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Secrets to sounding like a native: demystifying French expressions – Part 2

Coralie L'Enfant - 26.04.2013
T
his article is in English. Click here to read this article in French.

So you don’t really understand classic French expressions? Not to worry, My French Life™ are here to dissect and help you understand the expressions anchored in the language of Molière.

Have fun discovering just how beautiful the French language is to speak and listen to. Get to know the richness of French vocabulary with its food-inspired expressions. You’ll be surprised to find that we don’t only find them in La Fontaine fables. Master these anecdotal sayings, their meanings and their origins so you can impress all your friends with your wisdom at dinner parties.

‘Raconter des salades’ (literally ‘to tell salads’)

Used in a pejorative manner, the expression ‘raconter des salades’ denotes a person who doesn’t tell the truth or tells stories that lack in credibility. This metaphor from the 19th century makes sense if you examine the definition of the word. A salad can be a marriage of ingredients (vegetables or fruit) that harmonise to give, in the end, an agreeable blend to savour.

If you want to tell an easily swallowed lie, you need to combine the talents of an actor, humour, false excuses, a strand of imagination and a convincing tone to sell your salad.

Equivalent English expression: To spin a yarn.

Translation by Robyn Jurgens.

Illustration by Coralie L’Enfant


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