Lesson Five – Je m’en fous

 

We continue the series of langauge lessons with another essential rude French  « Foutre ». (footre)

This is a verb, used to say « I couldn’t care less » or « I couldn’t give a toss », depending on the intonation and the situation.

Here is an example – A Frenchman and an Englishman talking about rugby

Froggie – Alors, le match ce soir? La France va ecraser Angleterre !

Rôsbif* – Je m’en fous du match (pronounced dje mon foo)

Translated this gives the following

Froggie – So, what about tonight’s match? France are gonna walk all over England

Rôsbif – I couldn’t give a toss about the match

Now, in this last example, the English person has used a hard intonation, putting stress on every single syllable in the phrase, which gave the « je m’en fous » (dje mon foo) it’s translation in the venacular. The Englishmen used the « couldn’t give a toss form, because the French speaker had been particularly aggressive, saying that the French would « walk all over » the English

Imagine the scene again, but this time, the French speaker is as non-plussed about the match as his English interlocuter.

Froggie – Alors ce match ? (said in a nonchalant, half asleep manner)

Rôsbif – Je m’en fous (equally nonchalant)

This time the translation would be different

Froggie – So, what about the match ?

Rôsbif – Couldn’t care less about the match

*We call the French « Froggies » because they eat frogs, but did you know that they refer to the English as « Rôsbif » (pronounced roastbeef) because . . . yep you’ve guessed it

So the whole verb form is « s’en foutre » (son footre)

It is used everywhere that you couldn’t give a toss, a monkey’s, a flying f*** or simply where you just can’t be bothered and couldn’t care less.

Try this

Froggie – Le chef pense que t’es nul

Rôsbif – mais je m’en fous royalement de ce qu’il pense

Translation

Froggie – The boss thinks you’re crap

Rôsbif – I couldn’t give a flyin f*** about what he thinks

For those who generally couldn’t give a monkey’s about anything, we qualify them as being

« S’en foutiste »  (son footist) literally « non-plussed » , but I daresay there is a better translation.

More in another lesson

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