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Parler français comme une vache espagnole – French Expression

Parler français comme une vache espagnole – French Expression

Today’s lesson will cover one of the most fun expressions in the entire French language: Parler français comme une vache espagnole. This expression translates literally to: “to speak French like a Spanish cow” and means “to butcher the French langauge” or “to speak horribly”. The expression can be applied to any language.

parler français comme une vache espagnole

to speak French horribly

Parler français comme une vache espagnole

Expression Origin

According to Wiktionary.org, the most plausible hypothesis is this expression comes from the Occitan (group of southern French langauges) expression parlar coma un gavach espanhòl, with gabatch meaning a seasonal worker coming from the Pyrenees mountains.

Example sentences

Quand John est arrivé en France il y a un an il parlait comme une vache espagnole. Maintenant il maîtrise vraiment bien la langue !

When John arrived in France a year ago he spoke French horribly. Now he masters the langauge really well!

Ton accent américain est affreux ! Tu parles français comme une vache espagnole !

Your American accent is awful! You speak French horribly!

J’étudie le français depuis très longtemps mais je parle toujours comme une vache espagnole !

I’ve been studying French for a long time but I still butcher the langauge!

Conclusion

Félicitations mes amis ! Congratulations my friends! You now know the expression parler français comme une vache espagnole. Now check out some more of our fun idiom lessons including tomber dans les pommes (to faint) and etre bête comme ses pieds (to be very stupid).

Parler français comme une vache espagnole: French Expression for "to speak horribly"
Parler français comme une vache espagnole: French Expression for “to speak horribly”

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on FrenchLearner, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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