la tete, (to bow one's head) and in popular ones such as avoir mal à la tête (to have a headache).
Can you guess what "rue" means?
Rue is pronounced as ‘ry' in English and means ‘street' in that language. Rue can also mean to feel sorry for or to feel remorse toward someone, something or a situation.
Which animal is a "chien"?
Chien means ‘dog' in English and is used to talk about this domestic animal. Words can be added to further explain what type of dog, e.g., chien de garde (guard dog.)
Which of these foods is "fromage"?
Fromage means ‘cheese,' which is a daily product used in many dishes. It is pronounced as ‘fraw-mazh' and originates from the Latin word ‘formaticum.'
What color does the word "jaune" represent?
Jaune means yellow in English. Unlike some other adjectives, it is invariable; it is both a masculine and feminine noun. This means that the spelling does not change based on the gender of the noun.
What does the French adjective "drole" mean?
This French adjective translates in English to mean "funny" or "peculiar." It can be about a person or an event that has occurred that is amusing or strange.
What do you think "maison" is?
Maison is a feminine French noun which is used about a dwelling place, specifically a house. Maison is derived from the Latin word- mansiō, mansiōnem and maneō, ‘to remain.'
What time of day is "minuit"?
"Minuit" means midnight in French. It's when French werewolves come out!
Which family member is a "frere"?
This masculine noun means "brother" in English and is used about a male sibling. An "s" is added to make it plural, such as when one might want to say "brothers."
Which of these words is associated with "sympa"?
Sympa, pronounced "sam pa" means "nice." This adaptable word is used to show a general liking or affection toward someone, something or someplace or even a concept.
Can you guess what "porte" means?
Porte is a feminine noun which means "door" in English when used about a house and "gate" in some other situations. For example, ferme la porte means, close the gate.
What color does the word "blanc" represent?
The French word for "white" is blanc and it is pronounced as "blɑ̃." This color can be changed to "blanche" if the noun that it describes is feminine.
What do you think "ville" is?
Town or city is called "ville" in French. This modern French word is pronounced as "veel" and is used in many ways such as to say, "Let's go to town"- Allons en ville.
What does the French word "jeune" mean?
Jeune is the French word for "young." It is used to describe someone's youthful appearance (faire jeune) or a young person, such as a young girl- jeune fille.
Which emotion is "fache"?
Fache, the French word for "angry," is used frequently in English to express displeasure and annoyance. "E" is added at the end of this adjective when the subject is feminine.
A metallic color, what does "argent" mean?
Argent, pronounced as "ahr -juh -nt" is a French noun which means "silver" in English. It can be used about money, the metal or the color silver.
What does the French adjective "facile" mean?
Facile, the antonym to difficile, means "easy" and is used to describe things that require little to no effort to complete or accomplish. It can also reference a simplistic or superficial perspective or approach.
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