Things That Are Different Are Not The Same

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Perhaps the first word we are ever taught in French is Bonjour. Perhaps the second word we are taught in French is "Au Revoir" which of course means goodbye, but you'll be surprised how little it is used in France. Most people says "Salut" when they are saying goodbye but among friends you'll soon get used to saying "bisous" which basically means "kisses". Oh and that word you learned in school: " Adieu " - You can pretty much forget about it.

Things That Are Different Are Not The Same

But have you ever heard a French person laugh like this in real life? No, nor have we. They laugh just as everyone else does… by laughing. As the guys at the Earful Tower point out, you'll need to stock up on your "bons" when you come to France. The French don't just communicate with words. The stereotype of the French being a nation of gesticulators is somewhat true. But it's not just that they love a good gesture it's that until you are in the country of shrugs and shoulders you don't realise that the French have their very own Gallic gestures for communicating.

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And they need deciphering see video below. The chances are that if you've spent any time in France you've heard the word 'putain' or "Puuuuuuutaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiin! But it's not one you'll learn at school. You probably learnt merde! For more on "Putain" read: An ode to the greatest French swear word.

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Let's not even talk about the Quebecois, whom you'll likely need an interpreter for. You can live in Paris for years and speak fluent French, but be prepared to feel like a beginner when you venture into the far corners of France. It really shouldn't be surprising given that they have their own oanguage but when you hear for the ifirst time the French versions of certansounds, you'll be taken aback.

Of course it also makes sense that the French have their own animal sounds.

For example roosters don't say Cock-a-doodle-do, they say cocorico! This list from Fluentu has them all. Except you soon realise that no one actually says it in France and the same goes for Zut alors!


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In fact it's not just the mythical swear words that the French don't actually use. And meuf, which comes from the French backwards slang Verlan it's femme backwards , is simply the female equivalent. Eg: Merci is Cimer. You may have used it without even knowing — the singer Stromae is Verlan for Maestro, the word Meuf comes from Femme woman or girlfriend … and the word Verlan itself… yep, it comes from L'envers reverse.

You might find it strange when you realise that such a common word is a contentious issue in France. But it truly is.

Mademoiselle is considered by some as sexist because it separates married women from single ones when the same distinction isn't applied to men. This has led to the word being banned from French administrative forms with feminist groups saying they want it phased out altogether. There shouldn't be a problem using it if you're talking to a young woman but use with caution in other instances. You'd be forgiven for thinking "oui" isn't one of the words you'll struggle with when you're in France. But once here, you'll be confronted with all kinds of variations from the clipped "oui" you're familiar with to a more casual sounding "ouaaaaaaaaii" pronounced almost like waaaayyyy which can vary in length.

Naturally this can lead to some confusion for the foreigners in town. It might sound like "whhhoui" or "wheeee" we have no idea how to spell it. Avoid trying to do it as you might swallow your chewing gum. But you can see how it's done in the video below. It would have been great at school if they'd taught us some of the fantastic expressions the French use, because there are lots and they use them frequently.

They have expressions for sex , obviously and they have expressions for insulting people , obviously :- and they have expressions that are just brilliant that they would never have taught you at school like "There's a testicle in my soup" - Il y a un couille dans le potage. What you'll hear far more often is what sounds like "Or lorr lorr" as someone reacts to something they don't like or if they are shocked.

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It can also be used positively in which case it is more like "oh la la". For a more detailed explanation of the Oh la la conundrum click below. Once you settle in and make some French friends and inevitably starting texting each other as people do these days then you'll need to learn a whole new subset of terms.

But there are many more. Comme d'habitude, D'accord and restaurant are more than shortened to comme d'hab, D'ac and resto. If you want to blend in then best learn them. Get notified about breaking news on The Local. Popular articles From rude to mince: 19 English words that have very different meanings in French French Word of the Day: hein Is now the time for Bordeaux to build an underground metro system? More news The regional French slang you will need to get out and about in France. Eleven phrases that will let you complain like the French.

Job done! Ash then talked about the issues he has faced as a queer immigrant to the UK, who lives with HIV, and how different the experiences of young people coming out as queer today are from those of us who did so in the late eighties and early nineties. In particular, apps such as Grindr, which are open to all, make it very easy for youngsters to meet and meet up with older people, frequently meaning that their introduction to the community and their first experience of it is a sexual one. Ash highlighted how little thought is now devoted to those who have previously died of HIV, AIDS and related illnesses and how, in this new environment where first contact is frequently remote and online instead of in person, the number of new HIV infections may be expected to increase in the community.

Cerys, a trans female writer, poet and performer, shared with us three of her poems, dealing with different aspects of her emotional and mental state pre-, during and post-transition. As with the others, she shared very personal matters with us and did so with enormous good humour. They provide a range of services, including counselling, signposting and advocacy and assisted approximately 1, people in The key themes emerging from all of these was the overwhelming sense of shame that people with mental health issues often have about those issues.

This makes it incredibly difficult for them to seek help or tell people that they are struggling. But communities are not just about where you are. They are also about who you are and who else is like you. There is nothing shameful about having a mental health problem. As Dawn said, almost every adult will struggle mentally or emotionally at some stage in their lives and 1 in 4 will require some form of treatment or intervention. Within the Police, there are several initiatives to make it very clear that there is no stigma within the organisation in relation to those with mental health problems.

We have trained Mental Health Advocates, colleagues available for confidential chats. We have an Employee Assistance Programme and Charitable Foundation, which can assist with funding in times of crisis. There is the Backup Buddy app, which contains lots of useful information, contact details for numerous support agencies and the facility to search for a local, specialist therapist if needed. Once you overcome your shame and open up about mental health struggles, the organisation wraps layers and layers of help, reassurance and genuine affection around you and your needs become the most important thing.

And as Police, there is hardly a job we go to that does not involve mental health, drink, drugs or some element of domestic abuse, often in combination. As Police, of course, we have to work within a legislative framework, but this does not mean we cannot act with compassion and empathy. People having a mental health crisis have done nothing wrong and frequently when we arrive either because the ambulance service, also severely overstretched, is unable to attend promptly or because the person concerned is displaying aggressive, threatening behaviour and has or says they have some sort of weapon become more upset, rather than calming down.

Nevertheless, we are called upon to talk people away from cliff edges and down from roofs or balconies.