French Language Blog

MDR* Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Culture, Grammar, Music, Vocabulary

Sometimes all you want to do is laugh. Au bureau la semaine dernière (Last week at work), I was introduced to a very funny video that I thought I’d share with you, chers lecteurs (dear readers). A collègue (coworker) over heard me speaking French with another collègue and thought we’d get a kick out of it. I hope you will too !

The accents are a little ‘off’ and the grammar isn’t always perfect , but when a video is this fun (and evocative of a certain genre of French style), you just have to share it ! Can you “fix” the errors I’ve identified without looking at the answers below the lyrics?

Je suis enchanté I am delighted (to meet you)
Où est la bibliothèque ? Where is the library?
Voilà mon passeport Here is my passport
Ah, Gérard Depardieu Ah, Gerard Depardieu
Baguette, ah ha ha, A baguette, ah ha ha,
baguette, oh oh oh oh oh-ho! baguette, oh oh oh oh oh-ho!
Ba Ba ba-ba Bow! Ba Ba ba-ba Bow!
Foux** du fa fa Crazy about the fa fa
Foux du fa fa fa fa Crazy about the fa fa fa fa
Foux du fa fa Crazy about the fa fa
Aie ya Ah ee ah
Et maintenant le voyage à le*** supermarché! And now the trip to the supermarket!
Pamplemousse grapefruit
Ananas pineapple
Jus d’orange Orange juice
Bœuf beef
Soupe du jour Soup of the day
Camembert Camembert
Jacques Cousteau Jacques Cousteau
Baguette Baguettte
Bonjour Hello
Bonjour Hello
Bonjour Hello
Bonjour, monsieur Hello, sir
Bonjour mon petit bureau de change Hello, my little currency exchange office****
Ça va?***** How are you ?
Ça va. I’m ok.
Ça va? How are you ?
Ça va. I’m ok.
Voilà – le conversation dans le parc. Here is the discussion in the park.
Où est le livre? Where is the book ?
À la bibliothèque. At the library
Et le musique dance? And the dance music ?
À la discothèque. At the disco / dance club
Et les discothèques? And the discos ?
C’est ci, bébé !****** It’s here, baby !
Un, deux, One, two,
Un, deux, trois, quatre One, two, three, four
Ba Ba ba-ba Bow! Ba Ba ba-ba Bow!
Foux du fa fa Crazy about the fa fa
Foux du fa fa fa fa Crazy about the fa fa fa fa
Foux du fa fa Crazy about the fa fa
Aie ya Ah ee ah
Où est la piscine? Where is the swimming pool ?
Pardonne moi? Excuse me ?
Où est la piscine? Where is the swimming pool ?
…Euh… Uh . . .
Splish splosh Splish, splash
…Euh… Uh . . .
Je ne comprends pas. I don’t understand.
Parlez-vous le français?******* Do you speak French ?
Eh? Um ?
Parlez-vous le français? Do you speak French ?
Euh . . . non. Uh . . . no.
Ooh . . . Ooh . . .


* ‘MDR’ is text short-hand for ‘mort de rire’ (dying laughing). It’s the French equivalent of ‘lol’ or ‘ROTFL’

** ‘foux’ is the plural form of the word ‘fou’ which means crazy, or insane. The feminin form is ‘folle’.

*** This should of course be ‘au’. The preposition ‘à’ (to) followed by the definit article ‘le’ (the) is combined to ‘au’ (to the) in the same way ‘de’ (of) and ‘le’ are combined to form ‘du’ (of the). In the plural:‘à’ plus ‘les’ is ‘aux’ and ‘de’ plus ‘les’ is ‘des’.

**** It’s nonsense, but it’s correct ;-).

***** ‘Ça va?’ can be, as we see here, both a question and its answer. It is an informal expression that uses the verb ‘aller’ (to go) that could as easly be translated as ‘How goes it?’ as a question and ‘It goes.’ in response. You will also commonly hear ‘Comment vas?’ or ‘Comment vas-tu?’ (or ‘Comment allez-vous?‘ in the formal or plural form) which means the same thing.

The verb ‘aller’ au present tense: je vais, tu vas, il/elle/on va, nous allons, vous allez, ils/elles vont

****** ‘C’est ici’ would be correct . . . unless of course he wanted to say ‘C’est si . . .’ (It is so . . . ) but even that would be an odd formulation here.

******* ‘français/e’ without an aritcle (‘le’, ‘la’, ‘un’, or  ‘une’) is an adjective, ‘le francais’ is the language . . . ‘Parlez-vous le français ?’ is the correct construction, but you will also commonly hear ‘Parlez-vous francais ?’ (without the ‘le’). Par contre (on the other hand), when speaking about learning a language (vs. speaking one), you always use the definite article (‘Pierre apprend l’anglais.’ / Peter is learning English. ‘J’apprends le russe.’ / I am learning Russian.). And finally, when speaking about the French globally, remember to capitalize it. ‘J’aime les Français.’ / I like the French (people).

The verb ‘parler’ au present tense: je parle, tu parles, il/elle/on parle, nous parlons, vous parlez, ils/elles parlent
The verb ‘apprendre’ au present tense: j’apprends, tu apprends, il/elle/on apprend, nous apprenons, vous apprenez, ils/elles apprennent

And if you made it this far, this! A virtual tour of Paris with love from the mayor of Paris herself. Enjoy!

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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.


  1. Mark B:

    “Au bureau” seems to me to mean “at the office” more specifically and not necessarily “at work.”

    • Tim Hildreth:

      @Mark B Thanks for your comment. “Au bureau” does mean “at the office”, but can be translated into English, depending on the context, as “at work” . . . especially for those of us, like me, “travaille au bureau” (work at the office). 😉