6 French Phrases - Their Real Meanings

This is going to be an English-only post, just to explain some French phrases you may never have understood before.

Seulement à emporter means that whatever you're buying is too cheap to merit a place to sit in the restaurant.

Défense de fumer means there should preferably be no lit cigarettes inside the building, but just outside the door is fine.

Toilettes €0.50 means that the proprietors are well aware that this is the only bathroom available for miles around, giving them the right to charge you money to use it as well as leave the place without janitorial services for three years at a time.

Orangina means that by paying twice as much for a brand-name orange drink, you are helping to fund crazy advertising campaigns featuring all types of weird animals (see this montage with English dubbing).

Merci de patienter means you've already had your bank card stuck in the machine for five minutes, but it's going to take just a litte bit longer.

Merci pour votre compréhension means that even though the professor decided to skip out on your class at random, you're going to have a make-up session by the end of the semester at the most inconvenient time possible.

I hope you learned something new. And of course, if you have questions, opinions, or other phrases to add, please comment!


  1. So witty! Thank you for sharing! These phrases are much more useful than phrases usually touted as important for travel in France!


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