Fun with Foreign Language: Putting my Facebook in French

Foreign Language and Culture

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This week’s foreign language post looks at an easy and practical way to use your foreign language in everyday life.

Last weekend, a friend used my phone to log in to her Facebook as she’d forgotten her cell and needed to send a message. The only problem was I then had quite a time trying to log out of her account later as everything was in Spanish (which I guess is better than it being in her other foreign language, which is Mandarin. I would have really had a time figuring that one out). This gave me the idea of doing the same with my own Facebook account in French.

I’ve studied French on and off for 10 years starting in middle school and ending in college where I earned a minor in the language. While I can communicate any basic idea you’d want to convey in French, can hold a fairly advanced conversation, and have little trouble reading or writing, I’m not fluent. Mostly because fluency requires full immersion into the language, something I’ve not had much chance to do having never left the States.

Here in America, we don’t exactly use French on a daily basis. I’ve been increasing my audio understanding by watching movies dubbed into French, but that still only gets me listening to the language about once a week, so putting Facebook, a site I use at least a few minutes every single day, into my foreign language is really helping me to constantly read and understand it. Of course my friends’ posts and my own still show up in their original languages, but even having the buttons and icons in French is helping increase my exposure to it.

For this week’s French lesson, I’ll go over a few very basic phrases you’d see on a French Facebook page.


 

<<J’aime>>

You would find this on a fan page, a status, or a comment. This phrase very simply means “I like” and so of course is how one labels the “like” button.

<<Exprimez-vous>>

This is an imperative command meaning “Express yourself.” You can probably guess what this phrase is used for on social media: status updates, or as the French call them <<votre statut.>>

<<Retrouver des amis>>

<<Retrouver>> is the infinitive form of the verb meaning “to find” (again) or “rediscover/regain” while <<des amis>> means “(some of the) friends.” (<<des>> is used to indicate “some” as the quantifier/article as apposed to “les” meaning every single friend in the world/that you have). So <<Retrouver des amis>> indicates the location of the Facebook friend-finder.

<<Accueil>>

This means “Welcome.” You would click this word to pull up your “Home” page/newsfeed. As that’s the first page you see, “Welcome” seems an appropriate title.

Facebook also allows users to <<Modifier le profil>> (modify profile), <<envoyer un nouveau message>> (send a new message), commenter (you can guess the meaning of this one), and partager (share).

What do you think of this idea? Will you be switching your social media preferences to another language? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment. Also let me know if you’d like for me to start putting my short fashion posts in both English and French. Be sure to follow the blog for more posts on global cultures and foreign languages every Thursday. As always, thanks for reading! Merci beaucoup à tous les gens qui lit mon blog. À demain!

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