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parler français comme une vache espagnole

The French expression “parler français comme une vache espagnole” translates literally to “to speak French like a Spanish cow”. This expression doesn’t necessarily have to apply to French.

English meaning:

  • to butcher the French language
  • to speak horribly

French meaning:

  • parler avec un fort accent étranger – to speak with a strong foreign accent
  • parler très mal une langue – to speak a language very poorly

Example sentence:

  • Ton accent est affreux ! Tu parles français comme une vache espagnole ! Your accent is horrible! You butcher the French language!
  • J’étudie le chinois depuis plus que cinq ans mais je parle comme une vache espagnole ! I’ve been studying Chinese for over five years but I 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 his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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