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L’étranger m’a changé (#abroadchangedme)

By Savita Potarazu

As a non-French speaker, I picked up on some interesting new phrases during my first few weeks here. Now that we only have 2 weeks left in the semester, I can safely say that I’ve adopted the following into my everyday vocabulary:

C’est chou! = It’s cute!

In beginner French, I learned that “chou” means cabbage. Before learning about this, I didn’t question it. Then I started to wonder why people were calling things “cabbage". I still don’t know the origin of it but I guess it’s just slang for “That’s cute!” or “S/he is so cute!” Now I say it all the time... but mostly as a joke because it still doesn’t make sense to me.

Cou cou = My dear

French is such a melodic language. The way people say Cou Cou actually sounds like a stereotypical cuckoo clock but it’s much cuter coming from a person. Usually elders say it to younger people, or, at least those are the contexts in which I’ve heard it said to me or to others. Just cute Swiss things…

Ouais = Yeah

Basically, Ouais is the english equivalent of “yeah” (oui is “yes”). After a while of me knowing what it meant I began to feel super formal saying oui. You could also say that I started saying it to sound cool but that’s up to you to decide… 🙂