Making noises in French

This funny blogpost on Ufunk, reposted from James Chapman’s site,  inspired the following: how the French express common noises.

Manger:

manger

Miam/mee yam/ expresses the idea of eating, and is also said when a dish looks good.

Crounch/kroonshuh/  is how you write the sound of something crispy.

Avoir mal:

Aïe

While the James Chapman’s webiste lists only “ouille!/oo yuh/,

there are more ways to express pain in French, as Jacques Dutronc has so well illustrated.

Aïe! /ah-yuh/  is a good, safe alternative to ouille, and used everywhere in the Francophonie. Ouch! /ah-oo chuh/ and Ayoye! /ah yaw-yuh/are more often heard in Quebec.

Aïe! 

Ouch! 

 

Pleurer:

ouin

Ouin!/weihn/ is most associated with the cry of a baby. Adults and others will use “Bou hou!/boo oo/, or “Snif!/sneefuh/, the latter also expressing well, err, sniffing.

 Ouin! 

Bou hou! 

Snif! 

 

Faire un bisou:

bisou

Smac!” /smakuh/

and

Bizzz!” /beezzzz/

are not usually uttered, but read.

Ronfler:

ron tu pues

French speakers sometimes joke with this onomatopoeia because it sounds as if the person would say “You stink” on the second part, when one exhales: “Ron… tu pues!/rhown… tüpü/

Klaxonner: 

bip bip

Children playing with cars also make that sound (among others): “Bip Bip!” /beep beep/.

Rouler:

broum

The sound a car makes when it goes about: “Broum!” /broomuh/.

Exploser:

boum

When something bursts in French, it makes the sound “Boum!” /boom/ (Listen to Mika).

But when it really blows up, it goes “Pataboum!” /padaboom/.

You can pair the two: “Boum pataboum!” /boom padaboom/, which would express things tumbling down.

In Quebec, if you want to create an impression, forget Boum and adopt the more potent “Patow!” /pet ow/.

 

 

Tirer:

pan pan pow pow

Yes, the French use “Pan!” /pong/.

In Quebec, “Pow!” /pow/ is preferred.

Téléphoner:

drelin

“Dring!” /dring-uh/ is akin to the sound old, pre-touch screen rotary phones would make. But, can you believe, “Dring!” used to be an update from an even older sound from older phones and door bells, which was closer to a chime: “Drelin drelin!” /druh-leihn druh-leihn/.

Dring!

Drelin drelin!

 

 

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© Ouicestca 2014, tous droits réservés.

         

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Marie

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