13 Funny Things Kids Say: the French Edition
Photo by Matthew Henry ¹

13 Funny Things Kids Say: the French Edition

Young Kids say a lot of funny things. I always want to record them chatting, because it is simply hilarious. And it adds a whole different level when those kids are born-and-bred little Frenchies.

The Expressions

1) “Berk” instead of “Yuck”

The correct pronunciation of “Berk” includes a throwing up reflex if you can manage that. I don’t know the linguistic origins of “Yuck”, so who is to say our common latin ancestors didn’t say “Berk” instead?

2) “Aiee” instead of “Ow!”

Drop a hammer on your foot? Aieeee!

The aieeeeee can go quite long, so prepare your vocal cords!

3) Oh la la!

On top of any french list of funny things kids say has to be when your 2-year old first comes home saying Oh la la. My kids can even do the extra inflections of the “la’s” with “oh la la la la la la!”

4) Caca Boudin

The first “gros mot” or swear word on the list. Every French child comes home from school saying this, it is as inevitable as the sun coming up in the morning.

☞ READ MORE: Caca Boudin: Your French Child’s first swear word

5) Bébé Cadum!

This is an odd one because it is actually a famous brand name of a baby hydrating cream. The ad has adorably chubby babies in it, which adults can lovingly coo over.

And there in lies the problem, at least in the minds of your young French Child. To them, bébé cadum is an insult, because of course he/she is no longer a baby! How dare you call them a baby!?

6) Speederman

Hello Spiderman, meet the French accent. Every anglophone parent I know in France just sighs and desperately tries to correct this “speederman” business before the North American side of the family hears your little one say this.

☞ READ MORE: Reverse Culture Shocks after disconnecting from the American way of life

7) Ca casse les oreilles

To translate literally, this means “that is breaking my ears!”. Obviously a phrase uttered by a very exhausted and exasperated teacher, which has been picked up by those little monsters. I feel for the teacher.

☞ READ MORE: The French School Education System

8) J’ai le droit de faire ça!

Because you are never too young to start protesting for your rights, your little French Revolutionary will throw this around as he is insisting he has the right to keep playing instead of having a bath tonight.

What is it with kids and baths, I ask you??

9) Pan pon

If you were not sure what “pan pon” is, in the head of your little French child, it is the sound that a fire truck makes. With the nasally n at the end of course.

French kids are experts at the nasal n at the end, because of course it is also in the word “Maman“.

The Animal Sounds

And now on to animal sounds. I could do a whole separate post on this, but anyway here goes:

1) Cocorico! – Cock

It is the national symbol of France, so who is willing to argue with the French that the sound cocks make is not Cock-a-doddle-do but Co-co-ri-co? I’m not sure you are going to win that argument.

☞ READ MORE: The Controversial French National Anthem

2) Coin coin – Duck

No, that french duck is not saying quack, but rather “coin coin” with a nasally “n” at the end. Now you know.

3) Hi Han – Donkey

More nasally n’s here with the donkey, instead of the anglophone “hee-haw”. You also write the first part as “hi” instead of “hee” but they are both pronounced the same, since in French there are not really any words with “ee” in them.

4) Meuh – Cow

That sweet little cow is not saying “mooo”, but rather more of a curt “meuh” with the h at the end. I suppose it could be different species of cows, but the milk still tastes as sweet, doesn’t it? (Unless you are lactose intolerant, of course!)


Any other words I’ve missed? Comment below and let me know!

¹ Featured Image: Photo by Matthew Henry

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