Having taught French in Sydney for a number of years, I am not without my fair share of faux pas when learning to speak English.
Apparently, there is nothing sexier than a French accent but, as a French native speaker, I am familiar with the common mistakes that we make when learning English.
And it can be funny … albeit it somewhat embarrassing!
When there is a need for food, there is no point in losing your temper! Not pronouncing the “h” in “ I am hungry” leads to confusing “hungry” with “angry”.
Similarly, the pronunciation of “happiness” by any self-respecting French person has to be handled delicately!
We sometimes have trouble distinguishing between short and long vowels. Living in Sydney and going to the “bitch” could offend as well!
Forgetting “s” in the verb at 3rd person (“he go to restaurant”)
Many French business people find themselves “fulfilling a spreadsheet” like it is a prophecy!
If someone is late for an appointment or meeting, it doesn’t go down that well when you say “He is retarded”!
One of the funniest (and most embarrassing) moments happened about 3 years ago on one of our Fun Languages club excursion to Taronga zoo. It’s worth remembering if you find yourself at the zoo that you may well hear the children and their teacher discussing a “phoque”. It’s French for seal!